Tag Archive | gospel

Day 4: Bible Lands Exploration 2016

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I know. This post may seem outdated but I still want to complete my post on my once-in-a-lifetime-trip to the Holy Land. I want to keep my word and continue sharing with you our memorable trip in the land of the heroes of faith. I so appreciate your patience in waiting for this to finally go live.

On Day 4 of our Bible Lands exploration, a cloudy and yet cozy morning greeted us. All of us were excited to see that our itinerary included Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, Jesus’ Boat Museum, a boat ride in the Sea of Galilee and a quick stop at a farmer’s market.

Oh yes, we had St. Peter’s fish for lunch that day. It was a bit funny for some of us. I personally thought St. Peter’s Fish is something I haven’t tried out before. To my surprise, it was a Tilapia–a kind of fish I usually had back in the Philippines. (lol!) 🙂

First Stop: Chorazin

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A city cursed by Jesus–that’s what Chorazin is known for. It was cursed because people there did not accept Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 11:20-24, Luke 10:13-14).

The very first thing Bro. Yoni, our tour guide, showed us in Korazim National Park was a tree with thorns (i.e. Zizyphus spina-Christi)–the type of tree from which the crown Jesus wore on the cross was made.

Dr. Berrey took his turn to orient us about a few things in the said park. He showed us an ancient synagogue allowing us to imagine what it was like to be sitting and listening to Jesus’ sermon. We also found the replica of the Seat of Moses from which Torah used to be read.

Significant ruins shown to us by Bro. Yoni in the park included houses made with black basalt stones, carved pillars, ritual baths (mikveh) and olive oil press among others.

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Chorazin

 

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Just sharing a beautiful shot by a kind brother in Christ. I was trying to jot down notes so I can remember a few of the many pieces of information from our trip, which I hope to relay to you. 🙂

Bonus Stop

Bro. Yoni Simmons graciously showed us a sycamore tree before we headed to Bethsaida. We all had fun there as Pastor Matthew Yong tried to portray Zacchaeus. Pastor Gilbert Castillo was asked by Dr. Berrey to read a passage that mentions a sycamore tree.

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Pastor Matthew Yong on his way to the top. (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

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Photo credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong

Next Stop: Bethsaida

Along with Chorazin, Bethsaida was cursed by Christ for the same reason–the people there failed to repent after hearing His preaching.

Bethsaida is in the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was rocky and has beds of wild flowers.

Some claim that the god Moloch was discovered there.

Different areas of the park are labeled using big slabs of stones. Below are a few of them.

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Next Stop: Boat Museum

Our next stop was in a stellar boat museum where the “boat of Jesus” is preserved. Thanks again to Bro. Kenneth Cheong for allowing me to borrow his photos to show you how Jesus’ boat looked like. We were shown a video clip on how this boat was preserved.

Also, we took a few minutes to see a couple of model boats, fossils and remains related to fishing during the time of Jesus.

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Jesus’ Boat

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A few notes: We met a Filipina who has been living in Israel and of course, as a typical Filipino would do after finding a “kababayan” in another country, we took a photo with her. The rest of the photos are some of the displays in the museum. The one on the lower left has a label that says: “‘Judea Capta’ Coin (Enlarged Replica) Minted by the Romans to celebrate their victory over the Jews in a maritime battle, possibly in memory of the battle of Migdal. The coin shows Titus in a triumph pose, his foot resting on the prow of a ship. “

Next Stop: Boat Ride in the Sea of Galilee

Memories of joy flow in my mind as I remember sailing through a calm Sea of Galilee on that windy day. It’s been their custom there to make pilgrims sing their respective national anthem as flags of represented countries were raised and so we did. We also sang hymns and just observed the places around this significant sea.

