Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 8: Walking through the Holy City

Well, here are some pics from my day in Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock

This is looking eastward. The left side of the picture is the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. The road you see would be where Jesus made his triumph entry on Palm Sunday. When He comes the second time this is where He will come to and enter Jerusalem. He'll come as our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

We walked the stages of the Via Dolorosa. Some of the places are not the actual site, just churches build to remember a certain stage. One that is for certain is the place where Jesus stood before Pilate and was tortured by the Roman Soldiers. This was a special place that we walked down under the city and visited. In the picture I'm knelt on the original stone that Jesus stood on before Pilate. It was here that Jesus being fully God silently stood while they beat and tortured him, like a sheep before her shearers (Is. 53:7). The Roman Soldiers actually played a game called the King's Game to decide what to do to him next. This game is still visible in the stone and includes everything mentioned in scripture.

For Jews today the Wailing Wall is the most important place in the entire world. The temple is not standing, but there is a several hundred foot stretch of the western wall of the original temple mount still available to come and pray at. Behind this wall was where the Holy of Holies use to be located. In the picture the Temple would have been in the top left corner.
For them to pray here is to be as close to God as possible. Today I stood here and watched many men cry out to God to send the Messiah with tears coming down their face. Some pressed their faces into the wall, others read scripture while others wept for deliverance.

As I watched this my heart broke like Christ's heart broke for the city which is full of people still waiting on the Savior. God has delivered us, through a man named Jesus. He was the Christ (God's anointed one) sent from God to pay the price. I spent time asking God to open their eyes and bring the entire country of Israel to salvation.

I also wrote a prayer and put it in the wall. These papers are cleaned out periodically and buried in the Mount of Olives.

The sadness was combined with joy as several young boys were celebrating their Bar Mitzeah. They are becoming a man which means they now get a copy of the Torah to read. It looks like a beast to carry. I'm glad we have thin line editions.

Dr. Kelly share an amazing point with me the other day that came very clear today. Christianity does not hinge on a particular place, but a specific word... The Word of God. Places change, but God's Word stays the same. I understand this more after seeing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the site of Calvary, but sadly it has an ugly idolatrous church over it with hideous images all over the inside and in scent burning. We had to stand in a line to reach our hand down on the rock where the cross was place and then were rushed out. I stood in the tomb for about two minutes before I was asked to step back out. One of the most specialist places in human history is not worshipful or reflective at all. This was disappointing.

Tomorrow we will travel to more places in Jerusalem. But the prayer for tonight is that the Praises of God would echo throughout this land that Jesus Christ Saves!!!! (Ps. 67)

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