“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said, “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” -John 19:28-30
Nazareth is perhaps one of the most significant places in the state of Israel for Christians. It is where Gabriel spoke to Mary, telling her that she would be the mother of a child by the Holy Spirit, and that his name would be Jesus. As his childhood home, Nazareth is also one of the most commonly visited places by Christians making their pilgrimage to Israel. After leaving the town to live in Capernaum, Jesus returned to Nazareth twice to teach in the Synagogue of his youth. Both times he was greeted with hostility and rejection, even facing threats of violence and death. Never succumbing to the malice, Jesus became stronger through his adversity and continued his ministry through the region of Galilee.
Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, to his mother, Mary, and father, Joseph. Just before his birth, Caesar Augustus put forth an edict that a census must be taken. Returning to the home of his family line of David, Joseph brought Mary to Bethlehem to be accounted for by record under the Caesar. Overpopulated by the return of many for the census, Joseph and Mary found that the inn was full and with no place to stay, Mary laid down and gave birth to Jesus in a simple stable. Thus, fulfilling the prophecy that out of Bethlehem “the ruler in Israel” would come. -Micah 5:2. His humble life had begun.
As the mighty River still flows through the deserts of Israel, it was more than 2,000 years ago that this body of water was signified by the Bible as the place where Jesus came to be baptized. This blessing is known as one of the five most critical milestones in the life of Jesus Christ and the very place where John the Baptist confirmed Jesus as the Son of God. The water is still considered holy by Christians around the world, and is even used by royal families for the baptisms of newborns today.
Located on the Sea of Galilee in the Northern stretches of Israel, Capernaum is home to some of the oldest Synagogues in the world. The earliest roots of the town can be found in its identity as a small fishing village. However, more importantly, it is where Jesus taught, sharing his blessings with all who followed. His guidance, each and every Sabbath, demonstrated his divinity to the people of Capernaum including using His healing touch to cure fever and cleanse the spirit of a man under the direction of the devil. The history of this village remains substantial long after the time of Jesus, and was most recently visited by Pope John Paul II in March of 2000.
Mount Tabor, also known by many as the “Mount of Transfiguration”, is believed to be the very place where Jesus appeared before God. As He was transfigured, Moses and Elijah appeared at his side and spoke with Him concerning his death that He would accomplish at Jerusalem. Once again, God called Jesus His Son as He spoke from within a bright cloud. It is often said, that in this moment, the bridge between Heaven and Earth was created as Jesus stood before God.