Monday, June 13, 2011

Jerusalem in the First Century

Since Jesus was dedicated as a baby in Jerusalem, visited Jerusalem with his parents as a child, taught in Jerusalem, was crucified in Jerusalem, and rose from the dead in Jerusalem, wouldn't it be nice to know something about Jerusalem in his day?  Since Jerusalem was the place of Holy Spirit being poured out, the place of Peter's inspirational Pentecost sermon, and the home of the early Church, wouldn't it be good to know something about the place?
Rick Pruitt with the Temple Mount in the background
 Well... this is what today was all about.  We visited the Temple Mount (controlled by Muslims) and learned much about where Jesus would have taught and about the Temple which King Herod had built (known as the 2nd Temple).  This was all destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. We saw and experienced the Western Wall, the closest place to the place of the Holy of Holies which the Jewish people can access.  Thousands of Jews come here to pray, many leaving prayers in the wall asking for God to help them in their need.

Our group with the Muslim Dome of the Rock in the background

Sue and John Tomlinson in front of the sealed up Eastern Gate.  

Hundreds of school children all over Jerusalem!

At entrance to the Western Wall Plaza
 We visited an Herodian village complex which has been excavated showing how the wealthy lived in the first century.  After lunch we walked the tunnel which has been made available and which runs beside the remains of the Western Wall, the remaining support wall for the Temple Complex.  Lastly, we went to the remaining southern steps of Temple -- where Jesus would have entered and taught, and where Peter would have given his Pentecost sermon.

Incredible and magnificent structures!!  All destroyed because of disobedience and ignorance of the Word of God.

An arch from the first century in the Western Wall tunnel

Sheila Sharp climbing the Western Wall

Huge stones which remain from the 70AD Roman Destruction of Jerusalem

Mary and Jack Brown in front of the Christ Church Dining Hall

Sue Tomlinson and Allison Beach
A lot of walking today.  Tired.  Tonight we shared a seder meal with a group of bishops and priests from Nigeria.  Well done and a great ending to the day.  Shalom from Jerusalem.

P.S.  Saw a great painting today.  It had some guys playing golf in Jerusalem.  The caption said: "Next year in Augusta!"

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