Saturday, December 31, 2005
ISRAEL - Day 3
It has been amazing to be able to see first hand the land where so much of biblical history took place. It definitely makes the events of the Bible not only come to life, but make sense! We will be adding pictures so that you can get a glimpse of what we are seeing, but today we can't download any photos.
We have so far spent 2 days walking all around the Old City of Jerusalem, it is a very interesting city full of different (and always clashing) cultures... with tons of tourists from all over the world. I think per capita it has the most churches!
Today we hopped on a bus that took us to the top of the Mount of Olives and then we walked the likely path Jesus would have made his triumphal entry. Here the Christians meet on the Sabbath as it is a day the city shuts down and they couldn't miss work to gather on Sundays, so we went to Jerusalem Assembly where we sang and heard the word in both Hebrew and English. (Pastor is the son of Zvi.)
After that we drove six miles to Bethlehem, had shwarmas for lunch and looked at the "idolatry" that marks the supposed site of Jesus' birth. Very ornate - reminds me of a lot of churches and shrines I've seen in South America.
The most amazing thing we saw today was the Herodion - a few miles southeast of Bethlehem. The palace fortress built by Herod the Great. In ruins, but still an impressive structure that includes an olympic size swimming pool!
Check back in a few days and hopefully we'll have some pictures!