We arrived in Jerusalem on just before Christmas! As the whole clan drove our three rental cars up the big hill towards Jerusalem and caught first sight of the Old City, Priscilla burst out singing with the words, “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Lift up your gates and sing, Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to your King!”
Old City Jerusalem was decked out with lights for Christmas season even though most Israeli’s don’t celebrate either Christmas or our New Year. Their Hanukkah was much earlier this year and their new year starts in September, but they seem to love tourists and cater to them during Christmas.
Christmas in Bethlehem
Though we caroled over the hills of Bethlehem it was advised to wait until another day to make it to Bethlehem City Center. We enjoyed the massive amount of people there on Christmas day and amidst the throng of foreigners were scores of vendors hawking their wares. We enjoyed a good batch of cotton candy.
Both of our families growing up had manger scenes so this year we thought it would be special to purchase one from Bethlehem.
One thing for sure is that we do end up doing a lot of walking here in Jerusalem. Paul has found a way to rest in any situation. Here David is attempting to have lunch while holding sleeping Paul.
King Herod’s Palace
Another site we would not have thought of visiting initially on Christmas day was the Herodian. However, this has huge significance with Christmas due to his desire to search of the King and destroy Him in infancy.
Inside the Palace remain the inner halls and chambers.
Mom and Dad Waller have been real troopers climbing, walking, driving, etc.
David’s sisters with Priscilla on top of the Herodian with Bethlehem directly behind.
The Garden Tomb
Within close proximity to the Garden Tomb is the place of the scull or in Hebrew, Golgotha. It literally looks like a skull, but was historically also a place of public executions.
The best part about it was that there were no remains of a deceased person, for He has risen indeed.
Outside the tomb was a remarkable thing of note. Listen to Priscilla as she gives some explanation.
We had an excellent tour guide who gave a very clear Gospel message. This site is one of the very few historic sites that is owned by born-again believers. What an encouragement to hear that scores of people have made professions of faith after seeing the presentation of the empty tomb!
One of the best parts of Christianity is that Jesus did not stay dead. He rose again. However, it is the promise of His soon return that is a “purifying hope.” Early one morning we decided to go out to the Eastern Gate. Listen as Priscilla explains several aspects of this gate.
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