Sunday, June 20, 2010

06/09/10 Day 2 - Our first day of touring the city of Jerusalem....

The first place we went was to the temple mount, where historically, two temples stood at this location and functioned as the center of Jewish worship. The first temple was built by King Solomon in 957 B.C. and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The second temple was started in 536BC and was the temple where Jesus visited. It was destroyed in 70A.D. Today the Islamic Dome of the Rock, built in 691, stands on the original site of the temple.

School kids visiting the temple mount...
The eastern gate of old Jerusalem, close to the temple mount. It is the gate where scripture says that the Messiah will enter when He returns. It has been wall up for centuries and the gate is also locked --to keep Jesus out I suppose????

St. Stephen's gate (Lion Gate) where the stoning of Stephen took place.

At the church of St. Anne we worshiped with singing. The way the church is built it has a 9 second echo and the music was beautiful.

Right outside this church is the remains of the pool of Bethesda.

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5: 1-9.

The pool was much deeper and larger than I had imagined!

We left the pool of Bethesda and headed up on the Mt. of Olives. From the Mt. of Olives you can see the old city walls and the sealed up Eastern Gate.

This is the view from the Mt. of Olives. It directly faces the temple mount site (now Dome of the Rock) behind the old city walls with the Kidron Valley in between. It was so much closer together than I thought it would be.

Our guide was so good. He was an Israeli archaeologist for 20 years and he is also a bible scholar. We learned so much from him! His bible was in Hebrew, tattered from so much use, filled with different colored papers marking many important passages. We read scripture from just about every site we visited.

On the side of the mountain were thousands of burial sites. It is the oldest cemetery in the world I think, with grave sites going back to the time of King David. The rocks on top are in place of things like flowers, which decay and are temporary. Rocks, however, are eternal and very symbolic in Jewish culture.

From here on top of the mountain, we walked down the road which was the "Palm Sunday" road where Jesus made his Triumphal Entry.

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt." John 12:13-15

At the bottom of this road is the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Matthew 26:35-37

These are very old olive trees.....maybe from the time of Jesus??
I love this picture of the Alpha and Omega sign with the Eastern Gate in the background.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:13

The church at the Garden of Gethsemane overlooking the Kidron Valley.
The view of the Mt. of Olives and the cemetery from the Kidron Valley.

Next is the site of the Upper Room, where Jesus had the last supper with his disciples. A church was built in the 12th century over the probable
site on Mt. Zion.

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Luke 22:14-20.

From here we visited the tomb of King David and the Zion Gate. The Zion Gate is covered with bullet holes from the 1948 War of Independence.

We ended the first day at the Temple Institute Museum. It was a very long, interesting, wonderful day! We headed back to the hotel for dinner and much needed rest.


  1. WOW!! Can't wait to see the rest!!! Thanks for sharing!!!