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Holy Land Final day and Home

The Garden Tomb competes with the site inside Jerusalem adjacent to and within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  It is about equidistant from the Antonio Fortress where Jesus was dismissed, scourged and given his cross to carry.  We were greeted by a retired American Pastor who volunteers with his wife and others to docent.  He was articulate and a good guide.  He did offer a credible argument for why the Garden Tomb is a better fit to evidence from scripture to be the site of the Cruxifixction than the traditionally accepted location.  I won’t detail the postulates because .. well to quote and old saying: what difference at this point does it make…?  As the Pastor said in his closing remarks: We need to be careful not to get so caught up in the archeology that we worship the site and not sacrifice He made.  

So we saw and we sang and heard devotionals.  Then we took a very moving Communion.  It was among the top three moments of the trip.

Off to Emmaus,  marked by a church built over a spring.  The water supply sat on the road between Jerusalem and Jaffa.  This was the site where Jesus appeared to two of his disciples who then retired to the others in Jerusalem to tell them of the resurrection.  Again this a traditional site. Maybe it was there or perhaps somewhere else.  WDDIM… 

We killed the afternoon in the hotel and transited to the airport in time make our 23:15 flight.  Israeli security is legendary if course.  We were advised that we would be interviewed and it would be wise to simply answer their questions briefly and with out elaboration.  Those of you who know Mei Mei can imagine my deep concern. She does have a tendency towards elaboration.  Many strangers roam the world cursed with carrying many more details of our dogs, family history, opinions on teachers unions and marriage than they ever wanted.  I am pleased to say, she behaved perfectly with the Israelis. TSA is another matter but suffice it to say we made it home without incarceration.

The flights were on time and the extra money we paid for Business class paid off in several hours of comfortable sleep.

880 pictures to process. By the time I toss the out of focus; the shots of my feet or my hand; the incidents of taking 17 shots of exactly the same thing because it just seemed like a good idea at the time and the ones taken directly into the sun or in the total darkness, again a good idea at the time, i’ll be down to just a couple from each site.  I’ll keep them all of course because, well, that’s what I do.

God bless Bonnie and Joe who transported us to and from the airport and cared for the boys through flu and incidents of dehydration and probably other things we’ll never know.  Friends indeed.


aa© Robert Graham 2012