Mount of Olives
The view from the Mount of Olives is magnificent. You are looking down on the densely packed walled Old City of Jerusalem with the Temple Mount in the distance before you. To stand on the mount of Olives is to relive what Jesus must have felt as he gazed on the City of David, Jerusalem,
and cried out as recorded in Mathew 23:27,
“Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, … how I longed to gather your children together…but you would not.”
Although we first read of the Mount of Olives in 2 Samuel 15:30, when it was David who wept there over the rebellion
of his son Absalom, it appears many times in the New Testament. We are told of how Jesus met here with his disciples and prayed, as on the night before his crucifixion when he said, “Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will,” indeed a lesson to us all of the importance of being open to God’s will for our life.
At the bottom of the slope of the Mt. of Olives opposite the Temple Mount stands the Garden of Gethsemane.
Here Jesus was meditating, praying, and resting each evening, when weary and harassed by the labors and trials
of the day (Luke 21:37). In fact because of the close connection between this place and the devotional life of the savior, it is difficult to read of it or to actually experience being here, without feeling its deep significance and a strong affection.
It was here that Jesus gathered with his disciples and told them of things yet to come, predicting the destruction of the Holy City; the persecution, the sufferings, and the final triumph of his followers (Matthew 24). It is here that he describes his great coming in the clouds in the final days “with a great sound of a trumpet.” And it was also here that when the cup
of God’s wrath had been drunk, and death and the grave conquered, he led his disciples out again over Olivet as far as to Bethany, and after a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts 1:12).”
As you pass over to the east, toward Bethany, you will find the site that is revered as that of the Ascension, from which Jesus left his disciples and ascended into heaven.