At the rate I’m going, doing all of these posts is going to take me SO long. On day 4, we left the Galilee area and headed south towards Jerusalem and Bethlehem. We actually drove through Jerusalem to get to Bethlehem. This drive was only about 45 minutes, but in Jesus’ day, the walk took roughly 10 days. It was crazy to think about that walk while we were driving a gigantic tour bus on a paved road.
We start in Bethlehem at the Shepherd’s Field. This is the traditional location for where angels appeared to the shepherds and told them to follow the star in the sky to Bethlehem where the Messiah would be born.
This was our group walking into the cave where the shepherd’s probably slept.
The inside of the cave.
This was funny. We ate lunch at a place in Bethlehem where the waiters passed out Baklava for everyone for dessert. I have never heard of this dessert but apparently it’s something that’s even made here in the US. Anyway, he originally gave everyone one and then when everyone got one, he asked if anyone wanted another one. When he got to me I told him no thank you, that one was good for me (I didn’t even like it all that much). Somehow he picked me to pick on out of everyone and by the end of the lunch, he had brought me 24 pieces of Baklava. Everyone thought it was hysterical because I kept saying no and yet he kept bringing them to me.
Israel is WAY more Americanized than you think. KFC. I highly doubt any of them even know what that stands for.
After lunch we headed to the church that was built on the location of where Mary gave birth to Jesus.
The main sanctuary in the church. We were in a line to the right of the alter to go down into a cave in the basement where Jesus was supposedly born.
The cave only fit so many people, so we had to wait until some people left for us to go inside.
This is inside the cave and is the traditional spot for where Jesus was born. We were able to touch that star and say a quick prayer. Such a powerful moment.
This manger was kind of built into the cave, so it was likely the spot Jesus was laid after he was born.
We left Bethlehem and headed to Jerusalem. This is me with Jerusalem behind me. Israel was full of those big ole’ tour buses you see in the background.
Our first stop once in Jerusalem was to head to the location of the Upper Room. This is where Jesus went with the disciples to have the last supper (and very first communion) before heading to the Garden of Gethsemene where he was arrested.
The Upper Room. This was right before we had communion. Having communion in the same place as Jesus’ last supper?!?! Wow.
Was so glad my father-in-law was able to snap this picture of me taking communion in the Upper Room.
Views of Jerusalem.
We are now at the location of Caiaphas’ house. This is where Jesus’ first trial was when he was arrested in the Garden. The art on the building depicts Jesus being lowered into the pit to await his next trial.
The holes in the rock that Jesus was lowered through.
We walked down a steep staircase into a very small room. This was where Jesus spent several hours from the time that Caiaphas’ trial ended until the next morning when they carried him to Pilate.
The room at the bottom of the pit.
Within Caiaphas’ courtyard outside his house was where Peter denied Jesus three times and the rooster crowed. This is inside the courtyard and there’s a statue commemorating his denial to three different people and the rooster.
This is the ORIGINAL steps that lead from the Garden into Caiaphas’ palace. Jesus walked on these steps y’all. He was bound and forced to walk this route. The steps are blocked off so that people can’t walk on them and in order to preserve them….but that didn’t stop me from at least trying to touch them!
Artwork on the wall next to the steps showing Jesus walking those same steps to Caiaphas’ palace.
That ended our day in Jerusalem and we headed to our new hotel. My roommate and I got SOOOOOO lucky. We were one of few rooms that had a balcony overlooking Jerusalem!
Such an awesome day! Maybe it won’t be 2 weeks before I write about day 5!!