Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
After David Arthur’s teaching at the Haas Promenade, we went to the Israeli museum. One of the things that we enjoyed seeing there was the model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period. Just in case you can’t read the writing in the picture below…
The model before you recreates Jerusalem in 66 C.E. In that year, the Great Revolt against the Romans erupted, resulting in the destruction of the city and the Temple. The ancient city was then at its largest, covering an area of 445 acres (more than twice the size of the Old City today). The model reflects ancient Jerusalem at its peak, just before all was lost.
The model was built at the initiative of Hans Kroch, owner of the Holyland Hotel, in memory of his son Jacob, who fell in Israel’s War of Independence. It took four years to complete. In 1966 the model opened to the public on the premises of the hotel and quickly became a popular attraction. In 2006 it was moved to the Israeli Museum.
The model is based on the writings of Josephus Flavius, a native of Jerusalem, the New Testament, and Jewish sources including the Mishna, the Tosephta and the Talmud.
We kind of wished that we had seen this first in our Jerusalem itinerary because it gave us a lot more perspective.
Here is the Temple and the Antonia Fortress. The Garden Tomb is in the very left center of the picture, right below the road. At this time there were between 50,000 and 100,000 people living in Jerusalem.
The three towers in the picture are Hippicus on the left, Phasael in the center, and Mariamne on the right. Each one was built by Herod. Phasael was named after his brother, Hippicus was named after his friend, and Mariamne was named after his beloved wife, whom he later murdered. The towers are located in the area of the medieval citadel, close to the present Jaffa Gate.
The square in the lower right edge of the picture, just inside the wall, is the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the man who was blind from birth. John 9: 1-12
Here are the Southern Steps and the Huldah Gates. The tomb of the prophetess Huldah is right below the steps. 2 Kings 22:14-20
And, of course, the East Gate…
This would have been Jesus’ view as He entered the city from the Mount of Olives. The Kidron Valley was directly below. Can you imagine how heartbroken Jesus was when He looked out on this city, wept, and said “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:42-44
Of course, we know that there will be no peace in Jerusalem, no matter what politicians, heads of state, or the UN would have us believe, until Jesus comes again. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are praying for the Messiah’s return.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you , you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” Luke 13:34-35
The buildings sloping down to the left belonged to the poorer citizens, while the red- roofed and large buildings in the upper city belonged to the wealthy citizens.
They are still adding details to the model. It is pretty incredible. In the picture below, you see the national bird of Israel, the crane. Ha! They are everywhere.
This is the top of Shrine of the Book that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is supposed to look like the top of one of the clay jars in which the scrolls were found. When you enter the Shrine of the Book you descend into a cave like room. There you can see a very good copy of the scroll of the book of Isaiah and some other scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls themselves are kept in an underground vault.
The building in the background is the Israeli Knesset, or Parliament.
The model again from a different viewpoint.
After visiting the Israel Museum, we came back to the hotel to pack, rest, and get ready to go to the airport. Judy and I decided to go across the street to the “Cup o’ Joe” for a cup of coffee. We needed the energy! Ha!
I really hesitated to include this picture since those bags under my eyes are horrid. We had just taken a little nap and were having coffee to help perk us up for our midnight flight back to the U.S. If you think this is bad, you should have seen me after the 12 hour flight!!! That was the only bad part of the whole trip. I’m saving my frequent flier miles for an upgrade to first class next time!
Judy and I had to come back to see the walls of the Old City for one last time. It was hard to say goodbye. I praise God for the experience that we were able to share and can never thank Him enough for the opportunity. I am grateful to my husband for encouraging me to go and I hope to one day go back with him! I definitely left part of my heart there.
I just read where the Dormition Abbey is near the spot where they say the Upper Room is located.
It is hard to leave these desserts behind. Believe me, I was not the only one taking pictures of the table. Ha!
And, just in case you thought we didn’t have anything else to eat, I included a picture of part of the salad and vegetable tables.
This is Chris, Freda, MeMaw, Steve’s mother, and Steve. We laughed and ate (lots of desserts) with them every night while we were in Jerusalem. This was their second time to come on the trip and I believe that MeMaw may be coming back next year. They let us in on the secret about the ice cream. They told us if they bring out a bowl of ice cream, line up. So we did! They make the best Kosher ice cream. It rivals Blue Bell and I’m sure that there isn’t a bit of milk in it.
