My wife and I are heading off to Israel soon with several other believers. If you’ve never been there, I would suggest that you make it part of your plans for the future. I love to go to the places that I’ve read about in the Bible and see them for myself. Doing so adds a context to your Bible study that didn’t exist before.
When you go, you are no longer trying to picture scenes and places in your mind – you have seen them. And seeing them adds a reality to what you already believe. Being there makes the things that we seem to overlook in the Bible very important.
“And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.” Mark 16:5
This is Mark’s account of the visit to the tomb early on Resurrection morning by Mary Magdalene, Mary, mother of James, and Salome. Finding the stone rolled away from the tomb entrance, they walked in and saw what you just read. But, if you visit the Garden Tomb in Israel, you will find that words in this passage that you may have overlooked before have great significance:
sitting on the right side
The place where Jesus’ body would have lain was on the right side of the entrance!
Another scripture that will take on new meaning also applies to the tomb revered as Jesus’ burial place.
“Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.” John 20:3-5
Notice the words: stooping down.
While you are at the Garden Tomb, you will notice that you will have to stoop down to enter or look inside.
One of my favorites is found in Jesus’ visit to Caesarea Philippi. I’ve blogged about it before. I won’t share it here because I don’t want to spoil it for you but it adds a whole new meaning to the question Jesus asked His disciples there:
“Who do you say that I am?”
Wow! What you will learn when you get to the spot where this question was asked is amazing!!!
There are so many other examples I could give you: Mount Carmel – the spot Elijah called down fire on the prophets of Baal, Caesarea by the sea – the spot where Peter preached to the Gentiles and Paul was imprisoned for his faith, and another one of my favorites: the spot on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus called to His disciples after He was raised from the dead – the place of Peter’s restoration.
Too many to name but they all have tremendous importance! I haven’t even discussed what you will learn about modern day Israel and her relations with the neighboring nations. So much of what we hear on our news in the U.S. is tainted by politics and is not accurate. You will see the truth when you visit!
Make it your aim to visit the land of the fathers of the faith – your fathers – those who were used by God to teach the message that has saved your own soul! You will never look at the Bible the same again!!!