Today we began by looking at the model of the ancient city of Jerusalem at the Israel Museum. This model is helpful because when you have been talking about this hill and that valley and this gate and that wall, it tends to all get blended together in your head. Rachela (our guide) offered a helpful explanaiton of the model as we tolk pictures from a variety of angles. This would certainly be a good time to give a shout out to our guide, Rachela Dotan. If you have a a chance to travel to Israel, I want to recommend you ask for her, she has done an excellent job and has gone above and beyond the call of duty for us. A good guide can make or break your trip to the Holy Land, and Rachela has certainly made our trip a joy. She has kept us laughing when we couldn’t make a decision, by reminding us that, “we’re only deciding on where to eat lunch, not who we are going to marry…” She has been close by – and as a special treat, when she has been with us, she has eaten almost all her meals with us. This has not been my usual experience when travelling here, but I like it! You can see her in the picture, explaining to us the model of Jerusalem.
From the model explanation we entered the Shrine of the Book to examine the Isaiah scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as the Allepo Codex, all housed in the extensive collection of ancient sources for the Old Testament.
From the Israel museum and the Shrine of the Book we took a short trip to Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum. Although it is emotionally moving to go to this place, it is a necessary trip. How else can you possibly understand the value of the land of Israel to the Jews? We ate lunch there in the nice dining room, before boarding the bus to head to the Old City.
We entered the Old City at the Zion Gate, and made our way to the location to one of the possible sites for the upper rom. We sang in the small room and tried to imagine Jesus eating together with his disciples before he left for his crucifixion. From the upper room, we entered the Jewish quarter of the city, where we spent some time looking at the shops near the Cardo. From there we went to the Church of the Holy Sepelchure, looked quickly inside and then exited the building. Too dark and dingy for a church about the resurrection, in my opinion.
After this visit, we stopped at a few of the stations of the cross on our way out of the city. So, even though the stations are not all based on Biblical fact, the ones that were helped to set the scene in our mind as we headed to the Garden Tomb. We walked in the Garden Tomb, enjoyed our guide there (an evangelical believer from England), and then moved on to see the other possibility of the resurrection site. As you can see, we all enjoyed a look inside!
After many hours on our feet we all gathered to celebrate the Table of our Lord, with visions of his sacrifice still in our hearts and on our minds!
I can tell you this – it was a great day!
One more humorous story. Dennis Seely and Mark Brewer were downstairs in the hotel when a man who was talking on the phone got all excited and said to Dennis, “Are you Church Norris?” I’m still laughing at that one! We sure haven’t seen Chuck Norris on this trip!
Anyhow, we are weary of walking, and looking forward to the Dead Sea Experience tomorrow!
Love and Shalom from the Holy City,
The Jerusalem Model (Click on the words to view)