A deeper affection
We started this morning on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Kidron Valley and the Eastern Gate of Temple Mount. After reading about Jesus’ last week and observing communion among the Gethsemane olive trees, we walked down the path that Jesus took as he entered Jerusalem amid hosannas and praises.
Once inside the Lion Gate, we walked through the different quarters of the old city, smelling the spices, hearing the calls of merchants, and watching the busy life of people from three separate faiths. After reading from John 5 at the site of the pool of Bethesda, we headed to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Here, six different strands of Christianity converge at the traditional site of the crucifixion and the burial of Jesus. It was fascinating to see the vast spectrum of ways in which Jesus-followers have sought to know him more throughout history and in the world today.
We also visited Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, a stunning memorial to the six million Jews who were eradicated during the Nazi Regime in Europe. Yad Vashem stands as a testament to the wickedness of which Man is capable. May it never happen again. Our last visit was to the Garden Tomb, another possible site of the crucifixion burial of Christ. This reminded us that Man is incapable of ending hate and fear and violence and war. We need a savior who did not stay in a tomb; he conquered death, and he is coming again.
Tonight, our hearts were full as we said goodbye to our dear friends, Meyer, who drove us and treated us with hospitality, and Ronen, who taught and led us with wisdom and patience. We leave with a deeper affection for them, for this land, and for this people.
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!”
For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.