With a trembling heart, I too cry out in prayer on The Western Wall. I cry here because it is the most sacred site on the planet for Muslims, Jews and Christians. And I’m feeling the same empathy, as Jesus must have felt when he whispered:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Luke 13:34

I’m standing on the Mount of Olives overlooking a breathtaking panorama of the Old City of Jerusalem. Did you know that the Bible uses the name of this ancient town 801 times? The New Testament alone records the word 146 times.p1080877-1

See the stone wall in front of the hill? It circles the Old City of Jerusalem where Jesus was condemned and killed on the cross. Jesus was also buried and rose up out of the grave within these walls. There are eight gates into the old city with checkpoints and the Israeli police are at each of them. One blocked gate waits for the Messiah, the Saviour to return. There are four quarters to this ancient city, but the Christian Quarter calls to me with a passion.

See the golden-topped Dome of the Rock in the distance? A pure thin layer of gold makes it gleam in the sun. This Dome is the third holiest site in Islam. Jews and Muslims believe Abraham, the prophet of God, attempted to sacrifice his son to prove his faith in God on the foundation rock under the dome.[1]

How ironic then, that on this same site Jews and Muslims don’t recognize that God sacrificed his son Jesus to save us and to prove his love for us!

Somewhere under the dome lies The Holy of Holies sanctuary, where the Ark of the Covenant once rested in the first Temple of Solomon. The Ark, also electrified with the power and presence of God.

We take pictures from the viewpoint and breathe in great gulps of dry desert air. Jerusalem; the name of the city means Foundation of God. Foundation of Shalom; peace, completion, and harmony. Something all religions seek to obtain. Close by are burial caves, almost forgotten, now lying empty.

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Then we descend down into the Gardens of Gethsemane where 1000-year-old olive trees still grow. The very night before Jesus was crucified he walked alone in a garden just like this, beads of sweat on his brow, knowing what the morning would bring.

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We enter the Old City by the Jaffa gate, and stand in awe of Muslims in robes, Jews clad in black, Christians in colourful tourist clothes, all milling around so quietly in the courtyard nearest to the western wall. We get to dance in the street with a large family celebrating their young son’s Bar Mitzvah!

Then we walk the narrow alleys on the famous Via Dolorosa, The Way of the Cross. These are the narrow streets Jesus lumbered on, forced to carry the cross up to the Hill of Golgotha and be crucified. The Stations of the Cross mark the events of Jesus’s tortured journey. There are temples and churches to mark each one.

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First Jesus is condemned to death in the Roman Court by Pontius Pilate, the commissioner from Rome.[1] Then Jesus is beaten by Roman soldiers in the Chapel of the Flagellation. A crown of thorns is crushed down on his head.[2] We tread through the dark narrow streets, disregarding the shops and sellers of trinkets on each side.

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Jesus was scourged with a whip, barbs on the end of the leather strips. One can still walk across the grooved stone slabs that make up the floor where he stood bleeding. It is now the Chapel of Condemnation.

We wander through the streets and open courtyards to each mark stations. Another site marks where Jesus fell for the first time, from being beaten and carrying the weight of the cross. Jesus meets his Mother on his way and that spot is now the Church of Our Lady of the Spasm. The name sounds funny to me in English.

An ancient stone in the wall still bears the indented shape of a hand. Tradition tells us that when Jesus leaned against the wall on his way to Golgotha, the power he exuded carved his hand print into the rock itself. We tentatively place our hands in the same imprint and marvel at the possible results of metaphysical power.

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A Franciscan chapel stands here named after Simon of Cyrene. He was the man in the crowd who was ordered to carry the cross after Jesus stumbled the second time. [3]

And yet, look at all the stuff they are trying to sell to the tourists on every side of the narrow street. I’m disgusted. I’m angry at the lack of respect shown for Jesus, a Son of Man, and the Son of God, who sacrificed his life for our spiritual awakening. I remember reading about his anguish.

Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’. But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” Mark 11:15-17

The Muslims and Jews today have the political authority in the old City and it is a shame that these streets are still used for commerce in this way. There is barely enough room for believers to walk along the route because it’s so crowded all the time.

A woman named Veronica hands Jesus a cloth to wipe his bleeding and sweating face and the cloth carries an imprint of his face when he returns it to her. Jesus consoles the women following him and his message is for all  the Daughters of Jerusalem.[4] Huge wooden doors look like they’ve been standing there forever.

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Jesus falls for third time on the hill of Golgotha, at The Place of the Skull.[5] Then he is stripped of his garments, and the solders shake dice to see who gets to keep his fine tunic. Jesus is then nailed to the cross. A vivid scene paints this over the ceiling in the gilded inner sanctum, the exact site where the cross was erected and Jesus hung for hours.

An altar called Our Lady of Sorrows marks the site where Jesus’s body is taken off the cross and lowered on to the Stone of the Anointment. Then it was prepared for burial with a mixture of myrrh and oils. Touching this stone with many devout believers gave me such a very strange feeling.

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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre now sits where Jesus’s body was placed in the tomb. The Chapel of the Angel is also here, where three days later the messenger from heaven visited Jesus before he rose up and walked out of the tomb.

Are you looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified? He has been raised. He is not here.[6]

No, I didn’t see Jesus Christ, the anointed One with unworldly healing power, in these heavily ornate sacred temples and churches.

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But really! Why was I so disappointed? Didn’t he send his celestial presence and essence – back to us on earth in the form of Holy Spirit. He shines out of every heart that opens to him, filling our souls with joy!

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Have you gone to Jerusalem? What did you think? Reply below and I hope you “like” this article!

P.S. Follow this travel series with the link on the side bar! You can also look up all these verses very easily at: https://www.biblegateway.com and search for any word you want to find what the Bible says about it!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_Stone

[2] Matthew 27:1-2

[3] John 19:1-16) and (Mark 15:16-17

[4] Luke 23:26

[5] Luke 23:28-29

[6] Matt. 26:39

[7] Mark 16:6

THE CELESTIAL PROPOSAL: Our Invitation to Join the God Kind can be purchased on Amazon.com.

Check out other similar blogs: Jaspa’s Journal, and Leon’s Message Board

Check out the latest post on manifesting good things in your life at:  Heart Thoughts

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