Experience the Life of Christ
We depart for our overnight flight to Tel Aviv, embarking on our life-changing journey! We will be met at Ben Gurion International Airport and assisted through customs, introduced to our guide and driver, and travel to the Jerusalem Inbal Hotel for dinner and a well-deserved rest. We begin our day at the village of Ein Kerem, the hometown of John the Baptist. Then we journey to the Herodium of Herod the Great. Then we’ll drive to Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born. The Jordan River is our next stop, where we’ll see the probable location where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Next we’ll stop and overlook the vast Wilderness of Judea where Jesus was tempted by Satan. Dinner and overnight in the Jerusalem Inbal. An early start will take us to Mt. Gerizim in Samaria, where we’ll overlook Shechem and Sychar where Jesus had His conversation with the woman at the well. Standing atop Nazareth Ridge, we’ll drink in the breathtaking panorama over the Jezreel Valley as well as Nazareth. A short journey north takes us to Sepphoris, where Joseph and Jesus likely practiced their trade of carpentry. From here we’ll also overlook biblical Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle. Atop the spectacular cliffs of Mount Arbel, we’ll see an overview of the Sea of Galilee and the sites of Jesus’ ministry. Dinner and overnight are in the lovely Sofia hotel by the Sea of Galilee.
Take a Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee
We begin today at the Primacy of Peter Church, along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where two miraculous catches changed Peter’s life forever. Then we’ll reflect on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount on the Mount of Beatitudes. Standing in the synagogue of Chorazin, we’ll consider one of three towns Jesus rebuked for refusing to repent. At Magdala, we’ll explore the hometown of Mary Magdalene where archaeologists have recently discovered a synagogue from the time of Jesus. We’ll walk in Jesus’ adopted hometown of Capernaum and see the remains of Peter’s house and the synagogue where Jesus preached. We’ll drive past the Sower’s Cove, the likely location where Jesus began to preach in parables. Next we visit Nof Ginosar where we will see the recently discovered remains of an ancient fishing boat, dating to the time of Jesus. Then we’ll enjoy our own boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight are at the Sofia hotel. We start the day at Bethsaida where Jesus healed a blind man in order to teach His disciples to see. We’ll drive to northern Israel to Caesarea Philippi, where we’ll stand in the pagan Roman worship center near where Peter made his famous profession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We will travel up nearby Mount Hermon, the location of Jesus’ Transfiguration. Next we’ll explore Kursi by the Sea of Galilee where the demons entered the swine after Jesus cast them out of the demoniac. Dinner and overnight are at the Sofia hotel. Today we head south through the Jordan River Valley. On our way up to Jerusalem, we’ll visit Herod’s Palaces in Jericho, through which Jesus walked on His final journey to Jerusalem. At Bethany we’ll visit Lazarus’ tomb. We’ll also stop at Bethphage, where Jesus boarded the donkey in fulfillment of prophecy. Next we’ll walk down the Palm Sunday Road on the Mount of Olives and remember Jesus at His Triumphal Entry. At the Dominus Flevit Church, we’ll consider why Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We’ll end this busy day at the Israel Museum, where we’ll see a model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time. We’ll also see some archaeological finds relevant to Jesus and Scripture. Dinner and overnight are in the familiar Jerusalem Inbal.
Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
We begin our journey through Jesus’ Passion Week atop the Temple Mount, where Jesus taught during the week and where He cleansed the Temple. At St. Anne’s Church we’ll discover its beautiful acoustics as we sing to God. We’ll see the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed a lame man. Then we’ll walk outside the Old City walls to the Golden Gate and overlook the Mount of Olives where Jesus gave His Olivet Discourse concerning the End Times. At the Pool of Siloam, we’ll see the location where Jesus healed a blind man. We’ll walk the newly excavated underground Herodian Road. We’ll see the excavations at the Temple Mount, including the Southern Steps Jesus walked to enter the Temple. We will visit the famous Western Wall and experience Judaism’s most sacred site. Time permitting, we’ll explore the beautiful Jewish Quarter. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Today begins on modern Mount Zion, where we will visit the Upper Room where Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples. At Saint Peter in Gallicantu, we’ll re-live Peter’s denial of Christ at the traditional site of Caiaphas’ House. Next we’ll walk to the David’s Citadel Museum, the location of Pontius Pilate’s Praetorium where he condemned Jesus. After exploring the museum, we’ll see the Kidron Valley Jesus crossed and make our way to a private section of the Garden of Gethsemane. We’ll journey to the Garden Tomb, where we’ll enjoy the Lord’s Supper/Communion together in remembrance of Him. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. This morning we’ll make our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the location of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Then we’ll travel to the Russian Orthodox Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives, and consider Jesus’ Great Commission and Ascension. This afternoon, we’ll enjoy some free time in the Old City. Before our special farewell dinner at the Olive and Fish, we’ll enjoy a time rejoicing and reminiscing over the extraordinary days spent in the land of our Lord. Overnight at our hotel. Those not participating in the extension will transfer to the airport for the flight home, with life-changing memories.
Optional Old Testament Sites Extension
After breakfast, we travel south along the shore of the Dead Sea toward Masada where we ascend by cable car to King Herod’s amazing fortress. From here, we head to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. Next, we stop at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Afterwards, we make a special stop at the Dead Sea (the lowest spot on earth) for a short swim or float. Overnight at the Jerusalem Inbal. This morning we begin by exploring the finds at the original city of Jerusalem, the City of David, where we’ll venture through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. (Bring a small flashlight or head lamp and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Or stay dry and walk through the Canaanite Tunnel.) Afterwards, we visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial and Museum. Next, we say farewell to Jerusalem and go down to the Elah Valley where David fought Goliath. Then we journey west to the Mediterranean seaport of ancient Joppa, from where both Jonah and Peter left to take God’s Word to Gentiles. Overnight in the beautiful West Lagoon Resort in Netanya. This morning, we begin at Caesarea by the Sea, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion, and from where Paul sailed to Rome. We’ll overlook the Jezreel Valley again from atop Mt. Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Next we explore the strategic site of Megiddo. Then we drive to Ein Harod, the spring where Gideon chose his 300. Afterwards, we visit Tel Jezreel, the city of Ahab and Jezebel. Dinner and overnight at West Lagoon Resort in Netanya. We will transfer to the airport for our flight home— with memories of our walk in the footsteps of Jesus.