March 1: Departure
Our life-changing journey begins this evening as we board our overnight flight to Jordan.
March 2: Arrival Jordan
We arrive in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and transfer to our lodging for the evening in Amman.
March 3: Mt. Nebo, Machaerus, Sodom and Gomorrah & Petra
We depart Amman this morning and travel along the Kings Highway. Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Looking to the northwest we view the Plains of Moab, the area where the tribes of Israel camped before crossing the Jordan. As we continue we stop at the hilltop palace/fortress of Machaerus, where John the Baptist was beheaded. Continuing south we stop where the burned remains of the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are believed in the nearby southeastern Dead Sea Plain. Here we will visit the hillside cave near to the small town of Zoar (modern-day Safi). The Bible says Lot’s daughters gave birth to sons whose descendants would become the Ammonite and Moabite people, whose kingdoms were in what is now central Jordan. It is here that Byzantine Christians built a church and monastery dedicated to Lot. From here, we continue on to our lodging for the evening in Petra.
March 4: Petra
This morning we explore the amazing mountain fortress of Petra, known to be inhabited by the Edomites - the descendents of Esau. Begin the tour with a walk through the "Siq," an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra carved out of the rose red rock. The Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures. Departing Petra later this afternoon, we travel northward on the King's Highway to our Dead Sea Resort where we will have the opportunity for a Dead Sea float.
March 5: Bethany Beyond Jordan & Beit Shean
We cross into Israel this morning and travel to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised land. Next we travel north to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis - a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government.
We continue conclude our day arriving into Galilee where we’ll enjoy our dinner and overnight.
March 6: Mt. Arbel, Bethsaida,
Corazim, Capernaum, Jesus Boat & Cruise
We begin our day with a hike up Mt. Arbel for a wonderful view overlooking the Sea of Galilee. This may be the location that Jesus often went when he went up to the mountain to pray and fellowship with the Father. We spend some time visiting Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum formed what has been called the "evangelical triangle," because most of Jesus’ miracles in Galilee were performed in these cities. Of special interest are the ruins of a 1st century synagogue in Corazin, the House of the Fisherman in Bethsaida and Peter’s home in Capernaum. We conclude our day with a visit to the Jesus Boat and a Sea of Galilee cruise.
March 7: Jordan River Baptism,
Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Caesarea and Jerusalem
We begin our day with an opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River Baptismal site. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization and then on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. We travel south along the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, hippodrome, a film on history and the remains of this famous port city, and aqueduct, and then journey to Jerusalem and enjoy an afternoon walk on the walls. Our guide will take us to an overview of the city from the hillside overlooking Jerusalem and the Gehenna Valley. This meaningful teaching time will allow us to become familiar with Jerusalem and the many sites we will see in the coming days. We check into our Jerusalem hotel which will be our home for the remainder of our trip.
March 8: Masada, Ein Gedi and Qumran
We depart Jerusalem this morning and begin with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat", an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and then travel back to Jerusalem and enjoy our dinner and overnight.
March 9: Jesus' Steps, the Last Days - Messianic Lecture
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a
panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. On our way into the city we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation.
March 10: Herodium, Garden Tomb, Pentecost, City of David
Our first visit this morning is the palace fortress of Herodium, just south of the city. Next we visit the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. This afternoon we visit the Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. This afternoon is free for some shopping in the Old City or you can take part in an optional tour of the City of David. For those that take part, we begin our sightseeing just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount in the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem, view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house, the lower city wall and the cistern where Jeremiah was imprisoned. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus' miracle in John 9. We enjoy dinner this evening and then transfer to the Tel Aviv airport for our overnight flight home.
March 11: Home
We arrive home today.