A Spectacular Pilgrimage of Israel
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, we will connect with our guide, who will lead us through customs. We then board our comfortable Wi-Fi-equipped motorcoach and head to our hotel in Tiberias. As we approach the city, you will behold the breath-taking beauty of the Sea of Galilee! Once settled, we will enjoy a welcome dinner and refreshing night’s rest. Following breakfast, we head for Caesarea Maritima located the shore of the emerald blue Mediterranean Sea where gladiators and chariots performed before crowds, Peter baptized the first Gentile (a Roman Centurion), and the Apostle Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, made his appeal before Festus to Rome. Then on to Mt. Carmel, where the prophet Elijah prayed, and God defeated 450 prophets of Baal with fire from heaven. We then ascend the Mount of Transfiguration overlooking the Valley of Armageddon, where Peter, James, and John saw Jesus’ face shining like the sun and his clothing like a flash of lightning, with Moses and Elijah appearing with him. From there, we head to Magdala on the Sea of Galilee, the home of Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus cast out seven demons, where we will explore a recently unearthed synagogue where Jesus ministered. Following a time of reflection, we will head back to our hotel for dinner and overnight. As the sun rises over the Sea of Galilee (you will not want to miss this!) we will head for the ancient city of Capernaum, which served as a headquarters for Jesus’ ministry. Then on to the Mount of Beatitudes with its beautifully manicured gardens, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Following a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, we will ascend to the majestic Golan Heights to visit the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi, where people worshiped Pan, a pagan god. In this place, Peter made his declaration about Jesus “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Cana, Site of Jesus’ First Miracle
Our day begins at the Primacy of Peter where the resurrected Christ while preparing bread and fish over a charcoal fire invited Peter and the disciples to “come and have breakfast” after supernaturally filling their net with fish after they had fished all night without catching anything. Then on to visit the ancient site of Tabgha, where the fishes and loaves’ multiplication took place. We will then head to Nazareth, where you will experience what village life was like in Jesus’ hometown. After enjoying a freshly prepared first-century meal (included), we will travel to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding. Then back to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Today we travel south through the Jordan Valley to visit Beit She ‘an, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities, where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after the Philistines defeated them. Then on to Qasr Al Yahud, where the Holy Spirit descended like a dove when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, and Jacob’s Well at St. Photini Church in Nablus, where Jesus shared “living water” with the Samaritan woman (John 4). Then on to Jericho, the oldest city in the world and first city, Israel’s armies battled under Joshua’s leadership after entering the land of Canaan. As the sun sets and the Jewish sabbath ends, we will begin our ascent to the majestic city of Jerusalem, where we will check into our hotel, enjoy dinner, and a good night’s rest. We begin our celebration of the Lord’s Day with a sweeping panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. We then follow the Triumphal Entry path that took place on Palm Sunday and enter the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive groves where Jesus prayed before his betrayal by Judas. Following a time of reflection, we will travel to Bethlehem for our Sunday worship celebration at Shepherd’s field, followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in the world, thought to be the place where Jesus was born. Then back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Following breakfast, we journey to the northern Judean desert to visit Qumran, home of the Dead-Sea-Scrolls. We will then ascend to Masada, the fortress built by King Herod with its ancient waterworks, synagogue, temples, and palaces. Our final stop will be a Spa on the Dead Sea, where we will enjoy lunch (included) and take advantage of relaxing in an indoor heated salt pool, freshwater pool, jacuzzi, and additional spa services like massages (not included). We then return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. Our day of pilgrimage begins with a visit to the Western Wall of Herod’s Temple, the holiest site in the entire Jewish world (if you have Jewish friends, invite them to give you written prayer requests to place in the wall), and the Temple Mount. We will then visit Bethesda’s Pools, a place of healing (John 5), and St. Anne’s Church, where you will hear the celestial sound of hymns sung by Christians from around the world. We will then stroll through the Old City of Jerusalem to The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the most visited historical site in Israel. Following dinner, you may want to venture out again to behold the beauty of Jerusalem at night! Our day’s activities will include a visit to Emmaus where the disciples’ hearts burned within them as they walked with Jesus and recognized him in the breaking of bread, and Kiryat Ye’arim, where the Ark of the Covenant from the time of Samuel rested until David brought it to Jerusalem, celebrated in Psalm 24. We will then visit the House of Caiaphas, where Jesus spent the night in a dungeon before his crucifixion, Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. If time permits, you might want to visit the Old City or visit another venue before we gather for our Farewell Dinner celebration!