sacred to three religions, the holy city of Jerusalem rises up to meet you as you crest the last of what seems like an endless series of steep hills. Like the dedicated pilgrims of old you have reached the ancient but modern city that the Bible tells us King David first established as the capital of the kingdom of Israel over 3 thousand years ago.
It was here that David’s son Solomon built the first Temple
(1 Kings 6:1-14), and it was here that Jesus was crucified a thousand years later.
The Bible tells us that “when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.”
But as they approached the tomb they were told by an angel: “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” (Mark 16:1-6) Here in Jerusalem you can visit that same garden sepulcher and share with the disciples the wonder of the “empty tomb”. Next to the tomb is Golgotha with its skull-like appearance reminding us of the price the Savior paid for all of us.
The Old City of Jerusalem is home to sites of key religious importance, among them the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.
It is one of the world’s oldest cities having been inhabited since the 4th millennium BC.
Here you will visit the “Kotel” or the Western Wall, the last remaining wall from the Second Temple destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. Be sure to leave a note in the cracks of the rocks with your own personal prayer to God.
A visit to the Haas Promenade (in Talpiot) offers a magnificent view of the Temple Mount and old walled city.
Walk the streets of the Old City and see Jerusalem much as it might have been in Jesus’ day with the hustle and bustle of the market and sweet smell of the many spices, henna, cumin, saffron.
Close your eyes and you can return to those days and imagine yourself as one of the disciples, walking in the shadow of the master.
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