Of all the many travels my wife Lili and I have been privileged to experience, our visits to the Holy Land top the list. Nothing compares with having stood on the Temple Mount, as well as Mount Carmel where Elijah met the prophets of Baal. No sites have impacted our souls like visiting the areas of Christ’s birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection.
I have been blessed to lead groups and travel this world, but Israel and Jordan are unique. The moment visitors enter these countries, they experience an immediate sense that the places are different from any others on earth. The knowledge of prophetic destiny – past, present, and future – forcefully enters the mind and heart. As you walk through the Old City along the Cardo, stand at the Pool of Bethesda, the City of David, and the Garden of Gethsemane; as you sing a hymn in the Church of St. Anne and walk the Via Dolorosa; as you stand on the Mount of Olives, visit the upper room, see the Temple Mount above the Western Wall – everywhere you feel propelled back in time. It is the same in Jordan when you view the promised land (through Moses’ eyes) from Mount Nebo and walk the narrow corridor leading into the city of Petra.
To find yourself in or near that location where Jesus bore the weight of our sins on the cross and was then resurrected, is a powerful, awe-inspiring opportunity like nothing else.
This land is a special place in God’s eyes. As you experience the Muslim’s call to prayer over loudspeakers that tend to drown out the words of the Hebrew prayers and the devotional speeches of pastors, you will realize anew God has been faithful in His promise to every generation of Abraham’s descendants, proven by observing the Jewish people inhabiting the Promised Land. Throughout history God’s people have visited the Holy Land, resulting in great rewards. They have expanded their Biblical understanding and experienced the presence of Christ while reinforcing their faith. Repeated visits result in added benefits.
Visiting the land where the Bible comes to life is transformative, replacing the imagination with real experiences. Reading the Bible is never the same afterward. To walk where Jesus walked becomes a visible reminder that God physically entered history with the people who stood on the places you stand! When you digest His words and ministry on the spots they occurred, it affirms God’s faithfulness in the past, His trustworthiness for the future, and His complete power and strength for today. For those who love God’s Word, a trip to the Holy Land is not just a wonderful opportunity, it is a time to better understand God and revitalize a relationship with Him.
I encourage everyone who can to visit the Holy Land as soon and as young as possible. Israel and Jordan have never been safer and more accessible thanks to security and modern travel.