It’s hard to believe that there is just one day left to my Holy Land Trip. Last night a group of us went to listen to our tour guide perform at the Blue Hall Music Center. Avi is the one on the left. He said he has the best job in the world: Tour Guide by day and Rock Star by night. He’s really good!
Our first stop this morning was the ancient city of David which sits below the Temple Mount and old Jerusalem. David could have built his palace anywhere, but he wanted to be closest to the Temple Mount and beneath it so he could humbly and reverently “ascend into the hill of the Lord.” David never got to build the temple, but his son Solomon built it and ascended from his father’s palace into the Temple. If you have time, read Psalm 15 and 24 to understand David’s heart for worship.
We then went from the City of David (Nice ring to it, don’t you think?) through the drainage tunnel to the Western Wall. This was the way the pilgrims took to go to the temple. Now, 2,000 years later, it is underground since ancient cities have been built on top of each other. This was an awesome walk, but not so fun if you are claustrophobic.
We then took the Western Wall tunnel to the starting point of the Via Do La Rosa - The way of agony, The way of the cross. We had more underground walking. There was a stone cut and laid during Herod’s time that was almost 100 meters long (300 ft- the length of a football field) and 3 meters (9 ft) tall. It ways 600 tons! How did they move a stone so heavy?
We walked the Via Do La Rosa. It begins at Pilate’s Hall where Jesus was mercilessly beaten and wrongfully condemned. There is a church here. You’d never guess it’s name-The Church of the Flagellation. I doubt that many would clamor to join this church. Then I reflected on the words of Jesus: “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Could we say with the Apostle Paul, “I bear on my body the marks of the Lord Jesus”?
We sang Amazing Grace in St Anne’s church, one of the most acoustically wonderful church’s In the world. Then we went to the most meaningful site of the entire trip: The Garden Tomb. The Bible says that Jesus was buried in a tomb near His place of crucifixion and in a garden. This place beautifully fits the description! We listened to a born again brother in Christ named, Fadi, who lives in Bethlehem. Four days ago, he and his wife had their first baby boy, Andrew. Fadi shared the gospel both clearly and unashamedly. What a Savior! We saw the place of the skull.