Now we begin to travel along the Via Dolorosa, or more commonly referred to as the stations of the cross, the passion of the Christ. The pictures you see above are from the Church of Flagellation. John 19:1-16 The ring of thorns worn on Christ’s head during His imprisonment and “trial” make a stunning impression on the pilgrims who visit this beautiful church. I hope that these pictures do it justice. I believe the iconography in these churches tell this well known story best. He suffered greatly for our sins!
Day five …finally
We began the day at the Western Wall, or the wailing wall…a very sacred place for the Jewish people. It is also the site of Mt. Moriah or the Temple Mount. We each got a chance to touch the wall…there is such a feeling of gravity here for me. The side that women can touch is quite a bit smaller than the men’s side so I have included my husbands photos to show that many synagogue groups come there to celebrate the Jewish rite of Bar Mitzvah, etc. That is to say that the wall is not just for wailing anymore.
We sometimes forget that Jerusalem is a holy city for three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. We enter the Morroccan gate and see the mosque built on the site of the rock that carried Mohammed to heaven. We are standing in the place where Christ taught in the Temple and we are at the site of the holy of holies for the Jews. It is amazing!
We began our day a little later due to the late night, but quickly felt the excitement of being in this holiest of cities. We are just outside the gates of the city. In the distance you can see Mt. Zion.
The next few pictures are of the East Wall, the garden of Gethsemane , and the Basilica of Agony next to the garden. The large rock in the church is the very rock that Christ fell upon when He learned His destiny from His Father( Matthew 26:36-42). It is quite a contradiction to look upon the beautiful ancient olive trees in this garden and to picture the magnificence of this place at the time of Christ, and to imagine His heartbreak as He fell upon the rock when He finally understood and accepted His destiny. br />
Three/four and more
Good Sunday Morning all! We have arrived at the Holy City of Jerusalem. Our accommodations at the Grand Hotel are quite nice, and we are all filled with new vigor for the magnificence of our faithful discoveries.
The first pictures you see are of the actual rock beneath Christ’s tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This place is actually a cluster of several buildings, the oldest of which was built by St. Helen, the mother of Constantine the Great, in 335AD, on the very spot where it is believed Christ was crucified and buried. The lower photos are of some of the interior iconography of the Church.
We were privileged to witness a midnight liturgy with a bishop from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. We all received holy communion at this inspiring place in the wee hours of the morning.
Also inside is a small chapel dedicated to St. Loginus, the centurion who witnessed Christ’s divinity in Matthew 27:54
When one sees such things it is hard to deny. Please come to see for yourselves someday soon.
More third day wonders
The name of Jericho quite possibly means “place of fragrance”, and the area surrounding this ancient city is prized for its verdant nature. While in Jericho, we tour a church at the site of the sycamore tree which St. Zachaeus climbed in order to see Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). A portion of this ancient tree is seen behind glass in the courtyard of this tiny church. We sampled sycamore nuts and dried fruits and enjoyed a lunch of local dishes al fresco. This is the site of the epic battle of Jericho where the wall came tumbling down with the power of God manifest in Joshua’s hands. Joshua 6:12-21
We continued to the Mount of Temptation, where Christ was tempted by Satan three times. Matthew 4:1-11 We were given the opportunity to climb or take a cable car to the top of the Mount in order to visit a Greek Orthodox monastery there, but with so much left to see on our itinerary that day we chose to stay closer to sea level!
Kathy S. was also tempted at this site. She succumbed to the temptation to ride a camel! What an experience!
She succumbed to the once in a lifetime chance to ride a camel!
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Psalm 137.5-6
20 days remain….
She is the house of the one GOD, the capital of two peoples, the temple of three religions…..
She is Jerusalem…
22 days and counting fellow travelers!