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  • Baptist Beacon

Recollections from a trip to the Holy Land

by Stan Parker

LANSING, MI – We were part of a team that had a blessed Holy Land experience in September. The adventure was a day of contrasts including visits to both sites where Jesus reportedly was born and where he reportedly died, as well as other historical and biblical places.

The Garden Tomb is the site of the" place of the skull" where Jesus was crucified. Though the site has changed hands over the centuries, the evidence has not been altered. The site is very consistent with the words of St. Matthew chapters 26 and 27. Many of the team spent time in prayer while also visiting the Garden of Gethsemane. The Garden is so beautiful and serene.

After leaving the Garden, the team traveled to the Church of the Nativity. In studying the Bible, we learn that Jesus was born in a manger. Many years ago, the Catholic Church converted the site and built a church at the very spot of Jesus's birth. It includes the cave revered as Jesus's birthplace, and it is believed to be the oldest functioning church in the world.

The trip included the Herodion, the fortified palace, and final resting place of Herod the Great. The Herodion is one of several palaces built by Herod the Great. History states he needed many places to live because he always feared for his life. Having various palaces made it almost impossible to know where he was at a given time. All of these palaces showed just how great a builder he was.

One of the most humble places visited was the Shepherds' Field in Bethlehem. In Jesus's day, shepherds were considered one of the lowest forms of work. Shepherds were not esteemed by the general public. However, scripture shows that in spite of how mankind may have viewed shepherds, their view did not stop God from showing how valuable Shepherds were to him, and the major role they played in God's plan for Salvation.



Dr. Stan Parker serves as senior pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. He is on mission during his spare time, traveling domestically and internationally. He is the author of several publications, and serves as a regional director for the National African American Fellowship within the Southern Baptist Convention.


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