Greetings from Israel! Redeemed Girl Ministries is in the Holy Land this week.
In case I sound a little bit excited in this blog post, that’s because I find it impossible not to be overwhelmed by the fact that we have walked where Jesus walked! Everywhere I turn, the landscape of the Bible is before my eyes. From the mountains of Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee…the Word of God is now and forever in technicolor.
One of our tour guides described this experience the best. He said that there are actually five gospels…”There are the four we read in the bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the one we experience by being in the land.” Huddling in a small cave in Bethlehem (much like one Jesus was born in) and then standing in Caesarea Philippi where Jesus tells Peter that he will build his church and the gates of Hell will not overcome it (Matthew 16:18) are two of several instances where the Bible has come alive as we look at scripture through the lens of the land.
Here are just a few of the places that we have visited…
Caesarea by the Sea | Acts 16
The Apostle Paul was falsely accused and imprisoned at Caesarea by the Sea. Here he stood before kings and queens and bore witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Standing in the place where he was imprisoned shed new light on some of my favorite scriptures written by Paul.
Mount Carmel | 1 Kings 18
Marian taught at the top of Mt. Carmel. Here the Prophet Elijah confronted King Ahab and 450 prophets worshipping the false god, Baal. The people were trusting in a wooden and stone god they could see instead of having faith in the One True God. Elijah stood firm in his faith and believed God for a great miracle. The result was an incredible display of God’s power and the people fell down in awe and confessed that the Lord alone is God!
Nazareth | Matthew 2:19-23
Carpenters making furniture, wives cooking by the fire, shepherds guiding their flock, men and women visiting the synagogue are just a few markers of the day to day life in the time of Jesus. In this small town replica of Jesus’ childhood village we entered a carpenter shop much like the one Joseph (Jesus’ father) would have worked. We also visited a synagogue much like the one in which Jesus opened the scroll of Isaiah and proclaimed that He was the long awaited Messiah.
Garden of Gethsemane | Luke 22:39-44
The Garden of Gethsemane is on the Mount of Olives. Jesus was here the night that he was arrested. These two thousand year old olive trees stood watch as Jesus prayed in the garden before facing death on the cross the next day. These ancient trees witnessed His agony and suffering.
From the Mount of Olives, Marian taught from John 18 about Jesus’ arrest. Jesus was fully aware of all that would transpire. He was in complete control and willingly stepped forward to the mob, led by Judas, which came to arrest Him. When the soldiers asked for Jesus of Nazareth, he said, “I am he!!” And in that moment a flash of His glory was revealed when he said “I am” and the mob fell to their faces!
As if walking in the footsteps of Jesus was not enough. Bucket list item #3 just happened …
I RODE A CAMEL, PEOPLE!! Shut up…I know! Jesus can come back now.
One of my favorite expressions is…”mind blown!” Literally this is the best way I can describe to you experiencing this week.
This would be the four us (Marian, Blake, Rebecca and Millie) after we scaled the side of a mountain to get to the cave where King David hid from Saul in the wilderness. (1 Samuel 24) Yes, Marian wore her cowgirl boots all over the Holy Land. You can take the girl out of Texas….
We cannot wait to share more of our travels to the Holy Land with you soon!
Shalom, Shalom to all you Redeemed Girls! (That’s Goodbye in Hebrew, y’all!)
Blake Snyder, RGM Outreach Coordinator