Today was our last day in the City of Jerusalem before getting back on the plane and heading back to the great U.S.A.
We only had a half day of touring today. We went into the Old City of Jerusalem and actually got a chance to go up on the Temple Mount. This is the area where the Temple…where GOD resided…used to be before it was destroyed in the year 70 A.D. by the Roman Empire. Instead of the Temple there today, what is actually built on the exact spot is what is called the Dome of the Rock. It is the Muslim’s 3rd most Holy Sight in the world. Inside the facility pictures is a the place where tradition says the Ark of the Covenant was located. Only Muslims are allowed to go in the facility so we stood outside and talked about Muslim beliefs and our similarities and differences. There are a lot of things that we as Christians have with the Muslim faith that would allow us to talk more openly and strive to reach them for Christ. We hold the truth. We should not be threatened to learn their ways and ideas so we may better relate with them. The hate and angst that is prevalent today amongst different religions is not good and is destructive. Jesus commanded us to Love our Enemies. We must never forget that. Here is picture of the Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock now stands. It really is a beautiful building.
When we were finished on the Temple Mount we went back down and spent a half an hour at the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall. This wall is very popular and you have probably seen it in the news. It is the location where all Jewish people go to pray for the rebuilding of the Temple. This wall is built with the stones from Herod the Great and they are the stones that Jesus would have seen when He walked by this wall. The picture is one of a Jewish man praying at the wall.
Speaking of the rebuilding of the Temple, this is what all people of the Jewish Faith want. In fact nearly a Billion dollars has been raised and there are groups of Jewish people working behind the scenes preparing to rebuild it. Our guide told us today that the money being raised to rebuild the Temple is actually being donated from Christians in America more than anybody else. The picture of the Menorah is the exact Menorah that will be placed in the new Temple when it is built. I thought that was pretty cool to see. It is overlaid with one solid sheet of Gold just like God commanded. Again, it is the exact replica of the Menorah put in the Temple in Solomon’s day.
The menorah is a symbol of light. God commanded that the Menorah be placed in the Temple and that the candles must be burning all the time. The 7 lamp stands on the Menorah represent several things. The seven days of Creation. Seven is the whole number representing God.
After this we headed to the East side of the Old City and we walked up the steps that Jesus would have walked up to enter the Temple. It is an area where Jews performed their ritual bathing and ceremonial washing to cleanse themselves before entering the Temple Mount. There are nearly 100 baptismals (Mikvahs) in this location which tells us one other cool fact….In Acts 2 Peter preached to the crowd and 3000 people were baptized…there is only one place in the whole city of Jerusalem where that many people could be baptized and there we were standing on the ground! Wow.
We walked around a bit more and saw the destruction that the Romans created in A.D. 70. Jesus predicted this when He told His disciples this about Jerusalem…he said, “Not one stone will be left standing.” The picture below shows the destruction that fulfilled Jesus’ prophecy. The archeology professionals chose to excavate this area and then leave it just like it was. The stones you see piled up in the picture are exactly as they were on 70 A.D.
Jerusalem is the most popular city in the world. It has been a true inspiration to spend time here. I do hope you can join me on a future trip!
As I type this…Kelli is packing up some suitcases and we are preparing to return. It was weird tonight as we were eating dinner at 7:30PM and knowing that at the same time Parkway was having its Sunday morning worship services.
We will be home Monday Night at 10PM. I’m thankful that Thanksgiving is this week, because I’ll need a couple of days to recover from the 9 hour time change. I’ll see you this weekend at the Parkway facilities if not before!
Again…if you are praying…pray for travel mercies as we head back to the states.
I’m excited to get back to American food and even more for a Dr. Pepper!
What a pilgrimage!
Please join me for another one in Nov. 2012.