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Israel Passover Tour

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Israel Passover Tour

It was truly a blessing to see this place a second time and to be able to share it with others, some of whom were seeing it for the first time. My wife, Lena, and I were joined by nine others from the United States to travel to as many places in Israel as we could in a short amount of time, on as small a budget, and within reason of comfort and cleanliness. The trip was officially sponsored by the United Youth Corps, but each participant was expected to completely cover their own expenses. We had the pleasure of being accompanied by two young couples from the Church presently living and working in Israel. They were an immense help in coordinating meals, planning and giving tours, and securing clean and inexpensive hostels to stay in.

We spent the Passover, the Night to Be Much Observed, and the First and Last Days of Unleavened Bread together. As we sat in our upper room, not in Jerusalem but not far from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv, it was a somber oasis from the reality of the chaos of the city outside. Even in the land where Jesus walked, where He preached, and where He healed many, there are few who heed His words. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
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As well as spending God’s appointed Holy Days in the land where He placed His name, we also saw the land itself. There are many stories to be told about every place we visited in Israel. Not only stories from the Word of God and the journeys of His chosen people, but also of many people who have walked this land throughout history, both ancient and modern. From the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Peter walked on water, to the ancient and modern parts of Jerusalem where Christ was crucified, and even as far down as the deserts beyond the Dead Sea stretching to the southernmost tip of the country, Israel is a sight to behold.

Certain parts, like the Jezreel Valley, are green and fruitful, a reminder of God’s promise of a land that “truly flows with milk and honey” and of the armies that will fill the very same valley in the end times (Numbers 13:27 Numbers 13:27And they told him, and said, We came to the land where you sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
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; Revelation 19:19 Revelation 19:19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
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, 16:16). There are cities by the shores of the Mediterranean like Caesarea where nations captured other nations and built their cities there. In contrast to all other places is the old city of Jerusalem where all the nations of the earth will one day come “to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16 Zechariah 14:16And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
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). The Mount of Olives, covered by thousands of graves, stands across the Kidron Valley to the east waiting to be split in two by the return of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 14:4 Zechariah 14:4And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
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Peter, the apostle wrote, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21 1 Peter 2:21For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:
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). We did follow Christ’s steps on this trip, walking where He walked and learning where He taught. Our Heavenly Father kept us safe even during this difficult time when the nation of Israel is constantly under threat from its neighbors. But like King David, our God is our “stronghold” and “refuge” and we can “call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised” and He will keep us safe from our enemies no matter where we are (2 Samuel 22:3-4 2 Samuel 22:3-4 [3] The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. [4] I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.
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Read Lewis VanAusdle’s blogs about Israel here: www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/lewvan/1/tpod.html