|Sunrise over Jerusalem - View outside my room|
Started our day this morning at the House of Caiaphas, where Jesus was held prior to his trial. The view overlooking the city and Kidron Valley is fantastic.
|Statute of Peter denying to know Jesus three times before the cock crows|
|The modern day church that sits on top of where people believed Caiaphas resided|
|View of the Old City of Jerusalem|
|Looking across to the Mt. of Olives|
We then visited the City of David. They have found the ruins of the palace of David and the origins of the first wall that surrounded the City of David - Jerusalem in David and Solomon's time.
|Ruins at the City of David|
|City of David|
|The Dung Gate|
|The Walls of the Temple Complex|
|The Western Wall|
|People praying at the Western Wall|
|Men only section of the Western Wall.|
|Bar Mitzvah celebration|
|A model of the Second Temple|
|The Dome of the Rock peering over the Western Wall|
|Southeastern View of the Wall|
|The original steps leading up to the Temple Complex|
|View of the Southern Section of the Wall|
|Men who gathered to sacrifice would have to take a ceremonial bath to cleanse themselves. They would walk down on the right to bathe, and climb up on the left ceremonially clean.|
One of the most interesting parts of visiting this site was seeing Christians praying at and touching a niche that is in the church complex there. What should be noted about this niche is that it's not Christian. It was built there by the Muslims when they controlled Jerusalem. It was placed there to help orient Muslims to pray toward Mecca.
Without knowing that, people were in tears praying and crying as they were touching this niche as if the niche had some great spiritual significance.
As I have been reflecting about my time in Israel and in Jerusalem, one of the things that we can say for sure is that this is the land where God entered human history. Without a shadow of doubt, this is the land in which God's story intertwines with our story to make his-story. What is important is that God acted, and God continues to act.
There is a danger in making "holy" sites and shrines. It's not the place that is holy. It's the God who enters into our space that is holy. And without this God, no place is holy.