The team began the day by journeying to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Mosque shown (known as the Dome of the Rock) has stood for nearly 13 centuries; however, this site is the “home” of the first two temples in Israel’s history. Additionally, the group was privileged to see the Eastern Gate that Jesus entered through on what we call Palm Sunday (Zech. 9:9).
If this picture looks like we were underground. . . well we are. Actually, we were in the “judgment hall” of Pilate (currently under a major thoroughfare in modern Jerusalem). This was the place where Jesus was beaten, mocked, and “tortured” prior to carrying his cross toward Mount Calvary (Matt. 27:11-32; John 19:1-6).
Though there is “debate” regarding the actual place of Jesus' Crucifixion and burial the “Garden Tomb” makes a strong Biblical case. It was here we find ourselves “outside the city. . . in a garden. . . and an existing tomb.” Pictured is the entrance to the tomb that everyone had the opportunity to spend a few moments in - in a word, “life-changing."
Historically speaking, there are few sites that can compare to Masada. This fortress originally designed by Herod the Great was the “last stand” for the Israelites during the Roman siege of 70-73 AD. A few of our team even braved the journey down the mountain on foot rather than the cable car.
This day concluded with a unique “recreation opportunity.” We swam, or should I say floated, in the Dead sea. it is not only the lowest place on earth, it is also the saltiest!