Israel: Galilee and Jerusalem

Original URL | Wednesday, September 7, 2022


well it's uh it's great to see everyone again tonight after the summer break and um it's nice to see uh such such good participation so um tonight i hope we can get some upliftment some motivation and just really have some fun looking at israel and

what the country has to offer but also a lot of spiritual lessons that can be very motivating as we wait as steve said in his prayer for the return of christ

i had i flew an airline called ll airlines which is the israeli airline they fly direct from boston uh a few times a week and the flight is around 11 hours so for three months i pretty much sent my kids once a week a screenshot of how many days hours and minutes it was until i was leaving so they got kind of annoyed with me but it was just my fun way of uh letting them know i was going to israel and sparking up some conversation with them

before we look at the slides let's just kind of get a lay of the land here um

the if we look at the top of the screen up in the north you can see the golan heights there which is right near the sea of galilee i spent a lot of time up there it's wonderful to hike and there's lots of waterfalls uh you have uh the snow on mount hermon that melts and really creates the jordan river down into the dead sea and a lot of the water that israel uses for their crops

and it's important to remember as well that there was you did couldn't really travel to israel uh a hundred years ago i mean you could go but there wasn't much there it was it was desert it was um

you know there was no fruit trees there were no gardens growing there was very sparse uh for people living there and so it's really a testament to what god tells us in prophecy that he will regather his nation and reestablish them in the ancient land of israel so it's it's really something we should look at each day to be motivated that israel is back in the land we know we're in the times and the seasons of christ's return we don't know the day of the hour but it's exciting to see uh what the nation of israel has done in just a little bit over 70 years

with the blessing of god so we'll spend a little bit of time up in the goal line up in northern israel

which is on the border of lebanon and you can see syria there in jordan

the west bank area marked out that is uh where you find jericho bethlehem hebron a lot of where the promises were made that is the contested land that you hear a lot about in the news and you can see jerusalem there right to the left

um and we'll spend some time in jerusalem as we head down to southern israel you can see a lot um

i did travel down there and do some snorkeling which was uh fantastic

and this was my 10th time to israel

so i've the first time i win it was all i got to hit every spiritual spot it was go go go and then i don't tell jen this but now when i go it's half of its relaxation um it's there's a lot of resorts the mediterranean is like the caribbean great restaurants it's just a lot of fun to be in the land and feel the excitement talk to jewish people talk to them about their hope and their expectation of a coming messiah

this was on the plane coming in um

the you can see some of the high rises there this is tel aviv which is very close to the mediterranean it's a very modern uh country tel aviv i would say is it's like new york city that they built on the desert so it's it's a wonder of technology and it's uh it's a technology hub for the world

and there's lots of investment that pours in there uh from across the globe because of the uh israelis have been very successful and it's it's a blessing of god

this is where i stayed the first night so don't get too jealous you do have to recover from that 11-hour flight

it's a place in netanya and you can see it's there's a lot of high-rises there they're right overlooking the mediterranean it's a very kind of uh tranquil

place to just get acclimated with a seven hour time difference

it's uh wonderful views in this area there's white sand beaches to

just walk to contemplate and to think about the the trip i have in front of me and all the wonderful things i'm gonna do so that that's uh where i start my first night

just south of here is is uh joppa and we know that in that place was where the hope that we have was opened up to the gentiles so i visited that on a previous trip

and this just kind of a depiction of the uh the coastline here and you have a lot of families here just enjoying um the benefits of living in this in this part of the country

so jason if i can jump in sure you landed and you spent the first night was it in tel aviv or uh just outside tel aviv in a place called netanya which is right on the mediterranean right on the water yep

and joppa is south of there yeah dropper is south of there and um it used to be a uh fishing port and where where peter um

you know with the gospel was was said hey you can eat you can eat the unclean the gospel is going to go out to the whole world

and was that the palestinian not that i'm sorry was that the philistine area or yeah it's it's uh just north of that yeah where gaza is okay thanks modern gaza sure

