The final day of touring...
We will have a free day tomorrow before catching the 11pm flight from Tel Aviv to Seattle via New York. Most of the folks from LCOP will be doing their final shopping and touring Jerusalem for their last day. I will be spending the day in the hotel preparing for the sermon this weekend back home.
This day started by visiting the Israel Museum and the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. There is 50-1 model scale of what Jerusalem looked like during the days of Jesus.
|A model of what Jerusalem looked like during the days of Jesus|
|The Temple Mount|
|Herod's Palace in the background with the three towers|
|The main steps leading into the Temple Mount and the porticos|
|Clark spending some time in reflection at the Holocaust Museum|
I think it's fitting that we spent time in the Holocaust Museum on Ash Wednesday.
We love happy endings.
We love Easter.
But we forget that Easter is only possible because Jesus endured the atrocities of Good Friday, and because he paid the debt of the sins of the world in hell.
There is no Easter without Good Friday and the cross.
Just as there is no Christianity without the cross, there is no way to understand the ethos of modern day Israel without the holocaust. As ugly and tragic and horrific the Holocaust was, it is why Israel is the way she is today.
After the Holocaust Museum, we went back into the Old City into the Jewish quarters. There we the recently discovered ruins of the main card, the main street of ancient Jerusalem, and the ruins of the wall that Hezekiah built when he was king.
As we were walking out of the Jewish quarters into the Armenian quarter, saw a sign that I just had to take a picture of.
|St James St marks the start of the Armenian quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem|
|Place where some believe is the Place of the Skull, or Golgotha. Do you see the face of a skull in the rocks?|
The place where the crucifixion of Jesus most likely took place is now a parking lot for a busy Arab bus station right next to a mosque. There are hundreds of people going through here every hour without the slightest idea of what God did for all of human kind right at the spot where they are getting on and off the buses to go about their busy days.
But that's the gospel story.
God steps right into our daily lives. It's in this very life you and I live that God wants to enter our world.
That's good news.
|An Arab bus stop where Jesus was likely crucified|
|The Garden Tomb|
Life goes on.
But God is there.
And for our LCOP folks, they will never be able to read the Bible stories in the same way ever again.
There will be a place, a smell, a landscape, an experience that will go with the stories of how God chose to break into our story so that he can make his-story.
That's what pilgrimages are for.
Thanks be to God!