Encounter the Land of the Bible
We arrive in Tel Aviv where our agent meets us and assists us through customs and security. We are then transferred to our motor coach and begin our drive to the Galilee, where we will overnight for the next three nights. Time permitting, we will include stops at Jaffa and Mt. Carmel. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Tiberias. There is nothing quite like watching a sunrise in the Galilee from our hotel. We begin our sightseeing with our first stop visit at the Mt. of Beatitudes (Matt. 5-7), with time for reflection and worship. From here, we make our way to Bethsaida. Then, we visit Tabgha which is the traditional site of the feeding of the 5000). We then continue to Nazareth (Jesus’ childhood home), Cana (location of Jesus’ first miracle – John 2). We drive to Nazareth to visit the “Nazareth Village” with detailed explanation of what life was like during the time of Jesus (Luke 1 & 2). We then end our day at the Jordan River where we will have the option for baptisms (not included). Then, we return to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight. After breakfast, we travel north for the Golan Heights and view the area from a special lookout. From here, we continue our drive to Caesarea Philippi, where we will have time for devotions. Afterwards, we have a short hike/walk to Tel Dan where we will see the gate of Jeroboam. Then, we then head to Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry. We will end the day with a visit of the Ancient Boat at Nof Ginnosar and then board a replica wooden Jesus Boat as we sail the Sea of Galilee (Dani Carmel). Dinner and overnight will be in Tiberias.
After breakfast and before departing Tiberias, our first stop is another New Testament city, Chorazim. This was one of the three cities condemned by Jesus (Matthew 11). Then we will include a visit to Gideon Springs. Next, we visit Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. This is where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after being defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10-12). We stop in Jericho for a brief visit. Finally, we ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:1-2 NASB). After our breakfast, we begin a day of sightseeing with a visit to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. From here, we make our way to Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea, we will stop and visit Masada. We will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here, we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples, and palaces. Time permitting, we will make a special stop at the Dead Sea (also referred to as the lowest spot on the earth) for a short swim/float. Please be sure you bring with you good water/ closed end shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough on your feet. Afterwards, we make our way back to Jerusalem. (The road from the Dead Sea area to Jerusalem is an ascent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles.). Dinner and overnight will be in Jerusalem.
Traverse the Palm Sunday Road
We begin our explorations with a time at the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove. Then, we make a visit to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breath-taking panorama of the Holy City and visit a tomb. Our pilgrimage will proceed down the Old Palm Sunday Road. Then, we walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wailing Wall of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Sam. 24:18- 25). On this site now stands the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Aksa Mosque. We will then descend into the ongoing excavations in the Western Wall Tunnels. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. We begin our day with communion at the Pavement where Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate and see the Ecce Homo Arch and the ancient Cardo. A short walk takes us to stand on the original steps that Jesus climbed as he entered the Temple area. We visit the Shrine of the Book Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Jerusalem. This morning, we begin our day in worship at the Garden Tomb. We then have a visit to Bethlehem to visit an olive wood shop and the Church of the Nativity. Afterwards, we return to the Old City where you will have another chance to shop. After our Farewell Dinner at the hotel, we check out and then transfer to the Ben Gurion Airport for our departure flight back home.