the the other great thing about israel is um if you do want to travel there i would recommend that you go with a tour uh professional tour the first time just because they they know the language they know all the places they can get you in where you need to go and it's a lot less work for you all the meals are taken care of the accommodations the travel and it's a nice way to do your first trip to israel after i did that i and you start to look at airbnbs and different properties that you can rent

in and around the uh sea of galilee which this is a view from

the apartment that i rented from a jewish couple uh overlooking the sea of galilee this was the sunset every night it was very tranquil beautiful spot right in what's called the kibbutz which is just a bunch of um israeli families they farm together they farm the land you can see there's a bunch of fruit trees uh in the front of the sea of galilee so it's just it's it's a very spiritual place to be to consider that this is where christ spent

started his ministry and spent a significant amount of time and performed a lot of miracles here and we'll

we'll touch base on some of those as well as delivering the sermon on the mount

and just some other uh views here of the sea of galilee it's relatively you can drive around the sea of galilee in about an hour uh steve could probably bike it in i don't know three hours but it's it's um it's not a very big lake uh you can when we read the stories about jesus walking on the water and the disciples out there

with uh fishing and so forth you can go from one side to the other in a relatively short period of time

uh but you can see none of these fruit trees were were here a hundred years ago this has all been cultivated as as uh depicted by prophecy that the jews would return to the land and make it plentiful again this spot is that the other side of the lake that you can see can you actually look across the whole lake yeah you can yep you can see across and you can see the mountains there see the mountains there yeah and as we we see and look at more pictures you'll get a really nice bird's eye view of how you can see across and how did you get there from the tel aviv area did you rent a car yeah i rented a car uh just used my phone as for gps

all of these signs the traffic signs in israel are in hebrew and in english so it's quite easy to navigate you all the menus at restaurants they uh hebrew and english and it's kind of when when jen came with me in 2018 um

they thought she was jewish they gave her the hebrew menu and she's like no no i'm i'm from america and they're like oh really so i i told her i'm like you know i i did marry a jewish girl

this this spot here is where believed to be where jesus delivered the sermon on the mount

and all of these tenants are so important to how we uh live our faith and and steve brought this out in his exhortation on sunday we may be the only bible that is seen

by those around us our neighbors our co-workers and if we look at that passage in matthew

5 verse 1 if we just kind of imagine christ is looking out here this is his backdrop there's a multitude there and it says in seeing the multitude he went up into a mountain and when he was set his disciples came unto him and he opened his mouth and taught them saying blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness and they shall be filled so wonderful

things for our own lives thirsting after righteousness

comforting those that that need comfort looking for opportunities to show compassion to our fellow man and woman and it goes on to say blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see god blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of god ye are the light of the world a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick and it giveth light unto all that are in the house let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven and we all have this opportunity each day in our lives and a few of them were mentioned when when class started brother uh peter claussen and and his help at the easton bible school he really brought a tremendous amount of energy uh to the bible school and also to the boston ecclesia for the praise uh weekend

and um

with with kim with her uh fostering and just these are all things that we have an opportunity to let our light shine

uh this is the spot where the jordan river empties into the sea of galilee and on the weekends which is their uh shabbat they arrest from friday night at sunset till saturday night at sunset you have jewish families this is when they spend time with their children when they reflect on their hope when they uh consider uh their own walk before god and

it's just wonderful to see them out with their kids and their you can swim in the sea of galilee you can this boating you can paddleboard which is what i want to do on my next trip i always have to keep something to do on my next trip so that when jen asks why do you need to go again

um they have fishing there and and you can there's plenty of restaurants there you can get what's called peter's fish they bring you out of fish caught from the sea of galilee and it's the whole fish that's been fried it's quite good and uh it's just kind of fun to do some of those things that we've all read about um

so many times in our daily readings

so to your question steve this is uh up atop of what's called mount arbel and it's really the northern uh we've all i think heard of masada which was the jews last stand against the romans in ad70

from mount arbel this was the same stand in the northern part of the country and if you look across here you see the golan heights which is heading north and heading towards the lebanon border and

directly across in the middle is where the feeding of the 5000 um would have taken place