After dinner, those of us who were leaving had to get our bags to the bus and get ready to go. Those that were staying, spent the night in Jerusalem and left the next morning for the Petra extension of the trip. There was a lot of hugging and picture- taking. It was hard to say goodbye both to the new friends that we had met and to Israel. If someone told me I could go anywhere in the world I wanted to go, I would pick Israel.
Next year in Jerusalem!!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
On our last morning in Jerusalem we went to the Haas Promenade where we had our final teaching by David Arthur. The Mount of Olives is in the right of the photo. You can barely see the Dome of the Rock in the center. The tower on the right on the top of the Mount of Olives is where Jesus is supposed to have ascended into heaven.
From this vantage point tradition holds that Abraham was shown Mount Moriah as the site for the binding of Isaac. Hidden under this ridge are the remains of an aqueduct built by Herod the Great to bring water from the south, by way of his summer palace, Herodium, to the second temple. This area was a no man's land in the period between the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. At one end of the promenade, on the Hill of Evil Counsel (I love the name), is the United Nations Middle East Headquarters, located in the former Palace of the British High Commissioner. In front of the promenade on the slope is the Jerusalem Peace Forest. The Jerusalem municipality plants a tree in this forest for every child born in Jerusalem, representing the eternal hope of peace bridging the Arab and Jewish populations. Of course, we know that Jerusalem will experience no peace until the return of Jesus.
We are with Freda. We ate dinner with her family every night. They are dear people.
Our last lesson raised the question, “What are you going to do with what you have learned?” and “What sort of people should we be?” I will never look at the Bible in the same way again. Having been in the place where much of it was written and walked in the places where Jesus walked, has had a profound impact on my life. Also being able to see the fulfillment of prophecy right before my eyes, I know that there is nothing more important for me than being prepared for Christ’s eminent return.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless…be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. 2 Peter 3:9-18
After our lesson, we sang “Jesus Messiah.”
Now we’re on to the Israel Museum, a free afternoon, a last dinner, and the airport…
Saturday, June 25, 2011
After leaving the Arab Quarter, we headed to the Garden Tomb.
The Garden Tomb is in the middle of a very busy and noisy Arab area. When you walk into the garden, you feel like you’ve entered an oasis, even though you can hear the horns blaring, radios playing, and people shouting.
This area is part of an ancient stone quarry. According to tradition, the quarry was used by the Jews as a place of execution by stoning. Christian tradition links this site to Stephen’s martyrdom. The Romans carried out crucifixions along busy roadsides as a visual deterrent against rebellion. This ancient execution site at the intersection of two busy roads to Damascus and Jericho would have been ideal. It is also interesting to note the appearance of the skull in the cliff face of the quarry. The Bible says that Christ was crucified outside the city gate at the “place of the skull.” So this spot would fit the requirements.
This gentleman is from the United Kingdom. He was explaining why they believe that this could be the place of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. He was very sweet.
The tomb was unearthed in 1867. Not all archaeologists agree about its date but many describe it as being a Jewish tomb from the 1st century A.D. In later years it was possibly used for church worship because there are indications of a church structure, including early Christian crosses.
All of the evidence indicates that the vineyard’s owner was a very wealthy man. His tomb was cut out of the solid rock, there was a large weeping chamber, and there was a channel for a rolling stone. All of the features mentioned in the Bible’s description of the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea can be seen here.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And 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 perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? “He is not here, but He has risen.” Luke 24: 1-6
I had to take another photo of my feet standing on the stones upon which Jesus may have walked in His resurrected body.
While we were here we took communion. You can see the basket and the covered tray ready for us.
And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Luke 22:19-20
This is where we were sitting as we read the scripture, took communion, and sang a song. I think we sang “Nothing But the Blood.”
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, “May peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good. Psalm 122: 6-9
Someone was seeking a little solitude and some reflection time.
The volunteers also keep up the grounds.
This very well-preserved winepress was excavated in 1924 and is one of the largest in Israel. It is thought to be of pre-Christian origin and suggests that this area was a vineyard.
The people who care for the Garden Tomb are all volunteers who love the Lord.