I just got back from a trip to Israel. (The entire trip we said “It’s real” when something amazing would happen.) This was by far the best trip of my life. I was privileged to walk where Jesus walked. I don’t have word to describe how it felt to sing alongside Brazilians where Jesus was held in prison. I touched a synagogue he taught in. I went inside the grave his body was laid in. I saw where the battle of Jericho was fought. I was baptized in the Jordan river.
I can go on and on about the things God showed me and what we talked about while I was there. The single most important thing I learned while in Israel is the the Bible is living and breathing and moving.
Here are three examples of what I mean:
1) Every place in that was somewhat important in the Bible now has a church built on it or around it. I felt very religious and didn’t seem to glorify the trinity the way I would. I few of the churched I didn’t even go it because I didn’t feel compelled to. But there was one church in particular that really moved me. It was near the pool of Bethesda. This is the place where Jesus healed the lame man who had been waiting for years for healing. At this pool an angel would stir up the water once a year and the first person to get in would be healed. This is where I saw my first angel. On this trip I saw an angel at that pool. At this church various church groups would go in and sing songs to God. I think it was my favorite because of that. The church was used to worship the living God. I felt that this place showed that the Bible is living and breathing because the angel was still there waiting for the risen Savior to come again to stir up the waters. I saw him and know it was God.
2) We visited the town of Magdala. This is the place where Mary Magdalene in from. In this place, I touched a synagogue Jesus taught in. We were able to walk through the town and see where people lived and shopped and worshiped God. Mark 14:3-9 tell the story of the woman who prepared Jesus for burial. This women in widely believed to be Mary Magdalene. In the story, as the disciples grumble Jesus says “wherever the gospel in preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Our tour guide said it was painfully easy for them to find this place. I personally believe this is living testament to the words Jesus said over 2000 years ago to her. Now there is a chapel there that commemorates not only her but the seven other women mentioned throughout the gospels.
3) We visited the place where Jesus was crucified, died, and buried. I believe this represents the Bible living because spiritually all I could do was sing “on the hill there’s a cross, on the cross there is blood for me” a line from The Hill by Travis Green. My heart would not stop singing it. I know this is not concrete evidence of the Bible living but I cannot deny how I felt while walking around the garden. (I found out that Jesus was probably not crucified on a hill but rather below the hill on the main fairway but still that song was in my head lol)
Jesus is alive and the gospel is real. It’s too real. I cannot deny the uncontrollable tears I had while baptizing my friend in the Jordan, being baptized myself, or at the reverent place where Jewish women and men worship and pray to the presence of God. I cannot deny how I felt on this trip. I am forever changed by the things I saw and learned. It’s hard to come back home and live the same life I lived before.
God is amazing y’all.