Sorry I did not get any pictures on this post. I have been sick with a cold most of the week. Here are the pictures now!!
This had to be one of the saddest most somber days we had during our trip. In the morning we were focused on the Mount of Olives and Christ’s prayer in the garden. The last thing we ended the day with was a tour of Yad Vashem.
Jan 16 10:21
This morning we visited the Mt of Olives. From the top was a glorious view of the Temple Mound. The Dome of the Rock was shining brilliantly from the vantage point I had.
We walked down the Palm Sunday walk. It was really hard to imagine how it would have been in Jesus day. We were going down a steep, slippery, black topped road with high rock walls on either side. Many of our group was having some difficulty going down.
There were several stops we made along the way. One was Dominus Flevit or the church of the tears. The chapel was very small. The window at the front faced the Dome of the Rock. I really enjoyed the scripture reading there. It was the passage where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. It was so amazing to be standing there hearing those words seeing the Dome of the Rock and hearing the church bells.
We stopped at the private olive garden of some Franciscan monks to read the Bible and pray. We had a very short Sunday service there. We sang, “In the Garden” with Mrs. Debby leading. I can’t express my feelings at the moment. It was one of awe and wonder. Standing there under the olive trees imagining the scene that happened that night long ago. The builder of the church across the street, Borelli, tried to capture the feeling in the church he built.
When you enter the church it is very dark. When you look up each dome had gilded olive branches in the corners with silver stars filling in. The background was a dark royal blue. The windows were stained glass crosses made of different shades of purple. At the front was the rock where Jesus was said to have prayed. Of all the churches I have been to I liked that one the best. Maybe because it was so big and open I got the feeling like I was outside at night.
We just left the outside of the Temple mound. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would have been like back in its glory days. I closed my eyes and tried to see it and hear what it would have been like. I walked on the steps where Jesus would have walked going up to the temple. He would have also taught there on those steps.
The feeling that came over me was one of joy. A joy that this the temple is not necessary anymore. I don’t have to sacrifice animals anymore. I am free. I am not bound by the law. I was just about ready to burst out is a great big Hallelujah!! Then I looked across the city and wanted to weep. There are so many out there in the sight of the temple that do not know anything about Jesus. They could care less. So many people who walk all over this city and none of this has any meaning to them. My emotions were a mixture of joy and sorrow.
“What if the armies of the Lord picked up and dusted off their sword?” Those words replayed and replayed in my mind as I walked through the archaeological site. So many lost souls here and everywhere. Where are the missionaries? Where is the light?
We just got back on the bus from lunch. I had a beef and chicken gyro. I can’t pronounce or spell it the way they say it.It was very very good. Of course, it was served in pita bread with raw cabbage. I love the way that we are not stopping at the American restaurants. We are stopping at locally owned and operated places. I am getting to experience this country.
Like the other places we stopped, it was not just a restaurant it was also a store. I went in and I found some rings I liked. I have been hunting for one for my sister. The guy started at $60 but I eventually got him down to $35. It was kind of fun playing him and being like, “No. No. I really don’t think I want it.” Pretty much acting like you are walking away. I may do it again. I think I am going to try one of these street vendors and see if I can get those guys down. So many of the ladies on the bus just pay their prices. I think I am going to have fun with this.
We just finished visiting the model of Jerusalem circa AD 70. It is something that I have heard about but now have actually seen it with my own eyes. It really helped me put together where we have been and where we are going. The temple must have been amazing in those days.
It was interesting to hear Hannah tell us about it. She told us that they are not sure if the Dome of the Rock is on top of the site where the altar was or on top of the Holy of Holies. Because of the Dome of the Rock they cannot do the excavation that is needed to find out.
I had one amazing though. The temple was beautiful and glorious. I was wishing that I had been able to see it and it would be amazing if I could travel back in time and take pictures. Then something else hit me. My body is now the temple of God.
When the Temple was destroyed it was as if God was trying to get the people of Israel’s attention and tell them they did not need it anymore because they became His temple and they were priests. In light of that, my body is more glorious than the temple back then. With all its gold, marble, ornate decorations, and everything else the temple cannot compare with the temple I now have. Praise the Lord for the Glorious work He did for me!!!
They had a coffee shop there and I got a cappuccino. I did not even go to the junk shop. I was cold and wanted something warm. I paid 14 shekels. I am warm and happy now.
We are now headed to the Holocaust Museum
Where to start and what do I say? I am sitting here ready to weep. Tears are coming slowly but surely as I reflect on what I’ve just seen. Lives crushed and destroyed. Families that are no longer. The sadness that fills me is great. These people, the Jews, persecuted because they were looked at as a lower form of life.
It scares me how it all started with Hitler. People were frenzied and blinded to his evil by his golden tongue. He spoke and the people listened. They did whatever he said to do. They were taught to hate the Jews because of the lies of the propaganda ministry.
The root of it all was the lie of Evolution. That some people are more evolved than others. The Germans, Arians, were higher and more evolved than other humans. They were the super race. The thing that stunned me was that Evolution was never mentioned as the start of it. In the movie “Expelled” Ben Stein brings out the fact that Evolution brought this evil and tragedy into being.
I was saddened and angered as I walked through. The towns and people that went along with it. Where were the ones standing and saying, “No! This is wrong!” The people were for it. They cheered when the Jews were rounded up. There were some accounts written by people who just stood by and watched. Then I wondered to myself, “If this were to happen in America what would I do? Would I be willing to stand up against it even though it would mean I could possibly lose my life? Would I silently watch tacitly consenting to what they were doing? Would I be part of the frenzied mob cheering?” I came to the conclusion that I could not answer any of those questions. I don’t think anyone knows for sure what they would do until faced with it.
The saddest and most memorable account was of some Jews in hiding in the Ukraine. The person hiding them came and announced they were safe because the Russians were coming. I found that so sad. They escaped the Nazis only to be killed by the Russians. They thought they were safe but they were not. Stalin killed more Jews than Hitler ever did. I wanted to yell, “No!!! You are not safe!! Stay in hiding!” There were countless thousands of Jews that escaped to the Ukraine only to be killed when the Nazis came. The people of the Ukraine were just as devastated as the Jews they were trying to hide.
I walked through the children’s memorial. The young innocent lives that were snuffed out. These children were so young some of them. They had all of their life in front of them then to be snuffed out. They were hated for no reason except that they were Jews.
It reminded me of Abortion. Young innocents killed before they ever get a chance to breathe. Little creations of God destroyed. Abortion is like the Holocaust. The children are hated and unwanted even though they have not yet been born.
I kept praying through the whole thing that if a regime as evil and vile as the Nazis came into power in America that the Christian church would have the backbone to stand against them even if it meant death. The Jews went to their death some of them fearlessly and quietly. Could the Christians of today stand that? I wish I could say yes but I don’t know. We never know what we would do until it happens.
God open the eyes of the hearts of Your people in America. May we see evil and shun it in our leaders. May we not be blinded and frenzied to the sound of lies. Help us to stand if ever a time comes when we have to. Help me to be strong in Your strength. Help me to stand up in the face of wrong. Help me not to give in or to silently watch evil and give tacit consent to it. Help me to speak up. Give us men in America who will stand and lead us in righteousness. Oh, give us men that will stand and not be weak!
I am still reflecting on the things I saw and heard. Let me and everyone never forget what happened so that it may NEVER happen again. I hope I did not appear rude to anyone in the group who tried talking to me. I was drinking it in. Trying to remember it. I did not feel like talking or want to talk. I felt like silence was needed. It was a place of the dead. A place to reverence and remember.