Oh, how I wished that I had worked on the treadmill more prior to this trip. Lol. We did a lot of walking today in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and man are my feet killing me! Many hills to walk up and down, not to mention walking on stone all day long tends to wear on your feet if you aren’t used to it.
After breakfast this morning, we went to the Wailing (Western) Wall which is the wall on the western side of the 2nd temple. The first temple was destroyed and then rebuilt into this 2nd temple in the first century. As I mentioned in my previous post when I talked about Nazareth Village, I got choked up and teared up when our guide read from the scroll of Isaiah and talked about it. Well, this one took me by surprise this morning as we were able to join other Christian brothers and Jewish men in praying at the Western Wall. After praying for myself, my family, my church, Jerusalem and Israel, I then backed away from the wall and met some of the men from our group. As I was discussing with them, the tears started welling up for us. I can’t explain in word what that was like.
Near the Western Wall, we started our descent to the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We learned that these tunnels were originally a by-product of the use of a series of arches that Herod and others used to level the ground to be able to build upon this very hilly area of Jerusalem.
Via Dolorosa (the Way of Suffering)
While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Here are a few pictures of the Via Dolorosa, but couldn’t really get pictures of the Holy Sepulcher with how crowded it was unfortunately. It was insane in the small portion I went in.
Pool of Bethesda & St. Anne’s Church
We then came to the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the lame man who had nobody to put him in the pool. This pool was said to heal the person who entered the pool when the water was stirred up.
Next to this pool is St. Anne’s Church, where you can go in and sing with a small group and the acoustics in the church make it sound like a huge choir. It was amazing! Here is a video that I tried to shoot that captured the acoustics in the St. Anne’s Church. Sorry, parts of it are a little bouncy – just close your eyes and listen. lol
We also went to Bethlehem to see some of the sites there. It was very ornate and we got some pictures at the Church of the Nativity
Bonus pictures from the drive to Jerusalem from Bethlehem:
You shall here from me again tomorrow hopefully. It takes a few hours with my phone and this internet to get a post done. I will do my best to complete it before I go to bed tomorrow night. For now, it is past 11 pm in Israel and I’m wiped out. My feet and legs hurt and I’m having a hard time staying awake to post this one. Soooo, good night, friends, and Shalom from Jerusalem!