As the place of Jesus Christ’s birth and death, Israel is an important cultural destination.
A window to the past, Israel serves as the ultimate destination to reach the deepest level of spirituality and to touch the places one can only imagine when reading about the great tales and miracles that occurred within its borders. Traveling to this historic locale can tighten the bonds between congregations and the masses of people from around the world who come to witness these unforgettable landmarks.
Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus and in Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity stands as the location where Mary and Joseph welcomed the arrival of their son. Visitors can walk through this incredible destination to get a glimpse into the area where the manger was once placed and the wise men once offered gifts. Bethlehem is an unforgettable start to any journey through Israel and through the life of Christ. Nazareth offers visitors the chance to walk through the town and see the sites where Jesus spent his childhood with Mary and Joseph. It was inside this town that Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel and told she was chosen to give birth to Jesus and he would be the son of God.
Search and discovery can lead to the answer of many burning questions on the adventure to the Jordan River where visitors can be baptized in the same river Jesus was baptized. They can also travel to Bethsaida where one of Jesus’ many miracles took place, where he healed a man who was born with no vision, gifting him sight. Visit the Sea of Galilee, stand on its shores and look onto the location where Jesus walked on water. Travel over the terrain of the Mount of Beatitudes and take in the very place where Jesus sat with his disciples and taught them the Beatitudes. To stand on the same land where the Lord taught and gave sermon is an irreplaceable location to inspire and spread his message.
Visit the village of Bethphage and see where Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem for the last time before his crucifixion on Palm Sunday. The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray before being taken to Pontius Pilate, still stands at the base of the Mount of Olives ready to be explored.
Traveling the Via Dolorosa to see the historic sites along the path that Jesus walked to his crucifixion will give visitors a more intimate and insightful view into the distance and time it may have taken to fulfill his prophecy. Experience each station representing a portion of Jesus’ perilous journey leading up to The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is also said to be the location of his execution on the cross and his burial. There you can see the Rock of Calvary, where the crucifixion is believed to have taken place, and the Stone of Unction, which was said to be the place where Jesus’ body was placed and prepared for burial after his crucifixion. Groups should also visit the Garden Tomb, which is also believed by some to be the possible crucifixion and burial site of Jesus. Travelers can walk through the tomb and bear witness to a land formation believed to be the possible site of Golgotha, where Jesus was executed. Being in the same place Jesus was crucified, buried and where he was said to have risen from the dead is a unique and irreplaceable experience. Feeling the power and presence of the history in the air is the perfect inspiration for further discovery and inquiry into the miracles and life of Jesus Christ.
From the second you begin planning your journey to Israel you will see a bonding and camaraderie through the passion and fire to see the places that have been read and talked about during sermons and scriptures. A trip to Israel will strengthen the faith of all who attend and will provide memories and stories for members to pass on for years to come. With countless cities and cites straight out of the Bible ready to be explored and seen, this is the perfect place to travel.
By MiKayla Hahnfeld