We visited the fairly recent excavations of the village of Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene. This was an indescribable place! This amazing city that Jesus visited often and the synagogue Jesus taught in! It has only been uncovered recently but is absolutely magnificent to see and walk in this place. It was emotional to be here! Jesus, my Jesus, was here! He walked in this exact place, he lived a part his human life here in this exact place. It’s mind boggling! This isn’t a replica or a model, this is actually it! I can’t fully explain what it was like.
Next stop was an Ancient boat that was dated back more than 2000 year. We can’t know whose boat it was, but it would be very similar to a boat Jesus and the disciples fished from. An amazing discovery and shows what the boats would have looked like and were made of.
Then we visited Beit Shean, the site of Saul and his sons’ defeat by the Philistines (1 Sam. 31) and a well-preserved Roman Decapolis city. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 AD. This site too was pretty amazing! It is referred to as the Disneyland of archeology because of what was uncovered here. The amount of dirt that was excavated to uncover this city is unimaginable. It is only 10% of the city, but is a very large area and uncovered as recently as the 1980’s.
We stopped at the Jordan River baptism site. I filled up a bottle of water from the Jordan to use for my grandkids baptisms (hopefully some day!) Afterwards, we went to the Mount of Temptation in Jericho where Jesus was tempted by satan. As we made our way to Jerusalem we stopped along the Wadi Kelt and viewed an old Roman road that would have been traveled when going back and forth from Jericho and Jerusalem. This was probably what is being refered to in Psalm 23 when it says “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” Some of this is hard to explain without showing pictures. Seeing the land definitely makes scripture more understandable and real. It is just an amazing experience to be here and take it all in. I wish I had more time to write so I could throughly describe what we are seeing.
We checked into our hotel in Jerusalem, had dinner and I headed to bed!