The Stories That Never Run Dry
Today, we woke up to a beautiful, clear sky and made our way to our first visit to the historic City of David. Undergoing incredible excavations, the city offered us interesting insight into the Jebusite city David and his men conquered and established as Israel’s capital. We walked alongside (and inside!) the ancient ruins of enormous stones that were chiseled in such a way to provide protection for the channels that carried the water through the city to the pool down below.
We made our way through the tight quarters that were the channels in which the water flowed. It was a very cool perspective—especially imagining the time and patience it must have taken the men who literally chipped away at it for years until it was a free-flowing channel.
The channels led to the Pool of Siloam where we remembered one of Jesus’ miracles found in John 9:1–11:
“When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
Though the pool was dry today (though, it’s not always), we realized that the miraculous stories of Christ never run dry, and we were grateful for this moment to reflect on His goodness.
Mount of Olives
After leaving the historic City of David, we continued our drive through Jerusalem, passing the Kidron Valley, and onto the Mount of Olives. We all took seats that overlooked the Temple Mount, where Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah. Mike Stallard gave a devotional message that ended with reminding us that God is going to judge the nations by how they treated Israel, that there is a future for Israel. He also reminded us that it was from the Mount of Olives that Christ ascended and that Zechariah 14:4 prophesies that it is on the Mount of Olives that He will return.
With camel rides and street vendors behind us, we pondered Christ’s return at this very location. It was a special moment to connect Scripture’s words with the sights before us.
Next we made a visit to the Garden Tomb, one of two possible sites of Christ’s crucifixion. The experience was beautiful and moving. To imagine Christ on the cross at this place (“the place of the Skull,” John 19) and the agony he endured for the sake of becoming our ultimate sacrifice was overwhelming.
We each took a moment to look inside the tomb in which they believed He could have been buried, and for the first time for many of us, it was a moment to savor. And what better way to celebrate our resurrected King than with communion.
All 75 of us gathered into a room which was actually an ancient cistern. While outfitted for groups to be able to meet inside it, we were standing on history. Jim Showers led us in a beautiful service to remind us of what Christ did and how God provides the only way of escape from His judgment.
Dan Price led us in songs while the communion elements were passed out to everyone. And while communion can and should be taken anywhere as a memorial of what Christ did, there was something incredibly special about taking it at the place where Christ was likely buried and resurrected. Praise God!
Pool of Bethesda
We were blessed to be able to walk through the city gates of Jerusalem nearing sundown tonight. We passed the ancient ruins of the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralyzed man (John 5). Truly an amazing structure, and fascinating how it sits nestled into modern times. A family whose home was situated above was celebrating a child’s birthday on their back porch with party hats and bunting. It was a beautiful picture of old and new.
Saint Anne’s Church
Next we visited the naturally acoustic Saint Anne’s church where we were ushered into the presence of the Lord as we sang hymns and heard our echo. It was a moment to be remembered and one I’ll never forget.
Western Wall on Shabbat
It was a beautiful site to see as the sun went down and the people flooded in. We were reminded that the wall in which the Jewish people seemingly pray to or toward, is actually not the wall at all. The wall is standing in the way of the Jewish people and the holiest of holies on the other side. Since the Temple Mount has restrictions on entry, this is as close as the Jewish people can get to their most holy site.
We ended our day with another lovely dinner and then a special time with the Kalisher family from the Jerusalem Assembly Church. It was an encouraging evening as we heard the passion that Meno has to lead, grow, and serve others here in Jerusalem. Jael played two of her brand new songs that were divinely inspired and lovely. Once again, it was another wonderful day.
Until tomorrow! Goodnight from the Holy Land.
Blog author: Karen Katulka
Director of Marketing & Communication
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
Photos: Dan Price
Assistant Director of International Ministries
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry