Holy Land 2013 – Day Two – In His Steps

Day Two started off really fun.  I was running late to the bus, I think I was texting my wife Holly, but not sure what I was doing.  As I leaving the lobby, a few minutes behind schedule, I saw the bus pull out and leave.  So I started running.  Flagging it down.  Thinking, oh no!  I’m being left behind.

Little did I know that my new friend Mike was playing a trick on me.  He stopped the bus, and everyone in the bus was having a big laugh.

I don’t know why everyone’s got to pick on little ole me!  It was a really good joke and got everyone off in a good mood.

This second day was a busy, busy day.  Lot’s of great things that we saw and experienced   We started the day off by going north to Tel Dan.  This is the remains of the ancient city of Dan, a northern outpost of Israel.  There we saw what their altar looked like, the “seat of judgement” where a king would judge, and a gate that there is a good chance Abraham may have walked through.  Dan is also the headwaters of the Jordan River and we were able to see the springs it come from.

We also in this day saw Mt. Hermon, the mountain that some believe the Transfiguration may have taken place upon.  Mt. Hermon is also always covered in snow, and the run off from this snow also feeds the Jordan River.

cpteachingThere were three places that really were meaningful to me on this day, through. First, was Caesarea Philippi.  Outside of Jerusalem, this is my favorite place in all of Holy Land.  I was very, very honored be able to teach in this location.  I was able to share with group this story of the site, that I’ll share with you briefly.

On this site, in Matthew 16, Peter confessed Jesus as Lord.  And Jesus said, you are right, this is the rock that I will build my church upon. And the gate of hell will not overcome it.  On this site, there is a cave that used to be so deep that no one knew the depth of it.

And it smelt of sulfur.

And there was a temple to Pan in front of it.  Pan guarded the underworld.

To the Jews, and the Romans, this was called “The Gates of Hell.”  So Jesus, standing in front of gatesofhellthe gates of hell, told His disciples that it would not over come them.

How awesome is that?!?  So, for those of us in Christ, we have nothing fear. Being able to teach this was a great blessing and honor for me.

The second thing that really impacted me today was being able to go to Bethsaida and Capernaum.  Bethsaida is the village that Peter and Andrew lived in. Capernaum is the town that Peter’s mother in law lived in and was healed.  It was also the main “base of operations” for much of Jesus’ ministry.

The reason that is amazing is that in these two places, we walked in places that we know that we know that we know that we know Jesus walked in.

ihsThere were roads that Jesus had to walk on that we walked on.

There were places that Jesus had to taught from that we stood upon.

Today, we walked in His steps.  Literally.  While is two thousand years removed, today, our group walked in his steps.

Today, we walked where Jesus walked.

And finally our day ended walking down the Mt. of Beatitudes.  It was on this mountain that Jesus preached the sermon on the mount as found in Matthew 5.  I read the Beatitudes and then after a message, we as the entire group took  Communion.

I can’t tell you want a holy experience it was to take communion and sing Amazing Grace, in the place where Jesus taught His great sermon.

After it was over, we were standing there and I looked up at the stars.  I bent over and told my friend Dawson Wilkerson this – Think about this. These are the same stars that Jesus stood under.

Today, I was able to teach my new friends from Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi about one of my favorite places in the Holy Land.  I walked where Jesus walked.  Literally. I took communion and stood under the stars that Jesus stood under.

It was a powerful day.

I am in awe of His grace. And thankful for this moment.

But remember, as great as this is, no matter where you are, the same Jesus that preached upon the mountain walks with you and lives in you through the power fo the Holy Spirit.

Today, Jesus walks with you.  No matter where you are.

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