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Israel 2017 Update #7

Our morning started before daybreak. We left the hotel around 7:00 am. We made our way to the Temple Mount. It’s the location of the Dome of the Rock. If you see a picture of Jerusalem, it’s the gold-plated dome you always see. Our feet walked the areas of the Gentile Court, Jewish Court, Priestly Court, and Holy of Holies. The Dome of the Rock is the place of Mount Moriah. Abraham obeyed the Lord’s voice to sacrifice Isaac, his only son, on this mountain. Mount Moriah means, “God sees.” Abraham discovered, and as we know, “the Lord provides.”

Leaving the Temple Mount, we made our way to the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9). There are two pools in the area. Scholars believe the invalid man of thirty-eight years would have been healed in the Southern Pool. You can see colonnades at the site, validating the truth of God’s Word. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed. What a personal question! What is Jesus asking you and me?

We formed a choir in St. Anne’s Church. The acoustics are amazing. We sang, “How Great Thou Art.” We walked part of the Via Dolorosa. We stepped inside Antonia Fortress. Jesus stood before Pilate here. Our hands and feet touched the actual stones that Jesus stood on. We read Luke 23:1-25 and Isaiah 53:3-7. We contemplated the Lord’s life, trial, and sacrifice. In reference to Jesus, the crowd shouted, “Crucify Him!” The Lord was in that place today! Have you thanked the Lord lately for giving His all for you?

We walked through the Western Wall tunnel. At one point, we were at the closest point to the Holy of Holies. We saw a young Jewish girl reading the Torah near that sacred place. We touched a wall that was wet with water from 2,000 years ago. Our feet stepped on stones that Jesus would have stepped on.

As we walked the streets of the Old City, we saw a Muslim funeral procession. A person in front and another person in back carried palm branches. The body was carried by a group of men over their heads in a box. The deceased person, in their culture, must be buried the same day as his or her death. Religion is alive and well in Jerusalem. However, the greatest need in the lives of Jewish and Muslim people is a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the promised Messiah.

In the afternoon, we reflected on Peter’s denial (Luke 22:54-62) and Jesus’ overnight imprisonment (Psalm 88) at Caiaphas’ house. Peter followed Jesus at a distance. How close are you following the Lord? I sat in that place and confessed my desperation for the Lord. I don’t ever want to deny (or disobey) my Lord.

We gathered on the roof of the Upper Room for worship. We focused on John 13:1-5. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. How do you and I serve? Are we more comfortable serving or being served? Jesus didn’t come to be served. He came to serve (Mark 10:45). If you knew you had hours to live, what would you do? In the final hours of Jesus’ life, He served, washing dirty, stinky feet.

It’s something to see people walking down streets with bread on carts or on their heads. Sanitary conditions are a little different in the Holy Land.

Tomorrow is our final day in Israel. We’ll walk down the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane in the morning. In the afternoon, we’ll be at the Place of the Skull and the Garden Tomb. I’m praying for the Lord to draw us close to Him.

I hope you’ll check back tomorrow for the final update from Israel.

The Lord Still Provides,
Pastor Ronny
Genesis 22:1-14

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