it's very close to where the sermon on the mount was given


that account in matthew 14 reads when jesus heard of it he departed fence by ship into a desert place apart and when the people had heard thereof they followed him on foot out of the cities and jesus went forth and saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion toward them and just this wonderful spirit of our savior compassion it's something that we all desire in our own lives when we're going through a tough time or just in day-to-day interactions it's wonderful to have someone who is caring compassionate who's thinking about our needs who's putting when we put other people above ourself it's just a wonderful characteristic and we know that christ did this throughout his life he was moved with compassion and it's it's so comforting to know this that when we stand before a righteous judge christ is going to show each one of us compassion

it goes on to say and he healed this sick a wonderful shadowing of the kingdom age and when it was evening his disciples came to him saying this is a desert place and the time has now passed send the multitude away that they may go into the villages and buy themselves vittles but jesus said unto them they need not depart give ye them to eat and you know perfectly natural response to want your guests to leave after a certain amount of time but christ was thinking in a spiritual way and they said unto him but we have here but five loaves and two fishes he said bring them give it to me and he commanded the multitude to sit down in the grass and he took the five loaves and the two fishes and looking up to heaven he blessed and break and gave the loaves to his disciples and his disciples to the multitude and they did all eat and were filled and they took up of the fragments that remained 12 baskets and they that had eaten were about 5 000 men beside women and children and we can just imagine the beatitudes we can imagine the feeding of the 5 000 here this multitude hearing these words that were never spoken before never spoken with such eloquence and a man who had a character that was so far beyond what anyone had ever seen

and they would have sat there and listened intently and so when you stand in these places in the land of israel

you never read the bible the same because you've been there you've contemplated it you've read over these words and you can almost envision that multitude and you can almost feel that compassion of christ come over you and we know for ourselves

christ is the bread of life and this is really what he was feeding the multitude he was feeding them the words of life and he was also providing them with physical sustenance but it was all a way to preach the gospel and to bring the gospel

through the entire world

now if as we continue to look across there right in this same area these were all things that christ would have been involved in and very uh hilly area a lot of activity it would have been strenuous for christ to be walking on foot like this all the time um but we read in matthew 8 where they were holding the herd of pigs in this area

and it says in matthew 8 verse 28 and when he came to the other side into the country of the gergesenes they met him to possess with devils coming out of the tombs exceeding fear so that no man might pass by that way and a good analogy for us the words of christ

will put us into our right mind the more contact we have with the word we're going to be refreshed we're going to be thinking in a spiritual way as we drift away from doing our readings and from less contact with the meeting and from those things that sometimes can be a struggle for us to do the world can grade on us christ is is giving

us an example here these two individuals were separated they were not in their right mind and it says they cried out what have we to do with thee jesus thou son of god thou come hither to torment us and it says and there was a good way off them that

from them and heard of many swine feedings feeding so the devils besought him saying if thou cast us out suffer us to go away into the herd of swine and he said unto them go and when they will come out they went into the herd of swine and behold the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea and perished in the waters and they that kept them fled and went their way into the city and told everything and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils so christ with his healing power and this is the same sort of power that's going to be used in the kingdom age to heal this world to hear heal those that have mental discomfort to to heal those that have physical ailments and

this is a a wonderful thing for us to think about not only for the changes that are going to take place in the world but how we can now uh reading the word we can every day have that comfort of mind

and keep ourselves in a spiritual mindset while we while we wait for the return of our lord

and just another uh

a few pictures here this is uh the northern stand for the jews in mount arbel they built uh tunnels here and caves here to

hide from the romans and it's a very steep cliff it's a wonderful hike it takes about two and a half hours uh it's just a a really beautiful place to look out the the closest i could compare the galilee northern galilee area would be to like new hampshire the mountains and just kind of getting away from it all for the most part and you just can be out in nature and a lot of opportunity to

to think and to talk and to just enjoy being in the outdoors

so you can see some of the caves here that the jews would have hid from the romans here at the time of ad70

you can see some more of the uh crops down there the cultivation um which they get a lot of that water out of the sea of galilee

