This was our last full day of touring. It was a busy day. Our first stop was the Garden of Gethsemane. This is a very special place and had an impact on all of us. Below, are some personal testimonies from some of the others on the trip. Again, their words will be in blue.
Out of all the places we visited on our trip, the Garden of Gethsemane was my favorite. As we entered into the garden, it was not what I had pictured in my mind. I was thinking a garden full of beautiful flowers, however, the Garden of Gethsemane is full of Olive Trees but still beautiful. We gathered together for our devotion and prayer. We then separated, each family going off to separate areas of the garden. As Mack and I sat together talking about what had taken place in the garden, all I could think of was here we were in the very garden where Jesus knew he would be betrayed, but he prayed. Where he knew the time was coming when he would die on the cross for all sinners, including me, but still he prayed. The memory of Mack and I praying together in the very garden where Jesus had prayed will forever hold a special place in my heart. – Beverly
For me, the Garden of Gethsemane was one of the most powerful sites that we visited. Our group was the first to enter into the private part of the Garden that morning, and immediately I began to be filled with so many emotions. I was honestly a bit overwhelmed thinking about all that would have taken place here just hours before Jesus would be arrested. In this one place there was the spiritual warfare that Jesus would face as he prayed “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” All the while those disciples that he asked to watch and pray, found themselves sleeping instead of praying. Then there would be the betrayal of Judas who Sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver. I could not help while here to stop and reflect on how much I along with so many other Christians who find ourselves spirituality asleep when there is work to be done, as well as how often we sell the Lord out for so much less than what Judas did. The Garden of Gethsemane though quiet, and not a lot of archeological things to see spoke volumes to me. – Jerry
I had the tremendous blessing to be able to go to Israel this Spring with a great group of people that became good friends during the time we spent there. It was wonderful to me how the Bible really came to life and was put into perspective by going on this trip. We visited many many places in the days we were there and each place was significant in its own special way. Of all the places that we visited, one of them just really touched my heart and seemed to affect me differently than all the rest. Each time I think back to our time spent there, I always think of The Garden of Gethsemane. This was the place where Jesus went and spoke with God knowing in the near future that he would die to save us all from our sins, and all the terrible suffering he would endure, this is where he asked God “ O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thy wilt. “ this is found in Matthew 26:39. Here Jesus is not rebelling against his Father’s will, he reaffirms his desire to follow God’s will, this verse also reveals to us his terrible suffering and agony. This is where Jesus was when he was speaking with God and that is why this place was so important to me, such a humbling place to have been. When we walked around and had the opportunity to pray, my heart was full as I looked around to see all the members of the group take the hands of their spouses and hug them tight and they would come together and seek God together. Since our trip, each time I hear the song “In the Garden” I can just see it and I am brought back to when we walked through that Garden, this song has a new meaning now and is very special to me. The Garden will always be one of, if not my most favorite place in the world. – Colin
We went to Caiaphas’ House, seeing the ancient steps that Jesus would have walked on. Then we went down into a pit where Jesus was most likely imprisoned. This was a very emotional day walking the steps that Jesus walked before His crucifixion.
Our next stop was the Judgment Hall of Pilate. It was hard to sit and look at the grooves in the floor where the blood would have flowed as Jesus was beaten. Bro. Jim did the devotion while we were there. It is seventeen minutes long but well worth your time.
As we walked to Golgatha, taking the same steps Jesus would have carried His cross was a solemn experience. The place of the skull is what it is called. There is a bus station there now but you can still make out the image in the rocks.
The Garden Tomb was next on the agenda. We went into a tomb where most likely Jesus’ body was laid. Good news is, it is EMPTY!
We were done walking for a little bit. We got on the bus and headed to Samuel’s Tomb. They still come to pray.
Last stop was Emmaus. We saw the ruins of the town. Then we headed to dinner before going to the airport.
It is bittersweet to be leaving. This was an exhausting and emotional day so we should sleep well on the plane. Next week will be the final installment in this series.