Israel Day 1

Erik Cooper —  April 20, 2010 — 1 Comment

Almost too much to synopsize in a short blog post (and unfortunately, my camera card reader is on the fritz so I can’t post in pics…yet).  An indescribable first day in Jerusalem.  Just some quick highlights:

We walked the ramparts of the walls of Jerusalem.  These specific walls were rebuilt in the mid-1500s, but they rise from the same foundation on which the original blocks stood.  The walls King Solomon would have walked.  The walls Nehemiah would have rebuilt.  Surreal.

We prayed at the Western Wall, the only remaining piece of the original temple.  We had the opportunity to write our own prayers and stick them in the crevices of the rock, and our team took the time to pray specifically for Nathan and me and the future of City Community Church.  It was a powerful moment.

But the most surreal moment of the day was staring at Golgatha, the place where Jesus was crucified.  The hillside that literally changed the world. In the Arab-controlled district, it’s historical importance is now surrounded by a bus station.  But perhaps that’s how God wants it?  Not enshrined in a cathedral, but a life-changing icon simply wrapped in the normal, everyday fabric of life, much like Christ was when He walked this ground.

And we were able to sit inside the empty tomb, the tomb they truly believe belonged to Joseph of Aramathea, and housed the body of Jesus for a few short days.  In the same garden where the angel rolled the stone away.  Speechless.

To process what I’ve seen in just one day is impossible.  All the flannelgraph Sunday School stories I’ve heard since I was a child colliding with historical reality, and honestly, my brain is struggling with the impact.

But my one remaining thought from day 1 here in the Old City of Jerusalem is this:

So many want the blessing of being where Jesus has been, but so few want to pay the cost of actually following Him now.

Just food for thought.  More soon (and hopefully some pictures!)

One response to Israel Day 1

  1. Have to say, Erik, that your comment “So many want the blessing of being where Jesus has been, but so few want to pay the cost of actually following Him now.” is pregnant with meaning.

    It brought to mind John 6:26 where Jesus questioned the motives of many of those following him by saying “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

    Would he accuse many “followers” today of jumping on the Jesus bandwagon, motivated merely (or firstly) by the prospect of satisfied personal need? What would He say about – or to – those who promote a “what’s in it for me” gospel? I wonder how His review of their books will read?

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