30 Mar What does it mean to walk through the Bible?
“Welcome to Israel! You are in a most amazing place in the world. While you are here, every place your foot steps you will be walking on Bible.”
The words of our tour guide as our bus shuttled us from the Tel-Aviv airport thrilled my heart. I had been afforded the opportunity of a lifetime, to visit Israel and see all the places I’d read about so many times over the years come to incredible life.
And how amazing that immediately after he spoke those words, he was able to direct our attention out the bus windows, to point out a seemingly ordinary creek next to the freeway, identifying it as the Ayalon River, the very river that ran from the Valley of Aijalon, where the Lord made the sun sit still for Joshua’s victory over the Amorite kings in Joshua 10. There was Bible flowing beside the busy freeway. I certainly didn’t know any stories like this about the creeks along I-35. We weren’t in Kansas any longer!
The incredible truth of our guide’s opening statement that we would be walking on Bible came alive everywhere we went, with so many sites pointing to a very real passage in Scripture that suddenly came more alive by being there. But there were certain moments where walking on Bible would take on particularly sacred meaning, where walking on Bible would usher in even greater emotion and worship.
When we arrived in Jerusalem, just before sunset, we began to walk the steps of the triumphal entry, from the Mount of Olives toward the city gate. My mind was full of wonder. What had it been like to travel this path seated on a donkey, with cloaks being thrust to the ground before Him and palm branches waving in fanfare, with cries of “Hosanna!” ringing from a crowd pressing all around Him? Our feet were walking on Bible.
The next day, we entered the Garden of Gethsemane for private prayer time. Oh, the magnitude of emotion with these footsteps! This was the very place Jesus had knelt to pray the very last night of His life, where His blood and sweat had intermingled as He cried out in agony to His Father. This is where He surrendered His will to the Father in prayer, and where His accusers met Him for His arrest. Here, as I, too, spent sacred time in prayer with my Father, I wept on Bible every bit as much as I walked on Bible.
As we walked through Old Jerusalem, we saw the house of the high priest, the place Jesus was taken from the garden for His illegal trial by the Jewish leaders, the place Peter denied His Lord and friend three times in the courtyard. We walked on the Temple Mount and up to the Praetorium, where Pilate lived, where Jesus was tried by Rome and handed over for flogging. Here, the Jewish leaders chose to release a convicted murderer in exchange for Jesus. Here, my Savior, once again, stood silent, allowing Scripture to be fulfilled, as He submitted to the inhumane beatings.
On our final day, we traveled the Via Dolorosa – The Way of the Cross. Our guide explained that this would take our feet on the same steps that Jesus walked from His sentencing and beatings to the cross outside the city walls—His final steps of life. I was walking the road that bought my forgiveness and my freedom. I was walking the road that brought my joy. My stomach was churning as I took in the reality of all that had taken place.
The sole of my sandal touched the same road the sole of my Savior trod, and my soul was overwhelmed.
I was walking on Bible.
And while each of these sacred experiences overwhelmed my soul in the moment, as I later reflected on the events and emotions of these days in Israel, I recognized an important truth. The experiences of those days were so rich because of the countless times I had walked through Bible in my everyday moments at home.
I realized that, while walking on Bible was amazing beyond belief, I’m so grateful that even when my sandals remain on American soil, the soul of my heart can still easily touch the same path my Savior trod through Scripture. My soul has the opportunity to walk through the Bible each and every day of my life, regardless of where my soles plant their steps.
The reality is that the opportunity OF a lifetime was actually the opportunity FOR a lifetime….to walk where Jesus walked…to walk AS Jesus walked…to walk through the Bible and to stand on its Word.
So, even when I’m back home in Kansas, living my day-to-day life and traveling the busy freeways here, with creeks perhaps a little less impressive than the Ayalon, I can be purposeful to walk through the redemption story over and over again—to walk in the steps of my Lord—to remember all He did for me—for each one of us—and to let it well up hope and praise and worship every single day of my life.
The same is true for you and your everyday footsteps (wherever those may fall on the globe).
You don’t need a passport, a plane ticket, or a formal itinerary to tour the Holy Land. You can walk through the Bible at any time, at any place.
Have you ever purposed yourself to do this?
Have you ever purposed yourself to walk through Bible, walking through and experiencing the last days of Jesus’ life in the gospels?
In this season following Easter, this is a wonderful time of the year to do this! But, we don’t need to stop there….
Have you ever committed to walking through the Bible in its entirety?
The redemption story of our amazing God is one that is meant to be read over and over again, and is one that is richer with the knowing the character of God and the ways He has been pointing to His salvation plan since the first few pages of Genesis.
How can you purpose your day to include time to walk through the Bible today?
Monica and her family are members of Legacy’s Olathe campus. She is passionate about helping others dig into the Word of God and experience its transforming power in their daily lives.