Israel 2014 -- Gethsemane; Empty Tomb; Day 11


The house of the High Priest where Jesus was questioned.
JERUSALEM - Begin today at CAIAPHAS’ HOUSE and then walk the VIA DOLOROSA, Jesus’ path to the cross, ending at the CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, the traditional site of the crucifixion and tomb of Jesus. 

The Via Dolorosa
Jerusalem’s modern Via Dolorosa—the “Way of Suffering” that venerates Jesus’ walking route from Pilate’s Praetorium to Golgotha—owes its location to tradition, not history. The same is true with the nearby Ecce Homo Arch and the Monastery of the Flagellation.

Unfortunately, for many Christian sites, tradition trumps truth and history. 

The misunderstanding occurred because many assume Pilate judged Jesus at the Antonia Fortress, which was located at the northwest corner of the Temple Mount.

However, Josephus indicated that the Roman governor resided in Herod the Great’s palace—the Tower of David Citadel beside today’s Jaffa Gate—and set up his judgment seat before it (Wars, 2.14). Philo affirms that Pilate stayed in the palace (Leg. in Caium, 38, 39).

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

One of the biggest surprises to Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem occurs when they step inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection falls short of the expectations of many Christians accustomed to Western worship.

Gold drips from icons. Chanting fills the spaces. Incense rises between cold stone walls. Six sects of Christendom betray jealous rivalries over the goings-on within. Territorial fistfights even occur on occasion. 

Without proper mental preparation, a Christian pilgrim may see only the distracting depravity of religion that has affixed itself to this site like barnacles on sunken treasure.

But if we look past today’s traditionalism to history’s tradition, we find an unbroken connection to the central event of all time—the redemption of the universe.

For in this place, Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again.

Next we return to the MT of OLIVES and walk down “disciples path” to DOMINUS FLEVIT, the place where Christ wept over Jerusalem and to the GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE where He prayed.

Dominus Flevit, which translates from Latin as "The Lord Wept", was fashioned in the shape of a teardrop to symbolize the tears of Christ. Here, according to the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus, while walking toward the city of Jerusalem, becomes overwhelmed by the beauty of the Second Temple and predicting its future destruction, and the diaspora of the Jewish people, weeps openly (an event known as Flevit super illam in Latin language). (Luke 19:37-42)

The site of Christ's weeping was unmarked until the Crusader era. It was during this time that people began commemorating the site. Eventually a small chapel was built there. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the church fell into ruin. In the early sixteenth century a mosque or madrasah existed at the site, presumably built by the Turks, from the remains of the earlier church, although the exact use is disputed. This place was known as el Mansouriyeh (The Triumphant) and also el Khelweh (The Hermitage).

Our reflection on the sufferings of the Savior climax at the GARDEN TOMB with a COMMUNION SERVICE under the olive trees.

Special FAREWELL DINNER at an exclusive Israeli restaurant and then to BEN-GURION Airport for your security check-in and 11:10 P.M. flight to the United States. 

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