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Liberty News

Israel: A land of promise

February 11, 2020 : By Timothy Cockes/Liberty University News Service

Below is a brief reflection and photo essay by Timothy Cockes, a graduate student in Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity. Cockes joined other students in the department on a trip to Israel in early January, and his thoughts regarding the experience are below: 


I was privileged to be a part of a group of over 90 students from Liberty University's John W. Rawlings School of Divinity who traveled to Israel with LU Send Jan 3-14. The trip was a combination of academic enrichment, as each student took a divinity class as part of the trip, and spiritual nourishment. I can't say enough about the way I was spiritually informed, enlightened, and challenged by the presentations from all the professors during the trip. 


Christianity is unlike a lot of other religions in that a visit to a certain Holy Land is not absolutely necessary, but Israel is still an incredibly important location for Christians simply for the fact that it's the place where Jesus was born and chose to do a majority of his ministry. After returning from Israel, all I can think about is the sufficiency of Jesus Christ as Savior for Jews and Gentiles alike. He is not bound to a specific geographical nation, nor does He dwell in temples built by man, but He dwells inside believers of all nations through the Holy Spirit and promises to return one day to complete the redemptive work that He began in the nation of Israel.


It was a joy to join a group made of undergraduate, graduate, and online students for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I would encourage any believer to try to go on a trip to Israel if they are able to, and I would definitely encourage Liberty students to go on any LU Send trip that they can as they will be both enriched and challenged no matter which trip they take. 

View information about all upcoming LU Send trips.


View some picture highlights from the Israel trip below.



The city of Jerusalem.

Masada and Dead Sea

A group photo of Dr. Leo Percer's class at Masada near the Dead Sea.


Southern Steps

The entire School of Divinity group on the Southern Steps in Jerusalem.


Jewish Temple ruins

The ruins of a Jewish temple.



Gideon Cave

The Gideon Cave, or Gideon Spring, where the story in Judges 7 takes place about Gideon getting the soldiers to drink the water to test them.


Caesarea Rock

The rock in Caesarea Philippi where Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16, "On this rock (Peter's confession), I will build my church."



Dr. Leo Percer lectures to a group in front of the rock at Caesarea Philippi.


Abraham's Gate

"Abraham's Gate" is the world's oldest known gate. It is believed that Abraham himself walked through here.



Dr. Claudia Dempsey delivers a lecture with a view of Jerusalem as the backdrop.



A view on top of Masada, an ancient fortress/mountain in Israel.


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