Chapter 18 - Thursday 3/30/89
Our final day in Israel. We had come back to Jerusalem on Wednesday night, and after our evening meal we had a vespers service, a time of sharing what this trip had meant to us. It was a very heart-sharing, heart-warming, heart-touching time. I had asked for one friend to go on this trip with me. God gave me 29 friends...24 from Lee College and five temporary residents in Israel. I love how God multiplies everything He touches.
This day was Land Day, a day commemorating when the Jews took the land from the Arabs. There was a strike on, and most of the shops were closed. Tension was extremely high, and this was the first day I felt any fear. God was with us, though, and protected us through the day.
We went to the Temple Mount and sat on the steps such as Jesus had taught on. (1999 note: We found out later that someone was shot on those steps about an hour after we were there.) We visited the Western Wall (the Wailing Wall). I saw how slips of paper with prayers on them were stuck in every crack and crevice, like gum is stuck all over the bottom of a table. Inside the Temple Mount we saw the Dome of the Rock, the Moslem shrine to Mohammed. We also went to the Upper Room, the place of the Last Super and Pentecost.
After lunch we went through the Old City, walking the road Jesus walked as He carried His cross (“down the Via Dolorosa”). When we got to Golgotha, I thought about His blood saturating throughout all the land and down through the centuries to reach even me. My heart is broken when I think of all that He suffered in His crucifixion. I almost could not bear to listen to the details, it was so gruesome, so humiliating. Sometimes I get caught up in the joy of the love of Jesus, and I forget all the pain and agony and suffering He went through. He truly suffered far more than any other human being has ever suffered.
I thought of how people from all over the world come here to see the sights and view the history of this one Person, but do not really care about HIM. This must make Jesus so sad.