DAY 7– SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24: MT. OF OLIVES, OLD CITY, POOL OF BETHESDA, ISRAEL MUSEUM, YAD VASHEM
Today was another sunny day, with comfortable temps around 65. It was also our first full day in Jerusalem! And what a great day it was as we connected with the Bible and Jerusalem in so many ways.
Mt. of Olives / Garden of Gethsemane
Leaving the hotel at 7:35, we drove to the Mt. of Olives. We past the west and north sides of the Old City and crossed over the Kidron Valley on the way. The view from the top of the Mt. of Olives was special! We could see the City of David (OT Jerusalem), the entire Old City as well as the Temple Mount. Stopping at the Dominus Flavet chapel, we read from Luke 19 and Zechariah 14 about Jesus’ kingship. Jesus will one day return to earth and will stand right here!
Walking down the path, we enjoyed a special stop at the Garden of Gethsemane. We arranged a private place where we reflectively read Luke 22 (Jesus betrayed by Judas) and listened to a beautiful song shared by Phebe. We also spent a few moments of quiet on our own.
“This morning the view of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives was breath-taking! What a highlight of the trip so far, and just to think that Jesus was here! Walking down to the Garden of Gethsemane was special too. Phebe’s song that she shared was wonderful.” -Tour Member-
We walked through the St. Stephen’s Gate (also called the Lion’s and Jericho Gates), we entered the Old City. At the Pools of Bethesda we read from John 5 about the healing that took place here. We also sang in the St. Anne’s Church. This is a Crusader Church that produces an 8 second echo. From here we walked through the Muslim and Christian Quarters to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the most likely location for the crucifixion and burial place of Jesus! We walked into the church on our own.
Ordering our falafel and shawarma in advance, we ate these sandwiches “on the go” and walked to the bus outside Jaffa Gate. Boarding the bus, we drove to the Israel Museum. Here we saw three things. First, we saw the 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem of what it looked like in 70 AD. We retraced many of Jesus’ ministry here. Next, we walked through the Shrine of the Book where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. We also saw the jars that contained scrolls within Cave 1. Lastly, we walked through the archaeological museum, seeing highlight artifacts along the way from the Canaanite and to the Roman period.
Our last stop of the day was Yad Vashem. This is Israel’s Holocaust Museum & Memorial. Shlomo shared his personal story about losing 12 family members from Vilna, Poland. We also saw the Children’s Memorial and then walked through the museum on our own.