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The day has arrived, and we depart Dallas (DFW) on an overnight flight to the Holy Land.
Today we arrive in Israel at Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion Airport. We board our modern deluxe bus and depart the airport to Tel Aviv. Time permitting, we visit the ancient town of Jaffa where Peter had his vision on the roof top of the house of Simon the Tanner. Transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv. Dinner and overnight.
Today we travel towards Caesarea Maritima (entrance included), where we will have a brief visit in this magnificent city with Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. Here we will elaborate on the story of the baptism of Cornelius, the first gentile convert into Christianity, and on the travels of Paul — those events that led Caesarea Maritima to become the springboard of Christianity to the West. We continue to Mount Carmel (entrance included) and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal, discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. We travel to Nazareth where we will climb the Mount of Precipice, the brow of the hill on which the city was built. There we will reflect on the rejection of Jesus by his family and friends in Nazareth. While there overlooking the Armageddon Valley, we will also discuss the reasons why we believe this will be the setting for the final battle between good and evil mentioned in Revelation 16:16. We depart to Sea of Galilee passing Cana of Galilee where Jesus preformed his first miracle changing water into wine. Dinner and overnight Sea of Galilee.
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with visiting the Gospel Triangle and the location where Jesus spent two of His three years of public ministry. We will begin on the Mount of Beatitudes and discuss the Sermon on the Mount; we will then visit the Primacy of Peter where Jesus appeared to the disciples the third time after the resurrection. We will then visit Capernaum (entrance included), Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. There we will see the house of Peter’s mother-in-law, in addition to other ruins of the village. We will then visit the ancient boat museum containing a recently-discovered 2000-year old fishing boat (entrance included). We sail on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat (included). Our last stop of the day will be to the Jordan River where you will get a chance to renew baptismal vows before we return to our hotel. Dinner and overnight Sea of Galilee.
After a buffet breakfast, we leave the area of Galilee, following the Jordan Valley Road to Beth Shean (entrance included), the capital of the Decapolis. There we will see the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine cities. We will also discuss the demise of King Saul and his sons, whose bodies were hanged on the walls of Beth Shean. We will then continue traveling south to Bet Arabah where John the Baptist was baptizing on the Jordan River. Jericho will be our next stop, where we will visit the Tel of Jericho (entrance included) with its ancient ruins, pointing out what possibly could be the foundations of the ramparts that Joshua and the Israelites brought down. Dinner and Overnight in Jerusalem.
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day visiting Masada (entrance & cable car included), the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with the standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We then continue to En Gedi, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place and where many of the psalms were written by David. This afternoon we visit Qumran (entrance included), the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by a Bedouin boy in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings that the Essenes, the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls, lived. You will also be able to experience floating on the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
After a buffet breakfast, we will begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives, pointing out important locations within the Old City, connecting them with Biblical stories and prophecies about the return of Jesus. We will then walk down the Palm Sunday Procession road to the Garden of Gethsemane, where the passion of Jesus began. We will then visit the Southern Wall excavations (entrance included) where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We will then gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where Rabbis met and taught their disciples. We then travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. We begin with a visit to the Shepherds fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of Our Lord. These fields are also the setting of the Book of Ruth. We will then travel to the Church of the Nativity and view the actual place where Our Lord was born. We return to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day entering the Old City and visiting to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. We will ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. On to visit St Anne’s church (entrance included) and a visit to nearby Pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place. We will then walk the Via Dolorosa, the traditional path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This afternoon we travel to the Israel Museum (entrance included), where we will visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the 1st century AD, followed by a visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archeological section where many artifacts are displayed, we will play special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with a visit to the Upper Room, the place of the Last Supper followed by a visit to nearby location of the home of the High Priest, Caiaphas (entrance included). We will visit the Garden Tomb (entrance included), where we will worship together and celebrate communion. We spend the balance of the day at leisure. Our flight home will depart either late tonight or tomorrow. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Our flight home will depart the previous night or this morning. Either way, today we arrive home at DFW.