It was another wonderful, and full, day. We went as a group to the precipice outside of Nazareth, (it?s no ?precipice,? it?s a mountain!), where the crowd was going to throw Jesus off the cliff because they hated what He had to say. (Luke 4:29)
It was so awesome standing on top of the hill and looking to the left, to Mt. Tabor, where Deborah, Barak, and the armies of Israel defeated the army of Sisera. On our right we could see Mt. Carmel, the place where Elijah had the showdown with the false prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 17-18)
We could see so much of Israel and it was so amazing to hear our guide tell Biblical story after Biblical story. The greatest story was told as we looked down from the precipice at the Church of the Annunciation, the place where the angel announced to Mary that she was going to give birth to the Messiah. (Luke 1)
We had a bird?s eye view as our guide told us about when it was time for Mary to have Jesus. Joseph and Mary made the long trip, a trip of five to six days, through a mountainous, rugged countryside.? The trip was also through Samaria, an enemy of the Jews, so they traveled under constant threat. Hearing the story from high above Nazareth sure made the story come alive.
We also went to Caesarea, the great city that Herod the Great around 22 B.C. This is when construction began, but you should have seen the city that archeologist have unearthed in the past 10 years. Herod?s Palace was there, a magnificent palace, along with the most famous port along with the Mediterranean coast. Herod also is credited for bringing the Olympic games back to life and he build a huge athletic arena right on the coast of Caesarea. The real significance of Caesarea is found in the book of Acts. The first non-Jewish convert came from Caesarea. Phillip preached the Gospel in Caesarea. Peter was called by God to go to Caesarea and preach the Good News to Cornelius? household. In Acts 23:33 we find Paul handed over to the authorities in Caesarea where he kept in prison for 2 years.
I was standing on the Mediterranean coast and looking at the ruins of what used to be a palace, not the palace of Herod the Great, the palace of the Governor, Pontius Pilate. For many years skeptics doubted that Pontius Pilate was a ?real? individual from history?that is until archeologists discovered a stone with ?Tiberium? (Latin for Tiberius Caesar) and ?Pontius Pilate? inscribed on it. I?m getting goose bumps just recalling what I saw! I?d better quit for now, but you can check out the pictures by clicking on the link from yesterday. Our computer guru is adding pics to the page every day. God bless you all. Check back tomorrow and let?s walk some more through this wonderful land of our Savior.
You can see the pictures as I add them here on the website.