Trip to Israel – 2023
Led by Pastor Chris Alexander
Dates: May 31 to June 8, 2023
Pastor Chris AlexanderYael Group
Have you ever read the Bible, listened to a sermon, or studied the Bible maps (like me) and thought, “I wonder what that would have looked like to be there?” I want to take you on a trip of a lifetime to witness and experience the Holy Land first hand.
As someone who recently went on my first trip to Israel, I can attest that it truly is a phenomenal trip. Each time I now read my Bible, the pages come to life and the characters seem to jump right off the page.
Each day on my trip I would think to myself at a destination, “This why I came here.” And each day seemed to be better than the day before. It is amazing how that happened.
Go-Yael has put together an incredible itinerary for our group to experience. You will find the daily schedule on this link, along with other pertinent information. You will need to officially register on this link and provide them with the other requested information.
We have the privilege to go to Israel for a trip of a lifetime! I count it a great joy to be serving as your host for this trip. I will schedule meetings to give you additional information and you will hear from me periodically with updates and making sure you stay on track. I cannot wait to go. How about you?
Dr. Chris Alexander
Chestnut Grove Baptist Church
|Delta Flight #||Depart||Arrive|
|DL 248||ATL on May 31 at 2:25 PM||TLV on June 1 at 9:15 AM|
|DL 249||TLV on June 8 at 11:30 AM||ATL on June 8 at 5:50 PM|
|Golden Crown||Nazareth||June 1 – 2, 2023 (1 night)|
|Lake House||Sea of Galilee||June 2 – 4, 2023 (2 nights)|
|Leonardo||Jerusalem||June 4 – 8, 2023 (4 nights)|
Day 1 – May 31, Wed – DEPART FROM US
Depart from the US to Tel Aviv. Dinner and breakfast will be served during the flight.
Day 2 – June 1, Thu – ARRIVE IN ISRAEL, JAFFA, CAESAREA, NAZARETH
Our representatives will meet you and walk you through customs. We’ll board our bus, then tour the charming alleys of the city of Jaffa and visit the square where the Church of Saint Peter resides. We will enjoy watching the sun set on the old city of Jaffa.
Caesarea to visit the Crusader Fortress built upon the ancient city of Caesarea, named after Augustus Caesar, who imposed the tax that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Here we will visit an ancient Roman Amphitheatre, where the group can experience the acoustics of a structure built in the days of Christ.
Proceed to our hotel in Nazareth for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – June 2nd Fri – MT PRECIPICE, NAZARETH VILLAGE, GIDEON’S SPRING, BETH SHE-AN, BAPTISM IN JORDAN RIVER
After breakfast, today we will proceed to Mount Precipice (Luke 4:29-30), where will stand on the mountain from which the crowd tried to throw Jesus after He told them He was the Messiah they had been waiting for. They couldn’t believe he was making such a bold statement, but Jesus was able to walk right back through the crowd unharmed. Then onto Nazareth Village where we will have the opportunity to go back in time to the everyday life of the first century. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth. Then on to Gideon’s Spring, where the Judge Gideon selected 300 warriors to go into the battle with him against the Midianites (Judge 7). Proceed to Beth She-an, upon whose walls the Philistines nailed the head of King Saul after his defeat on Mount Gilboa. As we visit the city’s remains, we’ll not only learn about the dramatic end of the last war between King Saul and the Philistines, but also how the residents of Jabesh bravely removed the corpses of the King and his son from the wall of the city in order to burn them (1 Samuel 31).
To end our day, we will be baptized in the Jordan River, truly an unforgettable experience.
Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Day 4 – June 3rd Sat – SEA OF GALILEE, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, MAGDALA
On this day, we will sail on the Sea of Galilee, and visit the museum of the ancient boat at Kibbutz Ginosar. Then onto visit Capernaum, the town of Jesus, visit the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha (where the Lord performed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes). Visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus taught “The Sermon on the Mount”. We’ll continue to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed Christ: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16). Proceed to Magdala, with its first century synagogue, a complete first century city and remains of a once prosperous fish processing industry.
Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Day 5 – June 4th Sun MT. CARMEL, SHILOH, JERUSALEM
After breakfast we will depart the Galilee. We’ll visit one of the most amazing water systems found in the archeological site of Tel Megiddo. From here we’ll observe the Valley of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14-16). We’ll visit Mount Carmel where the biblical story of the confrontation between Prophet Elijah and the Ba’al prophets took place, and overlook the Jezreel Valley.
Drive to the ancient city of Shiloh, an ancient city in Samaria mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. A tell or archaeological mound, called in Modern Hebrew Tel Shiloh. It is located in the West Bank, to the west of the modern Israeli settlement town of Shilo and to the north of the Palestinian town of Turmus Ayya. Relative to other archeological sites, it is south of ancient Lebonah and 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of Beth El.
Shiloh was the major Israelite worship center before the first Temple was built in Jerusalem. It was established by Joshua, son of Nun, approximately 3,500 years ago, as the spiritual capital of Israel. The Tabernacle was placed there, and Jews from all over the land came to worship at the location (Joshua 18:1). The Tabernacle stood in Shiloh for over 350 years according to Jewish tradition, and its remains can still be seen today.
We’ll drive to dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 6 – June 5th Mon JERUSALEM, BETHLEHEM
Our morning starts on the Mount of Olives with breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem. The day continues with visits to the sites that will helps us of understand the Lord’s prophecy about Jerusalem: The Chapel of Ascension than onto The Chapel of Dominius Flevit, where Christ Prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 18:41), The Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-53) and The Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations), the site where it is said that Judas betrayed Jesus.
We will proceed to visit the sites on Mt. Zion: the Gallicantu Church which was built over the ruins of the Palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest before whom Jesus was brought for trial (Mark 14: 53-65). We’ll visit the Tomb of King David and enter into the Upper Room – the site that commemorates Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
Afterwards, we will proceed to Bethlehem to see Shepherds’ Fields, and we will end our day by visiting the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the birth place of Christ.
Dinner & overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 7 – June 6th Tue JERUSALEM – OLD CITY & GARDEN TOMB
Our day will begin with an exciting tour to the site where much of the Bible was written, the City of David. Here Archeologists found King Hezekiah’s 2,700 year-old water tunnel, one of the wonders of early engineering, and the seal impression of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, possibly the scribe of King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 36:10). Continue to the Pool of Siloam where Christ healed the blind man by sending him to wash his eyes (John 9). In the Jewish Quarter, we’ll explore the Roman Cardo, the Madaba Map, the Western Wall and the Southern Steps. On the Temple Mount we’ll hear about the traders driven out of the Temple by Jesus (Luke 19:45-48), explore the Dome of the Rock and other famous buildings.
Continue to the Pool of Bethesda where Christ healed the paralyzed man (John 5). Our journey through the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) stations will end by visiting the Church of Holy Sepulchre. We’ll walk through the old city market through the Damascus gate. Afterwards, we will have communion in the Garden Tomb. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 8 – June 7th Wed LAZARUS TOMB, MASADA, QUMRAN, DEAD SEA, FAREWELL CEREMONY
After learning the amazing story of Lazarus, whom the Lord raised from the dead, we’ll continue to the Judean Desert. Our first stop today will be next one of the St. George Monastery crosses, which offers an amazing view of the monastery. This stop is important for understanding the water system used in the Judean Desert and monasteries. We’ll continue to Masada to learn about the dramatic story of almost one thousand men, women and children who chose suicide rather than becoming Roman slaves. We’ll visit the archeological finds and enjoy the palaces, bathhouses, walls and the remarkable view of the Dead Sea.
We’ll drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to Qumran to hear the amazing story of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery. We will try to answer questions such as: Who wrote the scrolls? Who were the Essenes? How did they live and why there?
We’ll proceed to swim and float in the Dead Sea, where we will enjoy the sun and the famous mud.
At the hotel, we will have our farewell ceremony, followed by dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 – June 8, Thu RETURN FLIGHT BACK TO THE US
We will have an early breakfast, and then drive to the airport for our morning flight back to the U.S.
We return home full of rich and unforgettable memories. A common refrain is heard — is the trip really over? Can we start planning for our return visit?