In my many years as a journalist, I have been able to visit the Holy Land on at least ten occasions, and each time the Bible has come alive for me as I have visited the many Biblical sites both in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.
The highlight for me is always being in Jerusalem, one of the world’s most exciting and historic cities, especially visiting the Old City which bustles with life and history as the world’s main religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, live side-by-side in this lively and fascinating area. There are so many wonderful places to visit, especially for evangelical Christians, such as the Garden Tomb in East Jerusalem, and, of course, The Mount of Olives.
Some years back, I took my wife Norma to the Holy Land for her first visit and there we experienced something that still makes us laugh today. We had walked down from the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane only to be confronted with a sign which read, “The Garden of Gethsemane is closed for lunch.” My wife observed, “It’s a good job that this sign wasn’t here when Jesus came to pray.”
After crossing into Bethlehem in the West Bank, most visitors go to see the Church of the Nativity, which is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world.
But each time, besides visiting the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ, I also go to the Bethlehem Bible College which is run by Dr. Bishara Awad and is always worth a short stopover to meet with the delightful Bishara and also to see the many Palestinian students who are studying for the ministry in the Palestinian areas.
Jordan, too, is a favorite places for me to visit, with its many Biblical sites, including Mount Nebo, where Moses looked into the Promised Land ,and the recently-opened Baptism Site at Bethany-Beyond-Jordan. Petra is breathtaking and an overnight stay in Wadi Rum is quite incredible as you stay in a tent and go outside to watch the stars light up the nighttime sky.
So to sum up, I believe all Christians should visit the Holy Land at least once in their lifetime – and many times if possible – as it is a life-changing experience to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to learn more about the Jewish and Islamic faiths.
You will never be the same once you have been to this wonderful diverse and historic part of the world. As I write this, I am preparing for yet another trip to the Holy Land in a few days time, and I can’t wait to get there and again relive the Bible in this extroardinary part of the world where it began for Christians.
Note: One the best way to books your trip is through a wonderful group called www.travelujah.com, an Israel-based Christian social network focused on fostering a deeper connection with faith through Holy Land tours. You can plan, learn and share your holy land experience on Travelujah using our in-depth locational content, user and expert blogs that can take you off the beaten track, and individual or group tour booking services.