Israel 2019 Day 5
We started our day traveling to Gordon’s Calvary, one traditional location for the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our host reminded us of Peter’s words:
“For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb.”1 Pet. 1:18-19
We took time there to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection as we observed the Lord’s Supper. It was a great time to reflect on the most important events in history that gives us peace with God. We also saw a nice example of an Old Testament era tomb.
From there we took a short walk to the Jerusalem Prayer Center, also known as the Spofford House (Horatio Spofford wrote the worship song “It Is Well,” focused on the peace we have in Christ). This home has been set aside to provide a quiet place for people to pray in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life and touring. It was a welcome reprieve, and a blessing to all of us. We were truly able to focus on the Lord in peace.
We then headed into the Old City one last time. We entered via the Damascus gate, taking a minute to check out the 1st century Roman gate excavated there.
Then we walked on to see the church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the likely location of Jesus’ death and resurrection, although the original tomb was destroyed by Muslims. We saw tombs from the time of the New Testament, evidence that this church is in the right area. Buried under many layers of churches and the din of six different expressions of Christiantiy is the place where Jesus became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God. For people focusing on pilgrimages and holy relics, there is little peace.
We enjoyed lunch in the Old City and some shopping before heading back to Yad Hashmona, our home in the Judean hills. We spent time singing together and sharing our insights and reflections on our experience. Tonight was especially powerful as we reflected on the power of the gospel versus seeing God’s favor through our efforts. We don’t need pilgrimages to holy places to have peace with God, we simply need faith in what Jesus did for us in those places!
Tomorrow we head out of Jerusalem, over the mount of Olives, and down the ascent of Adumim to the Dead Sea. We leave Jerusalem with many memories, full hearts, and souvenirs!