Israel Trip – 10
We have boarded the bus and are on our way to the airport. We’ve had a fantastic day full of surprises. We began at the City of David, the archeological site on the Ophel below the Temple Mount. This place is the original site that David conquered from the Jebusites.
We descended into a first-century sewage system that opened to the public six months ago. What an amazing discovery. The tunnel is below street level and approximately 7 feet high and 3 feet wide in most places. Herod the Great installed this tunnel system to drain the remains from the sacrificial system. It’s quite possible that the priests escaped through this tunnel during the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
We emerged from the tunnel at the Israeli archeological park, home to the streets around the temple that remain from Jesus’ day. I taught on the steps around the temple mount. Thursday is a popular day for Bar-Mitzvahs so the city was filled with 13 year old boys and their families in this important Jewish rite of passage.
We visited the Wailing Wall and then ascended Temple Mount. This was my first time to visit this significant place. Our guide taught us about the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock. A devoted Muslim evangelist from London greeted us and read a few verses from the Koran to us and engaged in a lively dialogue with our guide. After a brief tour of the plaza, we had lunch in the Muslim section of Jerusalem and spent an hour shopping in the Jewish and Arab markets.
Our day concluded with a visit to the Garden Tomb, the site maintained by British missionaries outside the Damascus Gate. After a tour, we shared a service of reflection and communion.
This week we have felt like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The presence of Christ surprised us along the way. We’ve learned so much from the scriptures, this place, our guide, and each other. We look forward to sharing even more on the Way in Tallahassee.
This is my last blog from Israel. Thank you for reading and praying. Please join us Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary for even more stories and memories.