Our spiritual pilgrimage begins as we depart on an overnight flight to Tel Aviv. Tomorrow we will be walking where Jesus walked! Meals will be served in-flight.
Welcome to Israel! After we de-plane and clear passport control, we will be welcomed to the Holy Land by a representative who will assist us with our luggage and introduce us to our guide. As we travel north on our way to our hotel in Tiberias, we will stop along the Mediterranean Sea to visit Caesarea, the capital of the Roman Province. We’ll see the Crusader’s Castle, Roman Theatre and the world famous aqueduct as well as view the harbor from where Paul was taken to Rome. Then we continue on to Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-38) where Elijah called down the pillar of fire which consumed the bullock upon the altar in front of Baal’s prophets. Here we will be in awe of the breathtaking view of the Valley of Armageddon. Afterward we drive to Megiddo one of Solomon’s chariot cities and place of the final battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). Next we will check into our hotel, which is located on the Sea of Galilee. Relax, walk along the boardwalk and behold the beauty of the lake where Jesus performed miracles. Later, we will enjoy our first Israeli dinner experience together.
After breakfast and after you’ve watched the breathtaking sun rise over the Sea of Galilee from your hotel balcony, we will board our bus and drive to the Lavi Forest in the north where you will plant a tree; a tree that perhaps will shade our Lord upon His return. Then we will travel to Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle and turned the water into wine at a wedding! (John 2:1-11) Married couples will have the opportunity to have their wedding vows renewed here. Next we will travel to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus (Matthew 2:23, Luke 4:16) and stop at Nazareth Village. Here we will step back in time and experience what life was like during the time of Jesus. We’ll end our day with a thrilling opportunity to experience baptism in the Jordan River, following the example of Jesus (Matthew 3:12-14). We will return to Tiberias and our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today after breakfast we will experience a magnificent boat ride on the beautiful Sea of Galilee. Experience first-hand the same landscape that Jesus must have seen with his own eyes. Imagine Him walking on the water (John 6:18-20, Matthew 14:25-32) or talking with fishermen at the water’s edge (Matthew 4:18-20). The boat will drop us off at Nof Ginosar and we will see and learn about a first century boat which was found in the mud along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Then, by motor coach we will visit at Capernaum and see ruins of the ancient synagogue, perhaps one where Jesus himself taught (Mark 1:21). Here we will see ruins of the first church of St. Peter. Our next stop is for lunch at a Kibbutz at Ein Gev where we can reflect on the mornings activities and enjoy “St. Peter’s fish”. Then we’ll experience the serenity of the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus ministered and preached the famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, 7, 8). We will end the day with a visit to the Primacy of Peter where we will walk along the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee in the same area Jesus multiplied the fishes and loaves. We will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Following breakfast, we will drive along the Jordan Valley to the largest archaeological site in Israel; the ancient ruins of Beit She ‘an, where Saul’s body was nailed to the city walls (1Samuel 31: 10-12). We will explore on foot many areas of this remarkable city. Then, excitedly we will board the bus and drive to Jerusalem and experience a triumphant entry into the Holy City! Before checking into our hotel we will make our way to stand atop the Mount of Olives (Mark 13:3, Luke 22:39, Acts 1:9-12), just as Jesus did, and enjoy the breath taking panoramic view of the old and new city of Jerusalem. We will walk past Dominus-Flevit on our Palm Sunday route to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, where Jesus asked his disciples to watch with him one hour and pray (Matthew 26:35-37). Here at the Church of All Nations, is the Rock of Agony (Luke 22:43-45). After checking into the hotel, we’ll enjoy our first dinner together in Jerusalem!
Today we will visit Masada, the Dead Sea and the Qumran Caves. We will ascend by cable car to the mountain fortress built by Herod, where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans. Then we will visit the lowest place on earth; the Dead Sea where we will have an opportunity to float in the unsinkable sea. On our way back to the hotel, we will see the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
Today after another bountiful Israeli breakfast, we will stop briefly at Mt. Scopus for a fun group photo. Afterward we will travel to Mt. Zion where we will enter the Upper Room; revered as the place where Jesus celebrated His Last Supper (Mark 14:13, Luke 22:10, Acts 1:13) and the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:13, Acts 2:1). Afterward we will enter the house of the High Priest Caiaphas and visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu and reflect on Jesus’ last night on earth. Before lunch we will stop at a strategic overlook of Bethlehem and view the birthplace of Christ. Our day will end as we visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. We will return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
This morning we are free to sleep in, relax or explore Jerusalem! Today is at our leisure. We can choose to purchase an optional tour (optional tours cost $75 per person). We will visit the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept, and then visit the neighborhood of Ein Karem, where according to tradition, John the Baptist was born, with its many churches, alleyways, and artists. We will also have the opportunity to visit the Western Wall Tunnels,and see the Temple Institute. (Pre-registration is required)
Our morning begins with a walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem beginning at the newly discovered City of David. This is the city that King David established here we will see where he lived and then walk in “the Pilgrims Path”– the footsteps of those who journeyed to the temple. Afterward we will find ourselves winding through the Old City streets and through the market following the traditional Way of the Cross. Then we will walk through the Jewish Quarter and see what it’s like to live in the Old City. Finally our walk takes us to the holiest Jewish site in the world; the Western Wall. It will be a prayerful stop as we will have an opportunity to place a prayer note into a crack along the wall; a famous custom believing in its priority to be answered. Finally, today’s touring ends as we visit the Garden Tomb and Golgotha. This will be an unforgettable experience as we see the tomb empty and celebrate Holy Communion together! Say goodbye to all the new friends we have made at the special farewell dinner tonight.
Today we will arrive home with precious memories to share with our loved ones!