in ad70 they were not able to get at these jews so the romans devised a plan a pulley system where the soldiers the roman soldiers would go into this basket and they lowered them down to the cave so that they were able to capture

the jewish family so it's quite a sad story uh but we know that there are better days to come


the the historical aspect of it is something that the the jews do remember they have if you live in israel and you're an israeli citizen you do need to serve in the military it's mandatory for men and women i believe it's 19 months for women and 24 months for men and they're brought to all of these historical sites and it's part of their military training and it's part of the education on the history of the jewish people one of the fascinating things as you walk by we know the parable of the fig tree with christ you do walk around israel and see fig trees this one happens to have some figs on it they're not quite right uh but

lots of fruit trees fig trees and um

in olive press here

you come across a lot of these uh olive presses where they would have made the the oil for the burning of the lamps and it was just part of the uh jewish experience to this is how they survived with uh with oil

if we were to uh head north from mount arbel which is kind of in the middle of the sea of galilee we're going to end up at the

river jordan where it's believed that christ was baptized

and there's a plaque there as you enter it says in those days jesus came from nazareth of galilee and was baptized by john and the jordan and when he came up out of the water immediately he saw the heavens open and the spirit descending upon him like a dove and a voice came from heaven thou out my beloved son with thee i am well pleased and it's it's very moving to go to this spot to read these words and just to consider christ uh as as a 30 year old man and

in the ministry that he had before him and being in this area it's just tremendous what what christ accomplished for himself and for each one of us now you would think that these the uh jordan river would be this nice clear

flowing river like the saco river but it's it's it's got a little bit of a green tinge to it uh there's a lot of catfish that um that are in it and in this particular area you can uh get a robe and you can get baptized here lots of people do that and um

and get baptized i would imagine it would for a lot of these people it's their uh first baptism so it's it's uh quite an experience but it can get quite crowded in this area but this is roughly in the in the uh area where um christ would have been baptized and where he he would have spent a fair amount of time in this area

i did see a couple canoeing with their children in the uh in this area as well

if we just bring our minds back to on the top of mount our bell looking across there we're going to come to capernaum uh the town of jesus and uh

there's old fishing docks there

that are believed to be from the time of jesus not these ones here but uh in this general area

in front here with these old uh stones

uh where it says 67 this general area is where they believe that peter's mother's house was so jesus would have stayed here uh be we know that he didn't have a place to lay his head he would have stayed with friends he would have stayed with his disciples when he was in jerusalem he would have sometimes slept in the garden of gethsemane

but in matthew 8 we read and when jesus was come into peter's house he saw his wife's mother laid and sick of a fever and he touched her hand and the fever left her and she arose and ministered unto them when the even was come they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils and he cast out the spirits with his word and healed all that was sick that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by isaias the prophet saying himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses

and it just exemplifies the man christ jesus he he took upon him our infirmities and bear our sicknesses he he fulfilled every word of the prophets and healed all the sick people or as many as he could in this area and it just must have been such

an amazing thing to witness and and certainly if you were we think about everyone who's been affected by covet who christ could have healed them of their fever immediately and uh those that um had really bad symptoms you know they had a fever christ came into the house and he healed um and

these individuals and healed all those that were sick so they preserved this area and and god has preserved it so that it we can visit it we can uh think upon these things and it can bring the bible alive to us

this is a reconstruction of the synagogue where in capernaum where christ would have uh taught and as it says in this plaque the late 4th century a.d white synagogue built upon the remains of the synagogue of jesus

and so the lower level there is believed to be the original stones of the synagogue that jesus would have preached in here and then he would have gone uh to peter's mother's house and and probably this is where he would have had a lot of meals and and refreshed himself after all of the healing and miracles and preaching and

giving the beatitudes and feeding the five thousand

in this same area

we have the account of in matthew 14 verse 29 of peter walking on water and it we read there and in the fourth watch of the night jesus went unto them walking on the sea and peter answered him and said lord if it be thou bid me come unto thee on the water and he said come and when peter was come down out of the ship he walked in the water to go to jesus but when he saw the wind boisterous he was afraid and beginning to sink he cried saying lord save me and immediately jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him and said unto him oh thou of little faith wherefore diss thou doubt and when they will come into the ship the wind ceased

