Yes, I am very blessed to have a privilege of visiting Israel the Holy land for the 1st time in my life. I always wanted to go there since I have become a Christian. I think it would be really cool to see the places I read about in the Holy book and make it comes alive right in front of you. How cool is that?
A week trip there is definitely worth it. I basically went on a tour, so it was jam packed with a lot of programme. I couldn't even remember where did I visited. But As I reflected on the things I have seen, this is some of my reflection on a few places that the Holy Spirit touched me and I would like to share with you. Here we go.
The Sea of Galilee
This place is certainly amazing place to visit. Here in this sea, Jesus performed countless of miracles namely....walking on the water, the feeding of five thousands, casting out demons into the swines and in this picture, I am sitting at the place believe to be the spot where Jesus had a breakfast with the disciples after his resurrection. Just to sit there try to imagine the conversation Jesus had with Peter. "Pete, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord I love you" and He kept asking the same question for the third time. As Christ restored Peter back into the ministry. I felt so touched by the love and compassion of Christ towards us. Even though we may failed, but His love never failed.
Ok, I know....this may sound not so spiritual but hey, there is a very important lesson we could learn from the Dead Sea.
This Sea is basically a receiver of blessing and not giving away at all. As this is the lowest place on Earth at 250 meters below Sea level. And because of that, the amount of salt in this Sea is way too much for any living creature to be able to live. That's why it is call "DEAD" sea. So be like the sea of Galilee that receive the blessing and pass it on, and don't be like the Dead sea that keep all the blessing to itself. it will eventually dead.
btw, It is really floating!!! Amazing =p
The wilderness of En Gedi
This place is the place where David fled from King Saul before he became King of Israel. In fact many of the beautiful Psalms he wrote was in the wilderness. Many great people in the Bible also had to go through the "Wilderness Experience" So I thought let's do that. So off the programme, I decided to went off the beaten track and had some Wilderness experience. It is definitely worth it.
It certainly changes the way I understand Psalm 23 when David is talking about green pasture, still water or even this whole shepherd thing. Honestly, when I read this Psalm, somehow I have this imaginary image of New Zealand green pasture with a lot of sheep grazing on it. But seriously, Israel is nowhere near that. It's full of desert!
What's amazing about this desert land is that, there is water running beneath the dry land. So in this Wilderness of En Gedi, you could find many waterfall within all these rocks and cliffs. So it's really like an oasis. And because of that, you would be able to find some green pasture around the area. It really speak of God's provision for us. Even in the season of dryness in the wilderness. He is surely will provide for us all that is needed.
Gethsemane (Church of All Nations)
The garden of Gethsemane, stood today the Church of All Nations where pilgrims all around the world come and witness the struggle of Christ before His time to be taken to the cross. As I sat there in the church meditating on the battle that was going on in that garden. Jesus must be exhausted. Even the bible mentioned that He sweat blood! Nonetheless, (Thank God!) Jesus still submitted to the will of the Father and make His way to the cross in order to saved all mankind from sin. What a love...Thank you Jesus.
The Dome of the Rock. (The Holy of Holies)This is believe the be the place where Abraham sacrificed Isaac on Mt. Moriah. The significant of this place for me is that, it is where Worship started. It is where the word "Worship" was first mentioned in the Bible. (Genesis 22) Subsequently, it became a very spot where King Solomon build the first temple. And later on the temple of King Herod in the time of Jesus. Though today this Holy of Holies spot stood the Dome of the Rock which is a sacred Muslim mosque. It is still very significant to me just to be there sensing the presence of the Almighty God. My prayer is that people here will know the one and only true God. And that they will no longer refused or waiting for the coming Messiah. For He has already come and live among us.
This trip certainly give me much understanding of why we need to pray for peace of Jerusalem. There is so much conflict and tension going on politically and religiously. As people of God cry out for peace in this Holy land. The God of heaven will hear our prayers and saved them once again as He did in Egypt.
The journey to Holy land, it is definitely worth it for all of us who are called the follower of Jesus. At least once in a life time. =)
Shalom. (I wish you Peace)