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The Central Bureau of Statistics in Jerusalem reports that there were 4.5 million tourists who traveled to Israel in 2019. Given that the total population of Israel is 9 million and the geographical size of Israel is equivalent to the state of New Jersey, what an amazing number of visitors!
Most visitors who travel to Israel do not consider themselves to be tourists. More than just a vacation, millions of people travel to Israel each year as part of a spiritual pilgrimage.
They make a spiritual pilgrimage to visit Israel to visit the place where it is located The Bible declares that God became human in Bethlehem. You can stand near the place where the creator of the universe was born as a tender and fragile child.
They make a spiritual pilgrimage to Israel Let’s also visit where Emmanuel “God is with us” died in Jerusalem. Our powerful Creator showed His love for us when He bled and died for our sins on a Roman cross.
Last year I had the honor of traveling to the Holy Land with my good friend Pete Hegseth, co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend.” The purpose of this trip was to shoot a movie Documentary about the life of Jesus One of the places where Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead.
As hundreds of millions of Christians begin to reflect on the Passion of Christ during Holy Week, here are some powerful ways in which the Holy Land affirms the infallible witness of the Bible:
1. Christ’s triumphant entry
In the documentary we follow the same steps that Jesus walked when the crowd shouted “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday. The southern steps, for example, leading to the temple, have been remarkably preserved to this day. As Reuven Duran, Director of Sar El Academy explains in the documentary, “If we had the technology to scrape off the DNA content in these steps, you would find the DNA of the Son of God!”
2. The Garden of Gethsemane
On the slope of the Mount of Olives, you can still visit the spot where Jesus cried out to his “Father” the night before his crucifixion. Today, there are olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane that are nearly 1,000 years old.
Even older than some of the oldest trees in the world, Jesus could see from Gethsemane the place the Roman guards were nailing on a tree. The Bible says, “Christ delivered us from the curse of the law because it became a curse for us – for it is written ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’ (Galatians 3:13 ESV). Jesus knew in Heaven. of Gethsemane that the curse declared in the Garden of Eden could only be broken on the cross.
3. The Via Dolorosa
In the Old City of Jerusalem today you can walk the Via Dolorosa, which means “sad path”. You can trace the steps in which Jesus was flogged beyond human appearance (see Isaiah 52-53). You can walk the same path where Jesus carried the cross to Golgotha (“the place of the skull”). From grief to Calvary, from condemnation to crucifixion, the Via Dolorosa is the painful, lonely, and humiliating path that the Son of God walked to save us from our sins. This, my friends, is God’s love for you.
4. Garden Grave
Outside the city’s northern gate lies a place that many historians believe could have been the actual site of both Jesus’ crucifixions And resurrection. Next to a hill resembling a skull, there is a garden tomb that could be what the Gospel of John described 2,000 years ago: “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet laid” (John 19:41 ESV). Calvary and the garden tomb confirm in amazing detail the historical accuracy of the Bible.
In the end, a visit to the Holy Land leads us deeper into the Bible. There we learn how our holy God saves wicked sinners through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor Steve Lawson once said, “The stone was rolled away from the tomb, not to take out Jesus, but to let in the world.”
They make a spiritual pilgrimage to Israel to visit the place where Emmanuel “God is with us” died for us in Jerusalem. Our powerful Creator showed His love for us when He bled and died for our sins on a Roman cross.
Even if you are not able to physically advance to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, you can make this spiritual pilgrimage in your heart. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 ESV).
Visiting the Holy Land is a wonderful experience, but even greater is the ultimate Promised Land where Jesus will wipe away every tear and make all things new! (Revelation 1:21-5)