June 6 and 7 – USA to the Holy Land
Your pilgrimage begins as you depart the USA on an overnight flight. You will be welcomed at the Tel Aviv airport by our representative and transferred to your hotel to enjoy dinner before retiring for the evening.
June 8 – The Galilee
Worship as you sail across the Sea of Galilee. Visit Capernaum, center of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, and visit synagogue built on the site where Jesus taught (Matt.4:13, 23). On the Mount of Beautitudes, contemplate the “Sermon of the Mount” (Matt. 5-7). Explore the Church of the Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 (Luke 9:10). See the Chapel of Primacy, where Peter professed his devotion three times to the risen Christ (John 21). In Magdala, once home to Mary Magdalene, visit a recently discovered first-century synagogue. Recall Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist at the Jordan River.
June 9 – Nazareth, Tel Megiddo & Caesarea
This morning we travel to Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home (Matthew 2:23). Look out over Tel Megiddo (Armageddon), to view one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel. Today’s last stop is Caesarea, a center of the early Christians where an angel visited Cornelius, the first Gentile believer (Acts 10), and where Paul was imprisoned for two years before appealing to Caesar. Travel to Beit Shean, where the Philistines hung Saul and his son Jonathan on the city walls. Continue to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
June 10 – Jericho, Qumran & Mount of Olives
As you stop in Jericho to view the ruins of the city conquered by Joshua (Joshua 6:1, 2, 20), in the distance you can also see the traditional site of the Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11). Continue to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. End your day with a group picture taken from the Mount of Olives, where Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-12).
June 11 – Jerusalem, Herodium & Bethlehem
Visit the Herodian National Park for a special service. The Herodium is the fortified palace and final resting place of Herod the Great. In Bethlehem, visit the cave revered as Jesus’ birthplace and see the Church of Nativity constructed over the site (Matthew 1:18-25). Gaze out over Shepherds’ Field before returning to Jerusalem. Pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and envision the scenes of the night before Jesus’ crucifixion (Matthew 26:36 – 44). Continue to Mount Zion to visit the House of the High Priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was questioned in the night of His betrayal (Matthew 26:57). Meditate on the events of the Last Supper as you visit the traditional location of the Upper Room (Mark 14:12-26).
June 12 – Jerusalem & the Old City
Walk the Cardo, the ancient main street of the Old City. Explore ancient Jerusalem at the Teaching Steps and the Western Wall. View the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle (John 5: 1-31). Sing a hymn in the Church of St. Anne and experience its rich acoustics. Visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress, where Jesus appeared before Pontius. This afternoon we will drive south of Jerusalem to spend some time with our friends and learn more of life in the Holy Land at the Herodium. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
June 13 – Masada/Dead Sea
Today, you will visit Masada and the Dead Sea. Ascend by cable car to Masada, Herod’s legendary mountaintop fortress, which became the last desperate stronghold of the Jewish Zealots against the Romans. We will stop at Ein Gedi to see the caves where David hid from Saul. You can still look down to the remains of the Roman camps and the seige ramp below. End your day with a dip in the salt and mineral laden waters of the Dead Sea.
June 14 – Jerusalem
Today is a free day to explore Jerusalem and see some of the sights you have not seen with your tour leader. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
June 15 – Jerusalem/Transfer to Airport
Travel to Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist and where Mary visited Elisabeth (Luke 1:26-40). Explore to poignant exhibits of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial. Visit the Garden Tomb for a time of reflection and communion. Dinner and transfer to the airport for departure.
June 15 – Return to the USA or begin an Extension.