This was the final day of touring Israel. We had a great trip but I think I can speak for the whole group when I say we are ready to come back home! Tonight we are staying at a new hotel called Neve Ilan. Here are some of the places we visited today:
The Dome of the Rock. I am glad that we took the extra time to go up to the top of the temple area. For a number of reasons the temple area was one of my favorite locations to visit. As non-Muslims we were not able to go into the Dome of the Rock mosque but it was great to walk around it and see it up close.
We went by The Temple Institute. It was not really part of the tour but I found learning about it fascinating. The Temple Institute is doing all they can to get ready for the third temple to be rebuilt. Here is their purpose taken directly from their website, “The Temple Institute’s ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments.” You may wonder why I find that intriguing. So let me tell you. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 we learn that in the end times the antichrist will set himself up to be god in the new temple. If this new temple were rebuilt it would cause massive political fallout and probably a war because the Islamic Dome of the Rock is in the spot where the third temple would be built. I find all of this super interesting and it increases my desire to search and know the Word of God.
We also saw the Wailing Wall. It is called the Wailing Wall because the Jews are mourning the loss of their temple. Jews come to the wall to pray and for a number of other religious traditions. You can learn more here: https://www.gotquestions.org/Wailing-Wall.html
We also visited The Garden Tomb. This is another spot where they believe Jesus could have been buried. You will see in one of the pictures below that there is a massive rock that looks like a skull. Golgotha is also referred to the place of the skull in Matthew 27:33.
At The Garden Tomb we also stopped to take communion together and worship in song. After a busy week it was nice to visit this garden, take communion, and reflect on all that Christ has done for us. Pastor Jeff Ruggles gave a devotional and I led the time of communion.
We will be leaving the hotel a little after midnight and finally arriving in Sioux Falls on Thursday at about 5:00 pm. It has been a wonderful trip and it has been neat to be able share a little bit of it with you! See you soon!