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Photo credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong

Next Stop: Capernaum

Capernaum is just another city in Galilee where Jesus used to preach (Matt. 4:13; Luke 4:31; Mark 1:21, etc.) It is also known as His hometown. Sadly though, it was cursed by Jesus since the people there, just like those in Bethsaida and Chorazin, did not heed to his message (Matthew 11:23-24).

There, we were shown ruins of an ancient synagogue made of limestone. Just like in Chorazin, we saw an olive oil press, carved pillars and ritual baths (mikveh).

St. Peter’s synagogue is also situated there which is believed to have been the place where a paralytic man was lowered in Mark 2:1-12.

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Last Stop: Farmer’s Market

I don’t have any photo of the place but it was where pilgrims get some souvenirs for their loved ones. I remember getting a $7-worth of a piece of chocolate bar for Joanna. Yes, things in Israel are bit pricey. Souvenirs you can find there were dried apricots, figs and other fruits, tea, candies and others.

Reflection:

Remembering the places we have visited always humbles my heart. These places are evidences that my Jesus is real. My faith is not in vain.

Have you believed Jesus to be your own Savior and Lord? Have you heard the gospel preached? Have you accepted it?

I am ending this post with these verses.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-19

If you are a believer of Jesus like me, let us remember to thank Him for the eternal life we have through Him. If you haven’t believed on Jesus as your Savior and Lord, may this be the day of your salvation and start journey with God.

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In Case You Have Forgotten

Isaiah 53:8-12| One of the most moving passages I have ever read in my life.

Growing up as a young kid, I was always wondering what could happen to me since I  sin everyday. How can I be forgiven when I disobey my parents, when I get angry, when I lie to my friends or talk about them behind their back, when I keep a grudge against someone…when I sin.

What should I do for God to forgive me? Do good works? Join a church? Reach out to the helpless? I am thankful that God made my paths cross with people who were willing to share with me the Gospel, that is the good news that Jesus died to pay for our sins.

1 Corinthians 15:1-3 “15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”

Learning this crucial fact and involving myself into an in-depth study of God, I have loved the best and incomprehensible narration of love in history! Jesus loves sinners like me that’s why He died on a tree. I am sharing one of my favorite songs so we can be reminded that we should keep on sharing this story, to our neighbors, to our family members, to our enemies, to everyone…. Here are the lyrics of this song…

“Why leave a heav’nly mansion? Why choose a simple stall?
Why wander poor and homeless, The King and Lord of all?
Why heal a lonely beggar? Why cause the blind to see?
The Light of all creation, Shining there for me?

Chorus:It was for me He cried, for me He died,
for me He shed His blood upon a tree.
It was for me He came, for me His shame;
For me, oh praise His name, it was for me.

Why stay in Olive’s garden? Why spend the night in prayer?
Why suffer such betrayal, n anguish kneeling there?
Why leave His mother crying? Why set Barabbas free?
The spotless Lamb of heaven Given there for me.

Why climb that dreadful mountain? Why suffer agony?
Why give His blood a fountain, Spilled and broken, flowing free?
When He walked the road to Calv’ry, Gave His life so willingly,
Broken there, the Rose of Sharon died for me

(Chorus)

The King who came from heaven, To the cry, “There is no room,”
Now must lay His weary body In a cold and borrowed tomb.
But the grave, it would not hold Him; Death lost its victory.
The risen Lord of glory is living now for me.

It was for me He cried, for me He died,
for me He shed His blood upon a tree. It was for me He came,
for me His shame;
For me, oh praise His name, it was for me. – Dave Bolling

Would you care to listen to these beautiful words entwined with heavenly music?

May we always remember this eternal truth. Jesus loves us soooooo much that He died on the cross to pay for our sins. All we have to do is accept this gift of eternal life. “For the wages [penalty] of sin is death [in hell] but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Let’s ask God to kindle the fire in our hearts towards revival. Let’s ask Him to revive our passion for the lost soul who badly need this story of love and hope. There is forgiveness of sin in Jesus alone! I am writing this just in case you have forgotten.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6.”