Embracing Easter With Images of the Holy Land

Embracing Easter With Images of the Holy Land

Last summer, I had the privilege of traveling to the Holy Land with an amazing group of women.  For me, it was a dream come true.

Visiting places and seeing actual sites that I had read about in Scripture for years was such an surreal experience.

Places like the Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes, Pools of Bethesda, City of Jericho, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Temple Mount and the Upper Room location of where Jesus and His disciples had the Last Supper.

I wish I could show you all my pictures. I have over 1000 of them. Better yet, I wish I could take you to Israel and we could experience it together. Trust me, it would completely change the way you read your Bible.

Now when I read the Bible, familiar images surface from my trip, which help me better understand the text.

Experiencing the Holy Land has changed me completely. Every day, the Lord brings to mind something I experienced and in a wonderful way I miss being there.

With it being Holy Week, I thought it would be fun to share a few photos with you.

Below are pictures from the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic in John 5. I always imagined it to be the size of an olympic swimming pool, but it’s so much bigger. And tucked within all the ruins are broken columns everywhere. I’m sure it was quite exquisite in it’s former glory.

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The below picture shows a portion of the Via Dolorosa {Greek for “way of suffering”} which is the path Jesus took to the crucifixion site {Golgotha}. I was surprised to see littered trash on such a sacred site. But it didn’t take away from the emotions that came over me when I stood at the base of those stairs and pictured our Savior climbing them. Carrying the heavy cross bar on top of his wounded shoulders along with our many sins.

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The word Golgotha means “place of the skull.” On top of this hill is where Jesus was nailed to the cross and crucified for us. A busy bus station now sits at the base of the hill, along with a Mosque across the street.

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I took these pictures at the Garden Tomb, which is believed to be the burial place of Jesus. Beautiful gardens surround the tomb and an alcove is tucked in the side of the hill where we took communion.This sight is a short walk from Golgotha.

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Inside of the tomb is a small space no bigger than an oversized closet. One side is where Christ body would have laid. You can see the bars which have been placed in front to keep people from entering that space.

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Yeah, and that’s me (sweaty and smiling) as I came out of the tomb.

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Here’s one final picture of the Holy City of Jerusalem. This was taken the morning we were on the Mount of Olives. Honestly, my pictures can’t possibly do it justice. It’s so much more expansive than what my iphone captured. Right across the Kidron Valley from the Holy City is Bethpage and Bethany where Jesus lived.

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A snap shot can’t capture the presence of God’s Spirit that was so evident and tangible to me while I was in the Israel. You have to just go to fully experience what so many have talked about. There is nothing in this world like it.

As you embrace Holy Week, I pray these pictures give insight to the places Jesus ministered, healed, was crucified, died and buried.  But most importantly, I pray you are reminded that the tomb is empty and our Savior has risen. Hallelujah!

Blessings to you and your family this Easter Season,

Leah

Comments

  1. Leah,
    So beautiful to see the pictures of the Holy Land. I have always had a desire to go there. I know it would be an amazing experience. The truth is I am not fond of traveling and the long airplane trip is daunting to me. Please pray that if it is God’s plan that I one day go that my fears will subside.

    Thank you!

    • Debra, I don’t enjoy long flights either, but I was determined not to miss out on this experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m praying your fears will diminish as you keep your eyes on Jesus.

  2. Beautiful! Some day I hope to see the land Where Jesus walked, lived , suffered, died, was buried and was Raised again. Alleluia!

  3. how lovely of you to share these amazing photos…for HE is risen indeed.
    your site is a great encouragement to my heart.
    Enjoy the SONshine.
    Jayne (Canada)

  4. Thank so much for showing us this! I cannot thank you enough. Thanks for all you do!

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