Sunday, October 16, 2011

the mount of olives

We've been itching to see the Mount of Olives.  This is a very special place for a few reasons (other than providing a breathtaking view of the Old City and Temple Mount).  I believe it was one of Jesus' favorite places in Jerusalem.  Many of the most important people in the Bible walked on it. 

It's also considered the holiest cemetery by the Jewish - who believe the Messiah will appear here and bring the dead back to life.  Due to this tradition, there are about 150,000 Jewish graves on the Mount.  At the bottom of the hill is the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed and arrested before his crucifixion.  The hill is first referred to in the Old Testament when King David fled the city.

But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up.

2 Samuel 15:30

It is mentioned later in the New Testament when Jesus wept over the future destruction of the city.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.

Luke 19:41

At the top!
Michael + Peter

The Dome of the Rock.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.
Al Aqsa Mosque.

This gate (above) is called the Golden Gate or the East Gate and is considered a holy site for all faiths.  It was once located on the eastern side of Solomon's Temple.  After descending from the Mount of Olives, Jesus entered this gate on Palm Sunday before his crucifixion.  In Jewish tradition, this is the gate where the Messiah will enter Jerusalem.  The Ottoman's sealed it to prevent the Messiah from entering.

"This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut."

Ezekiel 44:2

This is the Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church on the Mount.

This is the church (above) where Jesus wept.  It was closed : (

Peter is too tall.

Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.  Mmmm!!!!
SOOO delicious!  Just what I needed.

It was absolutely one of the highlights of my time here in Jerusalem and I hope to return one more time before we leave.  We'd also like to visit Bethlehem and Jericho if time allows!  I'm so thankful to be able to visit multiple times because it's really sooo much to take in.  One day is NOT enough.  It's a little surreal at times and hard to really grasp all the biblical and historical importance.

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