Our last day was spent in Jerusalem where we first visited the Garden Tomb, a place which was much more interesting than we anticipated. The site is built around a tomb that clearly dates to the time of Christ. It has all the features of the tomb Jesus was buried in and was also the tomb of a wealthy family. They do not claim that it definitely is the actual tomb of Jesus, but they make a compelling case for it. It does show how such a tomb would have been arranged. The people who run the place are very evangelistic. Our guide was a retired evangelical pastor.
We also visited the ancient City of David which he captured from the Jebusites, which became what we now know as Jerusalem. They recently began excavating the site and discovered the Pool of Siloam where the blind man Jesus healed was sent to wash (John 9).
Some of our group went through the water tunnel dug by Hezekiah which supplied ancient Jerusalem with water during the siege of the Assyrians. Others went through what is called the Canaanite Tunnel which was part of the ancient city of the Jebusites that David conquered and turned into Jerusalem.
Finally, we ended the tour on the actual steps which went up to the Herodian Temple. Jesus’ parents may have ascended those very steps when they went todedicate the infant Jesus and were met by Simeon who was waiting for the Messiah to come. I assume those are the same steps Jesus climbed to enter into the temple grounds (see Luke 2:25ff).
All in all, it was a great day which we ended with a few hours of shopping in the city.
Tonight, we must leave for the airport in Tel Aviv at 12:30am!
See you all next Sunday.
Pastor Steve and Mary