Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jerusalem and The Way of the Cross

The Temple Mount is the original site of the great Temple of Jerusalem and played a big role in the ministry of Jesus. This is where Jesus was dedicated as a baby:
Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.”- Luke 2:22-23

Where as a boy he impressed the Jewish teachers with his knowledge:

Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. - Luke 2:46-47
Where he was tempted by Satan:

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,

‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”

Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’ – Luke 4:9-12

Where he cleansed the temple:
Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said. – Luke 19:45-48

Currently, the Temple Mount is occupied by the Supreme Muslim Religious Council, hence the Dome of the Rock visible in the picture below. There are very strict rules regarding modest dress and all religious activities are prohibited. We observed large groups of children being taught by the women under shade trees, children playing in the courtyard area, and Muslim people entering the gold-domed mosque.

Just down the mount, we visited the Western Wall, or the “Wailing Wall”.

The wall was built as a retaining wall to enclose the western part of the Temple Mount. After the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD, the remaining part of the wall became a place for Jews to lament the destruction of the Temple and serves today as a place of prayer. A dividing screen separates the women’s section from the men’s. 
The Women's section: 

The Men's section:

We walked the Via Dolorosa, “The Way of the Cross”, which travels through the streets of Old Jerusalem,

marking out 14 Stations of the Cross where Jesus passed as he carried the horizontal bar of the cross to Calvary. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands on the spot believed by many to be where Jesus was crucified and the tomb in which he was buried and rose again.

The stone where they lay his body to prepare for burial...

Light coming in from above the tomb.

There is another site, The Garden Tomb, that some believe could be the site of Jesus’ burial in Jerusalem. The Garden Tomb is located near a site that looks like a skull and the overall appearance of this area conforms to what we would generally anticipate from gospel accounts. This was a cool, quiet, reflective spot. 

Inside the Garden Tomb...

Whether you believe the Holy Sepulchre marks the location of Jesus’ death and resurrection or that it is the Garden Tomb, the most important thing is that wherever it occurred, the tomb is empty, He is risen from the dead and he is Lord.

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words. – Luke 24:1-8

1 comment:

  1. I love reliving the trip through your eyes! Thank you for all your research to provide such a detailed biblical and scriptural reference to all the places we visited. I so enjoy reading your blog!