Pilgrimage To Israel
1997 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
April 25 - May 15, 1997
Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land explored the life and teachings of Christ Jesus through the experience of walking upon the earth where the events of His life took place 2000 years ago, in communion with the coming of the Etheric Christ in our time. The basis for our pilgrimage to the Holy Land was provided by the descriptions of the life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich, worked out and brought into time and space in Chronicle of the Living Christ. Thus, in addition to the designated tourist sites, we were able to visit the actual locations of many of the signs and healing miracles in the life of Christ, rather than simply the places designated for tourists as these sites, interesting though these may also be, since they are often endowed with a rich cultural heritage and tradition.
We visited Jericho, possibly the oldest city on earth, 10,000 years of history, the city where Joshua was told by God to destroy the city and all the inhabitants. We hiked the desert cliff trails to Wadi Qelt and St. George's Monastery, and visited the site of Elijah's cave.
We drove along the Dead Sea to the desert where Moses led his people out of Egypt and wandered for 40 years, visiting the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah.
En Gedi, a beautiful natural reserve, is the mountain area where David hid from Saul. After a long hike through the scenic reserve we swam in the Dead Sea.
We visited Bethlehem, the home of the Solomon Jesus family and the birthplace of the Nathan Jesus. We also saw the shepherd's field where on the night of Jesus’ birth the shepherds heard the angels singing, “Glory to God in the heights, Peace on Earth to men of Good Will”. We also visited Herod's fortress above Bethlehem.
We visited Qumram, the community of the Essenes, founded by Jeshua ben Pandira around 160 B. C. While the Essenes were in Qumram, they prayed continuously, someone always in prayer 24 hours a day for 250 years, to prepare the way for Christ. This is the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Masada, the great palace built by Herod the Great on a desert mountain cliff was a site we visited.
We drove along the Jordan River to the Sea of Galilee and visited the Mt. of Beatitudes.
In Nazareth we visited the homes of the two Jesus children, the site of the Annunciation and the town of Nain, where Jesus raised the Youth of Nain from the dead.
We visited Mt. Carmel, the mountain of Elijah, Kings 1: 18-40. We also visited Cana, where the Miracle at the Wedding at Cana took place, John 2: 1-11. and the healing of the nobleman's son, John 4: 46-54.
We traveled by boat across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, the home of Jesus and Mary, Peter and his fishery. Many sermons and healings took place here. It was the center of his life as a teacher and healer. Here the healing of the centurion's son took place, Luke 7: 1-10. and the fifth miracle in the Gospel of John, the walking on water. We also searched for the actual site of Bethsaida Julius, the place where Jesus gave three sermons to an audience of scholars and was met with a cold reception.
We visited the "Valley of the Doves," the route Jesus walked from Capernaum to Nazareth. Nestled at the mouth of the canyon is the town of Magdela, the location of Mary Magdelene's castle and the place of her conversion. We drove to Mt. Tabor, the place where the Transfiguration of Christ took place. Here Jesus spoke about His death and put his arms out to form a cross. Luke 9:28-36 and Matthew 17: 1-9.
We hiked up Tel Dan, one of the three sources of the Jordan River. Here is where the miracle of the healing of the Syrophoenecian woman took place, Feb 21, 31 A.D. Mark 7: 24-30. We also visited Banias in the Nahal Hermon Reserve (the second source to the Jordan River), with beautiful springs where the holy temple was build to Pan. Then we visited Caesarea Philippi.
We searched for the sites of the feeding of the 4000 Mark 8:1-9, Matthew 15: 32-39 and the feeding of the 5000 Mark 6: 32-44, Matthew 14: 15-20, according to the descriptions of Anne Catherine Emmerich.
We visited Lake Meron, a wildlife preserve where Jesus spent some time. We searched for the site of Peter's confession Mark 8: 27-38. We also visited the ancient Qasrin Park, one of the oldest of Jewish villages. We will also visit the traditional site for the feeding of the 5000 and hike up the hill to the Mt. of Beatitudes.
We drove all the way around the Sea of Galilee, visiting the place where the Jordan flows out toward the Dead Sea. This is by the town of Tarichea, where Jesus came after coming out of the wilderness. On the way is where the miracle of the man possessed by devils took place, Luke 8: 28-36. In Gerasa, Jesus drove demons out into a herd of swine that ran into the sea, Mark 5: 1-20 and Matthew 8. We also visited the site of Simon Peter's Landing, Luke 5:1-8, where seven springs of water bubble up and flow into the Sea of Galilee. Each spring has a different mineral content and flavor, representing the seven planets.
Then we said good bye to the Sea of Galilee and drove south down the Jordan River Valley to Jerusalem. We visited the place of baptism on the way, the pool of Siloam, where the healing of the man born blind took place, John 9: 1-41, and the pool at Bethesda where the paralyzed man was healed, John 5: 1-47.
In Jerusalem we visited the Dome of the Rock, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemene, the site of Judas's kiss of betrayal, Matthew 26:36, where a church now stands. We walked to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary Magdalene. On the way is the site of the fig tree that was cursed and the donkey on which Christ made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Luke 19: 28.
Of the many places we visited in Israel, one of the most memorable for many of us was the tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. It was here where Christ’s greatest miracle was performed: the raising of Lazarus from the dead, described in chapter 11 of the Gospel of St. John. This was simultaneously the raising of Lazarus from the dead and his initiation, to become a great Christian initiate - who later rose to the rank of “the leading being in the spiritual life of the west”, according to Rudolf Steiner.
In the tomb of Lazarus some of us who had been to Patmos the previous year became aware of the profound resonance between the spiritual atmosphere of this tomb and that of the cave of John on Patmos, where the Risen One initiated him into the mysteries of the future, depicted in the Book of Revelation. The initiation of Lazarus/John in the cave on Patmos can be regarded as the “octave” of the initiation in the tomb in Bethany, in the sense that Jesus Christ performed the initiation in Bethany in the flesh, whereas he carried out the initiation on Patmos in the spirit.
Within the walls of Jerusalem is the Coenaculum, the room where the Last Supper took place, also Pentecost, which we visited, as well as Golgotha, the tomb of Adam, the Antonio Fortress where Christ was condemned and sentenced, Matthew 27.
We visited the Stations of the Cross, and returned to the Coenaculum in consideration of the Pentecost event, Acts 2: 1-4, visit the site of the Ascension, Acts 1: 1-12. There were also joyous experiences shopping in the bazaar.
We visited the Mount of Olives one last time and the site of the Ascension before driving to the airport for our flight home.