A trip to Israel and the Holy Land is on nearly every Christian’s bucket list. We want to walk where Jesus walked, stand on the Mount of Olives, and see the crumbled walls of Jericho. Faith is believing in what you can’t see, but there is something to be said for physically seeing what you profess to believe. Here’s how a trip to Israel and the Holy Land will elevate your faith.
The Bible Will Become More Real
Jonah and the Whale. David and Goliath. Mary and Joseph being turned away at every inn in Bethlehem. Whether you learned about these events in vacation Bible school or read about them for the first time as an adult, it’s wild to think that those are real places, those events really happened, and that those are places you can actually visit. It’s one thing to read about these places, or even look at them on a map, but it’s a totally different experience to be there, stand where the people in the Bible stood, and see what they saw.
One of the best things you can do as a Christian visitor to the Holy Land is to bring your Bible with you while touring, or download your preferred version on a Bible app. When you come to a place mentioned in the Bible, stop and find that passage, then read it in that place, either out loud or to yourself. The verses you’re reading will become more than just a Bible “story” to you because you’re there, experiencing the place for yourself.
You Will Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Own Faith
Israel and the Palestinian Territories are home to some of the most hotly contested land in the entire world. Jews, Muslims, and Christians all consider this land holy and of utmost importance to their respective faiths. You will inevitably learn something new about a different faith, which will likely give you a sense of empathy you didn’t know you needed.
It may seem counter-intuitive living in today’s world culture, but that’s the essence of Jesus’ teaching. Being exposed to and learning about a different faith can give you a deeper understanding of your own faith, maybe because learning about a different faith will prompt you to put into words why you believe the way you do.
The Spiritual Experience You Have Will be Uniquely Yours
The experience you have in Israel and the Holy Land will change the way you live your faith for the rest of your life. Being in the Garden of Gethsemane and reflecting on Jesus’ prayers there may change the way you pray in your own life. Touching the water in the river where Jesus was baptized may give you the confidence to confirm your own commitment to your faith. Reading or listening to the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus spoke it himself may change the way you see yourself or the way you feel toward others.
However God intends to use this trip for you, it will be for your good, your benefit, and your spiritual life. You may feel that as soon as you step off the plane, or you might not have your own spiritual experience until you’re back home and able to let it all sink in. Your trip to Israel and the Holy Land will be what God needs it to be for you and your faith.