Friday, June 24, 2011

The Praetorium

After we completed our visit to the Garden of Gethsemane, we headed to the Arab part of the Old City.


This is the Arab community of Bab a-Zahara.


We entered Herod’s Gate to access the Muslim area of the Old City. Since we were there on a Saturday, it was market day.


What an experience…We were told to walk in a single-file line and keep your eyes peeled on that yellow umbrella because it was very crowded in some areas.




Do you see anything you’d like for dinner?





Vickie and Judy were talking. I was bringing up the rear because I was trying to take pictures and walk at the same time, even though that was a big “no-no.” I was afraid to stop and take the pictures because I might get lost in the maze of streets we were walking through.









This is the Ecce Homo (“Behold the Man”) Arch. There is some controversy about whether or not it is the place where Pilate presented Jesus to the crowds. Some now think that it is a triple-arched gateway built by a Hadrian, as an entrance to the Roman Forum. The other part of the arch has been incorporated into the Ecce Homo Church, which includes the Sisters of Zion Convent.



Kenny is trying to help out the owner of this shop by showing us the attributes of this prayer shawl.


Another picture of the Ecce Homo Arch… We are about to enter the Sisters of Zion Convent to the right.




We are entering the Praetorium, which is the first stop on the Via Dolorosa. It was under this convent built by the Sisters of Zion in the 19th century that Jesus was condemned by Pilate and took up His cross. After the Sisters of Zion built the convent, they continued the excavations underneath. The more they excavated, the more they found of the gigantic fortress of Herod the Great.

Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die. John 18: 28-32


We are descending into the Praetorium. There is a group ahead of us, so we are waiting until they’re through.


We are walking on stones that are part of the “Pavement” mentioned in John 19:13. You can’t really tell very well in this picture, but in this stone was etched “the game of the king” that the Roman soldiers played.


Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done? Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” John: 18: 33-38

Since this is the Judgment Hall, this would have been where Jesus and Pilate had that conversation. This is also where Pilate would have had Jesus scourged.

Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. John 19:1-3

This is also the place where Pilate washed his hands in a bowl of water in front of the people as a sign of his innocence in condemning an innocent man. (Matthew 27:24) It was also in this place that Pilate’s wife sent a message to him warning him to have nothing to do with the death of Jesus.


Ray was asked to read the scripture.



After our time at the Praetorium, we continued down the Via Dolorosa.



This is the entrance to the Ecce Homo Basilica which houses part of the Ecce Homo Arches. I am unsure what Kenny was pointing at.


The picture below (taken from the internet) is the inside of the Ecce Homo Basilica and shows part of the arch. 


We’re going to continue down the Via Dolorosa to lunch.

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