Well this is the last day – we do our things today then go find an airplane and head home.
The first place we visited today was the National Israeli Museum. Not much time here but the main thing to see was a VERY LARGE model of the city of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple period. It is a 1-50 scale model of the city and is 21,520 sq. ft.! It was built in another location and then moved to the present location at the Museum. Another very interesting part of the exhibitions is the Shrine of the Book which is where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed as well as the Aleppo Codex which is the oldest bible codex in Hebrew. There is also a display of the Nano Bible which is one of four locations that display the entire Bible on an area the size of which is 5mm by 5mm. As we were time constrained we did a quick walk through the remainder of the museum. Really need a couple of days to leisurely go through the Museum.
From there we went to the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu (House of Caiaphas) on Mt Zion which is where, possibly, Christ was imprisoned in a cell the night before he was crucified. This is the place where Peter denied Christ before the cock crowed three times. If this is the place certainly the present church is not the original as it has gone through many ‘tearing downs and rebuildings’. Joe read some scripture from the cellblock. Whether Christ was actually imprisoned here on at a nearby location, the stepped street which has been excavated would certainly have been the steps Christ walked on when he was brought to the high priest’s house.
After this, we went to get lunch and finally went to the Site of the Garden Tomb.
This one of the sites that is believed to be the site of Christ’s burial and resurrection. The other site is The Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There is still quite a bit of debate as to the actual location of Christ’s burial and the resurrection. While there we had a communion service led by Bishop Graves and all of our travelers attended. Golgotha is also a part of this area. A major disappointment, to me, was that as we were sitting on some bleachers having the site explained to us, Golgotha was to our left but right in front of us was a big parking lot full of tour buses coming and going – rather distracting. The tomb itself is carved out of a hillside in the garden.
From here we boarded the bus to return to the hotel and get ready to head home. We got back about 5:00 PM and had time to rearrange our luggage, put it on the bus, had supper and boarded the bus to go to the airport in Tel Aviv. Getting through customs and to the gate was no issue whatsoever, about like in the States. Our whole group went through at once so it was slowed down by this but otherwise went very smoothly. Boarded the plane and headed home. Smooth flight from Tel Aviv to New York (JFK) to Atlanta then to Pensacola. And home.