It is Friday.
Our last day in Jerusalem; in Israel. It has been major overload! An awesome experience! Highly recommend it! Never ever did we ever feel threatened in any way. An incredible country!
We were up and out early today because the streets would be closed to vehicle traffic due to Ramadan and Friday prayers.
It boggles my mind that the Muslims rule Jerusalem.
Our first stop was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Via the Lion’s Gate.
We had to walk through a Muslin cemetery.
We entered the Old City through the Lion’s Gate, also known as Stephen’s Gate or the Black Panther Gate. It is called Stephen’s Gate because tradition has it Stephen was stoned near here.
Also if you look on top of the gate to the right you will see 2 Lions.
Some street shots:
We walked to the Church of St. Anne, built 1100 AD over the cave believed to be the home of Mary, mother of Jesus, parents.
Adjacent to this church are the ruins of an ancient pool about 60 feet below the present ground level. (I have to keep reminding myself that Jerusalem has been destroyed and crushed and destroyed and covered up so ruins are ruined and covered). This is possibly where Jesus would have healed a lame man.
There was a south pool and a north pool.
Tom across the ruins:
We walked along the Via Dolorosa stopping at a few places.
And ending up at the Damascus Gate. We walked through Muslim market. Some of me would have like to stopped and looked; but I wouldn’t want to give them my money. We stepped right along.
You can see the people walking across the bridge and the ruins of the ancient gate below.
We literally walked across the street to the Garden Tomb and Golgotha.
This site fulfills all biblical requirements as to the validity of the location where Jesus suffered, died, was buried and arose 3 days later.
From Golgotha we walked to the tomb. Our guide gave us history on the place and why it is believed this is the tomb. Another solemn experience.
Tom and I with our pastor and his pastor father in front of the tomb.
Inside the tomb:
Where Jesus would have laid:
From the inside looking out:
Tom by a representation on the stone
After we all walked inside the tomb and had a time of reflection, we gathered for Communion. Pastor Health led an emotional service.
From here we found the bus and got out of the Old City before the roads were totally shut down. We drove the country side to Bethlehem.
After lunch we walked to the Church of the Nativity. Hot. Crowded.
Honestly, this was not a good experience. We had to wait over an hour;
it was extremely hot in the church;
and we were rushed through; did not get more than seconds to view the birthplace (over someone’s shoulder) and I almost missed the manger because of being pushed along.
This picture marks the place it is believed Jesus was born.
We were hot and ‘wet’. We drove back to the hotel to freshen up and pack our bags. We gathered for our last supper together. At 7:15 we boarded the bus for the airport at Tel Aviv. We left 2 behind who are flying back on Saturday.
Our flight left Tel Aviv at midnight. The 11 hour flight landed in Newark at 4:00 am. On to Norfolk and home by noon on Saturday.
Was a fast paced trip and quick. Wouldn’t have missed it for anything.