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Monday, June 16, 2014

Israel - New Testament Jerusalem

We made it!  Two planes, three airports, 13 hours in the air, and we are in Israel!

We made a friend on our flight to Istanbul.  Hayden (middle picture, on the right) was headed to Athens while we were off to Israel.   Bon voyage!

This whole trip is still so surreal.  If you didn't know, Sean and I are on a two week study tour in Israel with a group from our church.  Crazy, right?  I'm here, and I still can't believe it.  We are here to learn the Bible in its context - how the geography and culture plays out in real life, and what we can learn from the land that we don't necessarily understand before visiting.  There are so many references to the land and the agriculture and the places in scripture that come alive in a different way when you can stand where the stories happened.  We've only been here one day and I have learned SO MUCH.  Seriously, if I start rambling, it's because I want to remember every. single. detail.  And also because we walked all day in the hot sun.  And also, jet lag.

We had orientation at Jerusalem University College (JUC) this morning (yay college!) and spent the afternoon on a New Testament walking tour of Jerusalem.  And now, pictures!

First day of school?
photo cred: Sean Welshimer

Modern Old City Wall - this part of the wall is a reconstruction of the outer edge of Herod's Palace.  Those steps are likely the entrance to the Palace in Jesus' time, which means Jesus' trial with Pontius Pilate could have happened here.
photo cred: Sean Welshimer

Zion Gate - bullet holes from Israel's war for independence in 1948.

Dome of the Rock
photo cred: Sean Welshimer

Mount of Olives

Temple steps.  This was the main entrance to the temple, so Jesus certainly walked here.  And Mary, and Peter, and the disciples... 

Dr. Jack Beck.  Teaching us things.
photo cred: Sean Welshimer


Temple - triple gates

Rubble from when the Romans destroyed the temple. That's me - to provide perspective.   I know I'm tiny, but those stones really are gigantic.  Even compared to a tall person.
photo cred: Sean Welshimer

Temple selfie

Temple - Robinson's Arch

Church of the Holy Sepulchre - within the footprint of this church, Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected

Showing both the Greek calvary and the Latin calvary - the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is shared by Greek Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholics.  There is a Syrian chapel, Greek chapels, an Ethiopian chapel, an Armenian chapel, and several others.  I love that even though there is plenty of disagreement, these different denominations can agree on the things that bring us together, rather than divide us.  Jesus is Lord - he was crucified, died, and was buried.  On the third day he arose.  Praise the Lord!

When 12th century crusaders rebuilt the church, they left the basket column from Helena's design.  Different times, different styles, same intentions.

So surreal.

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