Jesus Journey: 40 Days in the Footsteps of Christ

Day 41

Epilogue: Journeying On

It’s our last day in the Holy Land. Our bus is crossing the Jordan River via the Allenby Bridge from east to west, heading back to Tel Aviv airport for the long flight home.

We’ve seen so many sites, felt so many emotions, had so many adventures over the last several days. We walked where Jesus walked, sailed where he sailed, smelled smells, saw sights, stood on steps that were all part of his life experience.

But why did this time in this land hold such power? Really, the geography here is not much different than my California home. The small canyons remind me of San Diego, the desert is like Death Valley, Mount Hermon is like Mount Shasta, the rolling hills of Galilee similar to the Bay Area.

So why did it all make such an indelible impression?


I remember how, as I peered through that telescope on the Dead Sea shore, I thought of the stars of the Milky Way far above me, and the stables of Bethlehem just beyond me.

And my mind goes back to a phrase I once heard about the incarnation of Christ:

“The scandal of particularity.”

What gives believers goose bumps is the scandalous idea that the infinite creator of the vast universe came to a particular people, in a particular time and place.

Think of the Jesus we’ve met on this journey:

Time-and-space traveller.
Kingdom builder.
Lost-sheep finder

Embracer of outcasts.
Critic of religion.
Lover of the unlovely.

Victor over human authorities, anxieties, and agendas.
Defeater of darkness, demons, and death.
Miracle worker, grace giver,
surprising Messiah, resurrected Redeemer, Lord of all.

God with us.

The land here is beautiful, but it’s not the land that inspires so deeply. It’s the idea that such a God would choose to come to this land — the crossroads of three continents, a real land, not a fairy tale kingdom — to win us back to him.

God did not love humans philosophically. He is not with us abstractly. He came to us specifically.

Christians don’t merely believe in a God who radiates love unthinkingly and impersonally in all directions like the sun beams its light. When we say “God is love” we mean he loves everyone like a laser beam. We mean he loves you. We mean he knows your name.

And we mean he had a name. He came, in the flesh, to pay for your particular sins once for all time. And he is with you personally until the end of the age.


When Joshua and the Israelites first crossed the Jordan River about 3,400 years ago, very close to where the Allenby Bridge is now, they were coming home to a place they’d never been. With every new step they were reclaiming territory for God. Establishing a kingdom.

1,400 years later, in virtually the same spot, John baptized Jesus. In a sense, John and Jesus were crossing another border. Beginning another era. With each deliberate step he took after his baptism, Jesus was introducing a new kind of kingdom.

And now it’s our turn. As we cross the Jordan on our way to the airport and out of the country, we continue his kingdom work.

The Jesus Journey is not just about what he has done, where he walked, two thousand years ago.

It’s about what Jesus will do, and where he will go, in the years to come, through you and me.

He will be with you always. On your continuing Jesus Journey.

Leaving the Holy Land? No.

Through you and me, with each new step we take, Jesus is making the whole world into Holy Land.


Thank God for his amazing gift of love in Jesus. Thank him for the opportunity to grow and change over the last 40 days. Pray your journey with Jesus will continue to grow and you will become more like him.