Considering a Trip to the Holy Land?
For many Christians, a visit to the Holy Land is an opportunity of a lifetime. But why travel to Israel to see the sites? Here are a few reasons why it should be on the top of your travel destinations.
1. Trace the Steps of Jesus
Firstly, you can visit where Jesus walked, taught, and healed. You can see where it’s believed He was crucified and where He ascended. From His birthplace in Bethlehem to His last days in Jerusalem, it’s all here. It’s an amazing experience to stand on the same ground where Jesus once stood!
2. It Makes the Bible Come Alive
Secondly, reading the Bible will never be the same after a visit to the Holy Land. You will be able to visualize where events took place and understand the Word on a deeper level. For example, we read in Mark 1:29 that after Jesus taught in the synagogue at Capernaum, He went to Peter’s house. “Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.” If you’ve been to Capernaum, you’ve seen that Peter’s house was just down the street!
3. The Archaeological Sites are Outstanding
Thirdly, if you love to walk among ruins from thousands of years ago, than Israel is a must. Visit Caesarea on the Mediterranean where you can see a Roman Amphitheatre and Hippodrome. You won’t want to miss the city of Megiddo, Herod’s Fortress at Masada, or Old Jerusalem. You’ll also want to explore Shiloh because that’s where the Tabernacle stood for 369 years. And you’ll want to include Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
4. The Views are Breathtaking
For a country about the size of New Jersey, the diversity of landscapes is remarkable. In the north lies the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding areas are lush with an abundance of greenery and crops. The middle of the country transitions into a rockier terrain with less vegetation where goats and sheep graze on the hillsides. Furthermore, the southern part of the country is a dry, rocky desert and is also home to the Dead Sea. Take in the beautiful hills and valleys found throughout the entire country. Make sure to pack your cameras, because you won’t want to miss all the photo opportunities!
5. You Can Feel Safe
Traveling as a church group with a tour guide, we found the country to be very safe. We did not witness any crime or military confrontations. However, we did notice armed guards at certain posts, but they were courteous and kept the peace. Just like anywhere you travel, you need to be aware of your surroundings, keep your valuables close to you, and don’t venture out alone. If you feel concerned with safety issues, then check with the U.S. Department of State at www.Travel.State.Gov for any possible alerts.
6. The People are Wonderful
The people of Israel are very hospitable and friendly. Surprisingly, we heard English spoken everywhere. We also observed a melting pot of different religions, especially in Jerusalem. Throughout the country, when we treated others with respect, we received respect in return. Just like everywhere else, the Golden Rule still applies!
7. The Food is Great
While we ate mostly at our hotels, the food was plentiful with a delicious variety of local dishes and Americanized entrees. We had a large assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Even picky eaters found a nice selection on the buffets to choose from. If you love desserts, then I recommend you bring your stretchy pants; the sweets are amazing!
If you are contemplating a trip to the Holy Land, I strongly recommend it. Where else can you get baptized in the Jordan River, walk the Via Dolorosa, and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane? It’s an investment in your spirituality that will bring you a lifetime of returns!
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