Friday, March 6
Our spiritual adventure begins with an overnight transatlantic flight to Israel.
Saturday, March 7
Late afternoon we arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and drive north along the Mediterranean coast to Netanya where we will check into our hotel for a well-deserved rest.
Sunday, March 8
Stand Where Elijah Stood
This morning we drive north on the Via Maris to Caesarea where Peter proclaimed the good news to Cornelius, the Roman centurion. We will visit scenic Caesarea with its famous Roman theater, harbor, newly excavated hippodrome and palace, concluding at the aqueducts. We continue on to Mount Carmel to visit the traditional place where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Next we arrive at Megiddo, Chariot City of King Solomon, where we will explore its remarkable excavations. We will pass the Horns of Hittem where Saladin defeated the Crusaders, before ending our day by walking to the top of Mount Arbel for a breathtaking cliff-side view of the Sea of Galilee and the biblical sites of Jesus’ public ministry. We will have dinner and spend the night in picturesque Tiberias overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Monday, March 9
Sail on the Sea of Galilee
We will spend our day following in the footsteps of Jesus. We begin by boarding a fishing boat to take us to the “other side” of the Sea of Galilee and view the ancient “Galilee Boat” from the time of Christ. Our next stop is the ruins of Korazin, “cursed and empty.” We then visit Capernaum, the city of Jesus, where we will view the ancient synagogue where Christ taught and the house where Peter lived. We then proceed to the eastern shore, passing Bethsaida on our way to Kursi, the site where the demons entered the swine after being cast out of the demoniac. The culmination of our day will occur at the baptismal site on the Jordan River before we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, March 10
Walk through Caesarea Philippi
Today we begin at the Mount of Beatitudes, with its beautiful view overlooking the sea, and where Christ delivered one of His most powerful teachings. Then, we journey north on the ancient trade route past the Old Testament city of Hazor on our way to Tel Dan. We will walk through the nature reserve at one of the sources of the Jordan River and visit the ruins of Dan, the northernmost city of Israel in the Old Testament. Here we will view the high place where wicked King Jeroboam set up a golden calf. Our next stop is the New Testament City of Caesarea Philippi (Banias) at the foot of Mount Hermon, where Peter recognized Jesus as the Christ. The breathtaking Banias Waterfall, the site at which it is believed Psalm 42 was written, is our next stop before traveling the road leading up to the Golan Heights (biblical Bashan). Bitter fighting took place here during the Six Day War. We will discover why this strip of land is strategic to Israel. We then return to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, March 11
Float in the Dead Sea
This morning we proceed down the Jezreel Valley to Bet She’an, and walk through the remarkably preserved excavations of what was a major Roman city and the place where the Philistines displayed the bodies of Saul and Jonathan. Journeying south we will pass the ancient Canaanite city of Jericho, where the “walls came tumbling down.” We will also visit Wadi Qilt, where Christ was tempted. Next we visit Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We then travel to the lowest point on the face of the earth, the Dead Sea and overnight along its shores.
Thursday, March 12
See the Fortress of Masada
We depart early for Masada, where a ride on a cable car takes us to the summit for a tour of the magnificent ruins of Herod’s lavish summer palace and fortress, where Jewish defenders made their heroic final stand in an unsuccessful revolt against Rome. Then we visit the refreshing oasis of En Gedi and hike to the caves where David hid from Saul. Early in the afternoon we return to our hotel and spend the remainder of the day relaxing, swimming in the Dead Sea, or enjoying the many facilities of our luxurious hotel.
Friday, March 13
Stand on the Battlefield of David and Goliath
This morning, we will travel to Arad and stand in the remarkable remains of a temple patterned after God’s temple in Jerusalem. We will then go on to the Old Testament city of Beersheba, the southernmost city of Israel in the time of the Old Testament, where we stand at the well of Abraham and Isaac. Next we begin our drive to Jerusalem, stopping along the way to see the Elah Valley, where the battle between David and Goliath took place, as well as the Sorek Valley, where Samson lived. Late this afternoon we enter the magnificent city of Jerusalem where we will stay for the remainder of our tour
Saturday, March 14
Stand Atop the Mount of Olives
Our Jerusalem experience begins with the panoramic vista on the Mount of Olives, as we are reminded of what our Lord saw as He looked over Jerusalem. We will walk down this historic hillside and stop briefly at Dominus Flevit, the traditional spot where Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and continue on to the Garden of Gethsemane. That afternoon, we will visit Herodium, which was the fortress built by Herod the Great and later became his burial place. We will conclude the day with a visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth.
Sunday, March 15
Explore the Old City, Part 1
We begin our day praying at the most sacred Jewish site in Jerusalem; the enormous retaining wall for the Temple Mount of Herod the Great. Next, we will continue on to the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the man at the pool. We will also visit St. Anne's, a beautifully restored Crusader church where we will sing hymns of praise, and then visit the model of Herodian Jersualem which provides an excellent picture of the city as it would have looked in the time of Christ. You will also see one of the highlights of biblical archaeology, the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls. We will conclude the day with a visit to the Yad Vashem, Israel’s unforgettable memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Monday, March 16
Explore the Old City, Part 2
This morning we will visit the traditional site of the Last Supper located on Zion Hill and then enter the Herodian Mansion, which is the possible site where Christ stood mute before the High Priest and was condemned. We will then approach the southern steps of the Second Temple – steps where Jesus actually walked 2,000 years ago. We will also visit the City of David excavations and view an excellent multimedia presentation that shows how much history this site holds. We will then visit the platform on which King David’s palace was located. We will see the Warren’s Shaft, which could have been the waterspout through which David’s foes climbed to capture the city of Jerusalem, as well as the Pools of Siloam where the blind man washed the mud off his eyes in this pool and received his sight. For those adventurous types, you can take a “wet walk” through this historical tunnel. A dry tunnel is also available to the group.
Tuesday, March 17
Explore the Old City, Part 3
This morning we return to the Old City to the site of the Temple destroyed in A.D. 70, and now the site of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa Mosque. We will proceed to the site where Jesus was mocked by the soldiers and a crown of thorns was placed upon His head before we begin our journey along the Via Dolorosa (the Way of the Cross) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This afternoon we will worship together at the Garden Tomb (Gordon’s Calvary) and participate in a special communion service to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. This evening we will enjoy our final dinner and spend time rejoicing and reminiscing over the extraordinary days spent in the land of our Lord. Following dinner we depart to the airport to board our return flight.
Wednesday, March 18
With heart-changing memories of our walk in the footsteps of history, we return to the United States.