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MESSIANIC TOUR OF ISRAEL - 10 DAYS
Day 1. Arrival TLV – Jaffa – Tel Aviv for overnight
We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, next stop will be the ancient port of Jaffa, the point from which Jonah tried to escape his calling to warn the people of Nineveh and location of Simon the Tanner’s house. Tel Aviv for overnight.
Day 2. Caesarea - Mt. Carmel – Megiddo – Nazareth – Galilee overnight
Today we travel north up the coast to start the our day at the fabulous ruins of the Herodian city of Caesarea Maritima, the site of the conversion of Cornelius and the location from which Paul left the shores of Israel and set sail on his journey to Rome. Continue to Mount Carmel, from here we will visit a spectacular viewpoint looking over the North of Israel, near the spot where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. We continue along the route of the ancient Via Maris to Megiddo, one of King Solomon’s cities, and according the Book of Revelation possibly the assembly point for the armies marching to the battle of Armageddon. We conclude our day at ancient Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home and place of His early ministry. Drive to kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee for overnight.
Day 3. Golan Heights – Mt. Hermon – Caesarea Philippi (Banias) – Mt. Bental – Dan Nature Reserve - “Jesus Boat”– Boat Ride – Galilee overnight
Today we explore Northern Israel, one of the most beautiful regions of the country. We will seek to understand what the Jewish people of 2,000 years ago expected of the Messiah, and how that was fulfilled in Jesus. We begin by climbing up to the magnificent Golan Heights. We will travel along the lower slopes of Mount Hermon – Israel’s highest mountain, and the most likely site of the Transfiguration. Our next stop is Caesarea Philippi, in the region where Peter made his famous confession that Jesus is the Messiah. Mt. Bental, a lookout spot near the border with Syria and the area of the road to Damascus where the Apostle Paul met the Lord. Our final stop is the Dan Nature Reserve, where we see the incredible archaeological remains of the Old city of Dan, including the city gate from the time of Abraham, and consider ancient Israel’s apostasy. We will also enjoy a pleasant walk by a stream and discuss the meaning of “living water” in the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus’ teaching. Later in the afternoon we will visit Kibbutz Ginosar to see the “Jesus Boat”, a Galilean fishing boat from the First Century. From here we will set sail for a boat ride on the Lake to enjoy the views and reflective time.
Day 4. Mt. Beatitudes – Capernaum – Tabgha – Jerusalem overnight
We will start the day at Mount of Beatitudes, traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount, where we will consider the Kingdom of God in Jesus’ teachings. After a short walk or drive down the hill we will arrive at Capernaum, the town where Jesus lived during the majority of His ministry. At lovely Tabgha, which commemorates the multiplication of loaves and fish, and where Jesus met the disciples after the resurrection, we will enjoy a contemplative time on the shore of the Lake. Later in the afternoon leave the Galilee and journey south down the spectacular Syrian African Rift Valley to the Dead Sea in the arid Judean wilderness. At the end of the day we will make the final ascent to Jerusalem – the City of the Great King.
Day 5. Temple Mt. – Western Wall – Tunnels – Jewish Quarter – Jerusalem overnight
Temple Mount, where we’ll consider some of Jesus’ activities there, as well as the claims of Islam. After a visit to the Western Wall place of prayer, Judaism’s most holy site, we will take a trip to the subterranean Western Wall Tunnels to walk at what was street level in the time of Jesus. We then make our way through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City to see the Herodian Villas, the palatial mansions that were the home to the Sadducees, the ruling priesthood at the time of Jesus. We complete our day at the excavations near the base of the Temple Mount and discuss Pentecost on the Southern Steps where Jesus walked.
Day 6. Yad Vashem – Mahane Yehuda – Old City
Next we travel to Yad Vashem, the Israel Memorial Museum to the Holocaust. Here we examine the spiritual and theological roots of the most notorious genocide in history and the connection between the Church, Jesus and the Jewish people. In the afternoon we will explore colorful Mahane Yehuda open-air market, and walk back along Ben Yehuda Street, via Zion Square, and Jaffa Road to the Old City.
Day 7. New City Jerusalem – Israel Museum – Knesset – Bethlehem – Jerusalem
Today we will be touring the New city of Jerusalem.
first stop at the Model of the Herodian city of Jerusalem dating back to the time of the Second Temple. Travel to the Knesset, (Israeli Parliament). End the day with a visit to Bethlehem.
At Bethlehem we will cover the most important sites -Church of the Nativity and the Shepard's field. Drive back to Jerusalem for Overnight
Day 8. Masada – Ein Gedi – Qumran – Dead Sea
We begin our day at Masada, Herod the Great’s magnificent fortress palace in the desert, and the last stand of the Zealots, a Jewish revolutionary group at the time of Jesus. From Masada we drive north to the beautiful subtropical oasis of Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul. Depending on conditions, we can walk into the nature reserve and possibly to the waterfalls. We may see some wildlife, including the furry rock badger and the graceful ibex. We will also discuss the temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness. In mid-afternoon we will enjoy a float in the therapeutic mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea. Our last visit of the day will be Qumran, likely the home of the Essenes, a First Century Jewish sect which may have influenced early Christianity, and the site of the most exciting archaeological discovery ever made in Israel – the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Day 9. Mt. Olives – Gethsemane – Pools of Bethesda (St. Ann’s Church) – Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepulchre – Garden Tomb
Today we focus on sites related to the Biblical passages concerning Jesus’ last week in Jerusalem. Our goal is to understand why He was crucified, how He was buried, and what it meant to the Jewish people of the First Century that He was raised from the dead. We begin our day with a panoramic overlook of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, the site of Jesus’ ascension to heaven and His future second coming. After viewing a tomb from the time of Jesus, we will walk down the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane. Next we cross the Kidron Valley and enter the Old City through Stephen’s Gate, stopping to examine the remains of the Pool of Bethesda. Depending on the group’s interest, we may walk parts of the Via Dolorosa, stopping at several of the places mentioned in the Bible, and arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the most likely site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. We end our tour with a reflective time at a site that wonderfully illustrates Jesus’ burial and resurrection, the peaceful Garden Tomb.
Day 10. Departure
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