Last week I had the chance to go with the team to Israel. My expectations for the trip were really high, and they were all exceeded. I have been fortunate to be able to travel to many places so far in my life, but none of them was as life changing as Israel. Being in Israel brought the Bible to life to me in a whole new way. Being able to walk in the same places I have read about for all these years gave a new depth to the Bible.
One of the places I really enjoyed going to was Mt. Precipice. It is on this mountain that the people of Nazareth tried to kill Jesus by pushing Him off the cliff (see Luke 4). That was basically the start of Jesus’s ministry. He had just told the people of Nazareth that He was the son of God. They respond by trying to kill Him. I guess you could say Jesus got off to a rocky start. But while I was standing on top of Mt. Precipice looking down the rocky cliffs, I began to picture this story. The top of the mountain was not very big, it wasn’t like Jesus would have somewhere to hide. And if a crowd of people where chasing Him up there, there wouldn’t be a lot of room for Him to get away. If I was in Jesus’s place, I would have been worried, scared, and maybe tried to talk myself out of it. Those cliffs were steep and rocky. I’d say there would be almost a zero chance of survival if you were thrown off the cliff. Yet Jesus remained calm and passed right through the crowd and went on His way. Standing on top of the mountain and thinking of all this gave me a new appreciation for this story.
Not only that, but while we were standing on top of Mt. Precipice we had a great view of some other important sites from the Bible. Our guide was able to show us the mountain that Jesus was transfigured on, the valley that the battle of Armageddon will take place, the mountain that Elijah battled the prophets of Baal on, and we had a great overlook of the town of Nazareth. It was incredible to experience the sites of Israel firsthand. Basically everywhere we went had a story to go with it. I didn’t sleep much in the van because I didn’t want to miss anything. One day as we were driving, our guide pointed out the window and casually said, “On the top of that cliff right there is Sodom.” We laughed because he was so causal about it, but we were all fascinated.
The Bible is already an incredible book, but being in Israel gave me a new appreciation for all the things God has done. I didn’t really have any doubt before, but Israel gave me the reassurance that the Bible is real, Jesus is real, and He came here to save me.