Next we made a stop to overlook the old walled city of Jerusalem. The Golden Dome of the Muslim mosque dominates the view. Muslims built this mosque on the site of the Temple Mount where an angel appeared to Zechariah telling him of the imminent birth of his son, John.

 

Next was the Rock of the Agony where Jesus sat and prayed when he was betrayed by Judas. The stone is now located in the Church of Gethsemane near the Gardens of Gethsemane where Jesus was taken by Roman soldiers.

 

We entered the walled city via Jaffa Gate and strolled through the narrow streets, reaching the Western Wall, or Weeping Wall. The wall is a remnant of the Second Temple and one of the most sacred shrines for Jews. Men and women worship separately and I was very moved while touching the wall and praying. Many ultra-Orthodox Jews pray at the wall and when prayers are finished, they back away from the wall so as to not turn their back to God .

 

Walking down more narrow streets, we arrived at the 5th of 14 Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow), the path Jesus traveled as he carried the cross to the place of his crucifixion. This narrow path is much like it was 2,000 years ago and is quite steep as it leads to Golgotha (Calvary) and one can imagine Jesus's struggles. The way now has steps but did not back in the olden days.

 

The 5th station is where Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry the cross. The 7th is where Jesus fell the second time. The 8th where He spoke to the Women of Jerusalem.

 

Stations 10 - 14 are located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. (No photos are allowed in the Church.) The 12th Station marks the place of the crucifixion. The 13th is the Stone of the Anointment where Jesus was laid after his death. The 14th is the burial and resurrection site.

 

Walking in the steps of Jesus makes the books of the New Testament come alive. What a remarkable experience for Esther and I. No words to adequately describe.

City wall of Jerusalem

Henry Lowndes Jr.

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