and the there can there are winds that blow across the sea of galilee uh we took a boat ride and we had to change the location because there were waves that were quite big so if we can imagine peter he had the courage to be the only one who said you know what i'm gonna try to walk on water uh so sometimes he gets kind of a bad rap here um but he got out of the ship and and some of the uh things that come to mind in in some of the classes i've listened to the the boat is analogous to the ecclesia and we we want to keep our contact with the ecclesia at the highest level that we can we want to be around our brothers and sisters and we want to

stay in that ship while the storm is raging outside in the world while we wait for our lord and master so a good example there for us to make sure that we have our strong relationships with with one another so that we can weather uh these storms and certainly as it says and when they were coming to the ship the wind ceased we know that christ had the power to stop the wind in the waves and he can do the same in our lives uh he's aware of all of our circumstances he is aware of our trials and as a compassionate savior he's intricately involved in our lives to the ultimate benefit for each one of us to receive eternal life to the glory of of of god almighty


in by the sea of galilee it's kind of half and half in the localized area it can be very commercialized you can go uh water skiing there's all sorts of water sports that you can do uh

i prefer the the the uh the more tranquil this is a moon rising from the uh property that i rented

and um this is a very interesting spot to visit this is

up in

the almost on the lebanon border it's called the gamblin nature reserve and i've hiked this a few times you can see how mountainous it is here i think uh brother steve you showed a video of this area in one of your sunday school classes

if you look closely to the left you can see

that there's kind of a structure there a building structure and we'll zoom in on that because that's one of the oldest synagogues in uh israel as well that christ would have taught in this area

if you look at this uh

hill here it's uh it looks like a camel's hump and that's what the name uh gamla means in aramaic and they also had a siege here of the romans in uh 67 uh bc and the so the soldiers overran uh this uh hill hill as well

then when we read the beatitudes we also

at the end of that we read yeah the light of the world a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid

it's according to jewish tradition uh this is where they believe christ was referring to there was an active city here at the time christ would have visited here and you would not be able to miss uh this spot


if you were down in lower galilee uh so it's

it's commonly thought that this is what jesus was referring to when he said be a light and and the same as for our our lives we can be a light in so many uh different ways and this is just zoomed in on the uh synagogue here it's one of the oldest synagogues jesus likely taught here it was when i visited here there was a family they were a young couple probably in their early 30s they had three children and they were reading the promises to abraham isaac and jacob and i struck up a conversation with the individual they were christians they looked for the return of christ they looked at the old testament as pointing towards christ and we had a really nice conversation and it was just wonderful to see them teaching their children these principles and encouraging them in the in the things of god

this is mount hermon which is on the very northern border of israel on the lebanon border you can see that there is snow there there's one ski resort which i actually took a um

a chair ride up to it where there was no snow but i just wanted to say i went up to the lebanon border when this snow melts it runs down into the valley and creates the jordan river this is where the water supply comes from ultimately running down into the dead sea and um it's a it's a fabulous place to visit there's lots of waterfalls


this one here right behind it you'll see a cave of sorts and brother mark gave a class and talked about some of the different uh

gods that the jews served and this is up in the area called caesarea philippi it sits at the foot of mount hermon it's the headwaters of the jordan river and in the old time in the old testament times the northern area of israel became a center for baal worship and the greeks named the city ponies after the greek god pan

and in the pagan mind this cave that you see in the back here

uh was the way to the gates of hell

and this is where the concept is believed to kind of first

jumped into uh hey there's a hell there's a rather than it being the grave it turned into a place where these gods live and it's believed that the the greeks believed that the fertility gods lived here during uh the winter they had various sacrifices and detestable worships uh that took place in this place christ actually references this uh spot uh according to tradition in matthew chapter 16 it says when jesus came to the region of caesarea philippi he asked his disciples who do people say the son of man is they replied some say john the baptist others say elijah and still others jeremiah or one of the prophets but what about you he asked who do you say that i am simon peterhan said you are the messiah the son of the living god jesus replied blessed are you simon son of jonah for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood but by my father in heaven and i tell you that you are peter and on this rock

