Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Land Homecoming: a Retrospective (part 2)

(view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives)

It Happened One Thursday

On Thursday night, the first night of the celebration of Passover, Jesus and His disciples gathered in a room in Jerusalem to share the Passover meal. Afterwards, they walked across the Kidron Valley and up the Mount of Olives to a garden called Gethsemane to pray...

Garden of Gethsemane

(2000 year old olive tree)

"Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Matthew 26:45

The House of Caiaphas on Mount Zion

(Armenian Church on the Site of Caiaphas' House)
"Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered..."
Matthew 26:62-66

It is believed that Jesus was placed in a cell like this empty cistern in the basement of Caiaphas' house...

He would have likely been let down through this very small opening into this cistern by ropes tied under his arms, bound, as depicted in this mosaic...

Our entire tour (50 people) gathered into this small cistern where Jesus spent His last night on Earth and our pastor read from the Bible (Psalm 88) and spoke about what it must have been like for Jesus...

At that moment, there in that prison cell, I began to weep and I couldn't stop. With my back up against the wall of the cistern, I felt with raw unfettered emotion the reality of what my Saviour had done for He had willingly taken MY rightful place in that cell...what love, what sacrifice, what grace!  The Lord whispered gently to my spirit that He thought of me that night...I could hardly bear the beauty of that thought...

He thought of ALL of us that night...

"Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly."
Matthew 26:74-75

...He thought of you reading these words now...

...and every human soul ever created and those yet to be created.... the midst of His immense suffering...

such. amazing. grace.


  1. What an amazing journey, to walk where CHrist walked and to see the story brought to life at the very places it happened! Thank you for sharing these photos Becky. I doubt I'll ever get there myself and this is a way wonderful way to see some of the Holy Land. Happy Easter my friend:>)

  2. Thanks for sharing your memories and photos with us.

  3. So powerful Becky! What an incredible experience this had to have been!


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