Rector’s Blog Nov 6 Part 1: Landscape

Today we went to Beit Abraham, which gives an amazing view of the city from the east. Standing on this rooftop we could see, from left to right: Jordan, out in the distance. The Mount of Olives, where Jesus went after the Last Supper, and also the place of the Ascension. Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed before his arrest. Then, the Old City. We got a great view of the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary, built on the site of the Second Temple that was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70. North of that is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditional site of the crucifixion, the tomb Jesus was laid in, and the Resurrection. West of that, outside of the current walls (which have moved many times over hundreds of years) were the site of the Last Supper, the place Pilate condemned Jesus, and ancient Jerusalem, which is called City of David. West of there is Gehenna (early hell) which was likely the city dump of burning trash.

It was truly moving to gaze on these real places where the human Jesus lived and walked and died and rose. I can see why this city is called holy. It was also sad, because of the conflict and the reality of the divisions among Palestinians and Jews. It’s unlikely we will get to go to the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary because of the current violence.