Israel 2019 Day 2

Our official theme for today was getting oriented to Jerusalem. Our unofficial theme for today was tracking part of Jesus’ steps leading up to his trial and crucifixion. We started the day on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city. We considered Jesus’ triumphal entry from Bethany into the city. The crowd cried out “Hosanna, Son of David!” He came to save sinners—he came to save us.

Just a few days after that triumphal entry, Jesus enjoyed the last supper with his disciples, celebrating the Passover. As our Passover Lamb, he walked and talked with the disciples to the garden of Gethsemane. He took time to pray, preparing for the immense trial that lay before him. He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39). We discussed how often we fail to follow Jesus by faith in surrendering our will to the will of the Father.

After Jesus was betrayed by Judas he was taken to the home of Caiaphas, whose home was likely on the posh west side of Jerusalem. We saw remains of what may be a prison located under a large home excavated in the area. It gave us a sense of one possible way Jesus spent at least some of those early hours Friday morning of the passion week.

We stopped by the Israel Museum to see a model of Jerusalem during the time of Christ and to see the Shrine of the Book—a display of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We were reminded here that God has providentially provided ample evidence of the veracity of the Bible. Our faith in Jesus is a work of the Spirit, but it is also in concert with the evidence we see in the real world.

Our last stop was a cultural excursion to Mahane Yehuda, the local market in west Jerusalem. We enjoyed all of the little shops with sights and smells that you would expect in a charming Middle Eastern market. Tomorrow we’re back in Jerusalem for more time walking in the footsteps of Jesus.

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