Tour Journal For Israel Study Tour with Scott Heare September 17-30, 2011

Last Day

Last Day

Today, our trip comes to a close.  This final day began with a view of Temple Mount from the top of the Mount of Olives.  After a short walk down the hill and we sat in an olive grove that has been there for centuries.  We learn of a deeper meaning behind actions and words that Jesus and his disciples took at the last supper and as the Roman soldiers approached.  We went through the church at Gethsemane and wondered at the crushing force that Jesus felt that night.

From there we enter the old city for the last time.  We gaze down at the healing pool of Bethesda with an Ascelopian temple by its side and then enter the church of St. Ann’s.  As we wander to the front we are greeted by the singing voices of about 60 Kenyans singing “How Great Thou Art.”  As we join them in song the two groups, first timid and segregated, join and mingle.  Tears are wept and hugs and handshakes overwhelm any separation we felt the moment before.  With this amazing picture of untiy and grace we depart the church.

We come to the Church of the Flageration and listen as the flogging is described in detail.  With this image in mind we set out for our own version of the Via Dolorosa through the Old City’s butchery street, finally coming to the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Inside, we learn of the coronation of Caesar and the picture painted in the gospel of Mark and sit at the foot of the quarry called Golgotha.  We wonder to the tomb and spend time in reflection and prayer over the significance of Jesus’ most powerful act.

Finally, we close our day at the Garden Tomb.  Not likely to be the actual tomb, but a good place to close.  We come together as a body and for the last time we worship and recite scripture together.  We share communion and pray for the next steps of our journey in this amazing gift of life.

To close, I share with you our prayers.

Holy Father, allow us to step back into our lives smoothly.  We have changed over the last two weeks.  The experience that you have given us has been absolutely breathtakingly beautiful in places and absolutely terrifying and difficult in others. We thank you for the transformation that you have begun in each of us as we come to you and that you have continued at an accelerated pace here.  We ask that you finish the good work in us, bringing us to perfection.  Father, we pray for those we will encounter on the return home.  We pray that your Spirit speaks from our mouths as we tell of our experiences.  We pray that you would open hearts and ears to hear of the experience and use this to advance your Kingdom here on earth.  Father we are so thankful to you for all of the gifts that you faithfully continue to rain down on us.  Amen.

Grace and shalom,

Ryan Jacobson

Israel Scott Heare from GTI Tours on Vimeo.

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