speaking of this gate that the pagans thought was to get into hell i will build my church and the gates of hell or hades will not overcome it so there's according to tradition this is what christ was referring to the pagans thought this was the gateway to hell and that gods lived down there and christ said no i'm going to build my church it's going to spread throughout the world and essentially that battle between good and evil between paganism uh in false worship the gospel message is ultimately going to uh win out

so just to get our um our bearings again we're gonna head down to uh jerusalem which is about a two and a half hour drive you can drive through the west bank uh it's very mountainous and we know from prophecy where it says that the um in that final battle that the nations will come down into uh the west bank area and you can see uh that it is a hilly area and that's what scripture tells us uh it will be um so we're kind of midway if you see jerusalem there um and this is a photo that i pulled off the internet uh just so we could have kind of a uh

get our bearings down we all have seen the golden dome the dome of the rock

this is

where it's believed from a jewish standpoint this is where the temple would have would have been it's called the temple mount

we're also going to look at a stone that is inside this dome dome of the rock

where it's believed that abraham would have intended to offer isaac and according to jewish tradition it's also where they call the foundation stone of the world where god would have used this stone and created the whole earth around it and why this spot is so contentious

is because in the muslim faith it's also believed that this is where muhammad ascended from heaven from this spot currently the jordanians maintain control uh over the temple mount and it's very contentious for uh jewish people to go up here and pray and when you see this in the news this is a lot of uh what what we see the contention over and we we know according to prophecy that jerusalem will become a burdensome stone for all nations

you see all these uh houses uh these are all the different quarters in jerusalem you have the armenian quarter the jewish quarter the muslim quarter and the christian quarter and there's all kinds of shops in this area lots of residents you can rent properties in this area if you want to have a close walk to a lot of the historic sites

right outside of the temple mount is bethesda and we that account is is brought to us in john uh fifth and this is where they believe the sheep gate was uh and it we're told there in verse one after this there was a feast of the jews and jesus went up to jerusalem now there is at jerusalem by the sheep mark at a pool which is called in the hebrew tongue bethesda having five porches

in these lay a great multitude of impotent folk of blind halt withering waiting for the moving of the water for an angel went down a certain season into the pool and troubled the water whosoever then first after the traveling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had and a certain man was there which had an infirmity thirty and eight years when jesus saw him lie and knew that he had been now a long time in that case he said unto him will thou be made whole the impotent man answered him sir i have no man when the water is troubled to put me into the pool while i am coming another stepeth down before me and jesus said unto him rise up take up thy bed and walk and immediately the man was made whole and jesus took up in and the man took up his bed and walked

so it these this is just another place that you can visit you can read of these accounts and you can consider again the power of christ god manifested in the flesh and in christ's attitude and his conduct in his healing power having the holy spirit without measure he could have done anything that he wanted to do but he used that power for good he used that power for us to teach us lessons and ultimately he gave his life for each one of us so that we could share in his nature and in the father's nature and life ever more

and this is just the pool that they they believe um

was the was the area where this miracle took

place where if we think back again to that temple mount uh we're now looking at the mount of olives here which is um the garden of gethsemane is at the bottom there's lots of olive trees there you can see the

structure that has some paintings on it and right next to that is the area where they believe the garden of gethsemane is this is uh just a picture with my mom on the first trip it's got gray hair now but um

we um this was at the garden of gethsemane and we just had a wonderful time there it was great to be there with my parents and my mother-in-law to experience all of these things and to just talk about uh the wonderful uh hope that we that we share


these olive trees some of them are 2 000 years old and olive trees can live to be that old and this is one of those such trees

and christ would have been in this area he would have probably slept underneath in some of these trees as they get older they get kind of hollowed out so it would have been a safe haven from the weather and we read in luke 22 it says and he came out and went as he was one to the mount of olives and his disciples also followed him and when he was at the place he said unto them pray that ye enter not into temptation wonderful example for us prayer it's it's such a such a wonderful part of the benefits we have in christ to pray we know that god hears prayers he answers prayers not always immediately not always in the way that we want but we should all be praying often we're told to pray without ceasing and to make our petitions known to god he wants us to pray to him and have the this intimate relationship uh with him and of course if we're praying our mind is focused on the things of the word uh and not necessarily on our own personal uh circumstances it says he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast and kneeled down and prayed saying father if thou be willing remove this cup from me nevertheless not my will but thine be done and christ

putting aside his own wants he didn't want to

be crucified in the most brutal way

on the cross but he did it for us he did what his father asked him to do and this was a very trying time for christ because it says in verse 43 and there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him and being in an agony he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground

and so just a panoramic of that area where this event would have occurred

some of the older uh olive trees there

and they have this depiction there and it it really struck home when i was there and read this account and saw

what christ would have gone through in the agony that he would have been in to accomplish the work that was put for him

you can hike up to the top of um

the mount of olives here it's paved it's quite steep you can take a donkey ride if you want

and this is the view from the top of the mount of olives and christ would have spent time here with his disciples he would have looked down at the city uh and he would have lamented the fact that they did not accept him as the messiah uh he would have talked about prophecy from this point saying that he would return he ascended from this area uh and the angels told the people christ is coming back and and it's a it's a major tenant of our faith we know that christ will return and he will uh fulfill these promises so if we look at the temple mount there uh we can see that this herod's wall that wall that kind of uh goes around it um that was from herod's time he built that wall uh during the second temple period now on the top of the mount of olives as you're looking down you see lots of grave covers jews want to be buried here there's really no more space jews and christians alike want to be buried in this area because they believe that they'll be the first to see christ when he returns so the top of the mount of olives is coveted in graves they're actually have a multi-million dollar project to expand uh burial areas underneath uh the mountain in this area because there's so much demand for it

and here's just some um jewish individuals uh uh mourning over there over their lost ones so for the most part the whole

of the mount of olives is covered in uh in graves

this is an interesting spot this is the golden gate which if we're on the top of the mount of olives looking down at the uh dome of the rock uh this is golden gate one of the gates that was believed to be that jesus would pass through uh at uh when he on his earthly uh time and this is the the old city has been built up so this isn't the exact gate but it's still called zion gate and according to jewish tradition when the messiah comes he'll enter jerusalem through this gate after he his feet come down to the mount of olives now since the muslims have control of this and they have contention with the jews they've filled in this gate so that the messiah can't get through so we'll see how well that works

at the return of christ but it's just interesting historically

and you can take a camel ride when you get up to the top of the mount of olives

i see we're getting close to our uh finish time here so we'll end with the garden tomb uh this is just outside the uh the temple mount here that we were looking at and it's believed to be where christ

was buried and was resurrected

and we read of this account in matthew 27 verse 57 it says when the even was come there was a rich man of arimathea named joseph who also himself was jesus's disciple he went to pilate and begged the body of jesus then pilate commanded the body to be delivered and when jesus had taken the body he wrapped it in a clean land cloth and laid it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre and departed and there was mary magdalene and the other mary sitting over against the sepulchre and you can see that some repairs have been done to it there's a lot of garden area areas in this place

they do allow you to go in and and visit the tomb there's also uh quite a big cistern in this area where they believe that wine would have been held so

just archaeologically they believe that this is very close to a tomb that was hewn out in where christ

could have been laid


wonderfully for us and for our hope and for the gospel message uh he is not here for he is risen

jesus christ declared with power to be the son of god

by the resurrection from the dead and

this is just a a just a little taste of what you can do in the land of israel i probably have uh another 40 slides but i don't think steve's gonna let me go that long um but as we think about our hope let us never be discouraged let us be encouraging to one another that these things are real they did happen you can visit them you can go to the land of israel uh we can pray about these things and we can have a confident expectation that jesus will return and that these prophecies will be fulfilled and that the world that we're currently living in will be a changed place and it will be a place of compassion it will be a place of care it will be a place of worship and it will be a wonderful place for us to live so let each one of us let our light shine in the week to come thank you