Yardenit on the Jordan River is the official baptismal site for Christian Pilgrims. It is located at the southern part of the Sea of Galilee when the Jordan continues to flow south towards the Dead Sea.
It is conveniently located on the banks of the Jordan River between magnificent trees of eucalyptus among the river flora. The site has been prepared in the form of a pool with all facilities to in or out of the water even for elderly persons.
Thousands of True Believers come to Yardenit on their Holy Land Tour
Featured on all Holy Land Tours
It is a sure stop on any Holy Land Tour as is Capernaum, Nazareth Village or Jerusalem. It is visited by over a half million pilgrims from all over the world a year.
The name of the Jordan River in Hebrew is Yarden coming from the root of the word yored or going down. Its initial source is the Banias in the foothills of Mt Hermon and then “goes down through the northern Jordan Valley which was originally formed by the Syrio-African fault where two tectonic plates meet.
It then flows with force into the Kineret or Sea of Galilee. This sacred lake surrounded by enchanting flora and hosting many species of fish. The Jordan River then continues south to the Dead Sea and ends there.
The Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee towards the Dead Sea
Located where the Jordan River meets the Yarmuk
The exact area where Yardenit is located is where the Jordan River meets the Yarmuk and its one of a few places where the water allows baptism of pilgrims.
The Baptism site is well equipped with a large parking lot, dressing rooms, a restaurant and souvenirs shops. As I mentioned there are convenient stairs into the water so pilgrims of all ages can do this incredibly emotional ceremony.
Every time I took pilgrims on the tours to Yardenit I could feel the emotions of the people feeling like they were transported in time to the era of Jesus.
You can feel the emotions of the people being baptized
The gospel says the people from Jerusalem and Judea where coming
down to the river banks to be baptized and to confess their sins.
Jesus traveled to the Jordan River to meet John the Baptist who would baptize all who came to him and repent of their sins.
The New Testament tells us that John the Baptist taught a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin” and that he baptized Jesus, although somewhat unwillingly saying that Jesus should be baptizing him.
But Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”. By the time of Jesus the immersion in water had become a ritually prescribed practice by the rabbis to cleanse one both physically and spiritually.
Such immersions have historically been accomplished through the use of the mikvah or ritual bath and were done by the holy priests prior to performing sacred Temple services and by both men and women to purify themselves before going into the holy Temple.
Today, in addition to its monthly use by orthodox Jewish women, it is a ritual performed by orthodox men before the High Holy days and by brides before their weddings.
The rabbis teach that the mikvah is reminiscent of the fluids of the womb, thus, when one emerges from the mikvah; he or she experiences a spiritual rebirth and rejuvenation.
Image Credits: All courtesy of yardenit
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