We had an amazing day in Jerusalem.
Starting off with a panoramic view of the city from the bell tower of the YMCA hotel, we then took a taxi to the Mount of Olives where we began our walking tour of many sights of the city.
We have an amazing tour guide called Josh who has a phenomenal knowledge of the historical, political and religious aspects of Jerusalem and the Jews, especially of the Old Testament.
I found our visit to the Garden of Gethsemane the most moving experience of the day. It was very easy to imagine Jesus there – or in a similar garden – praying in agony as He contemplated the cross before Him.
We walked the Via dolorosa and compared the different quarters of this amazing city. Here is the gate which separates the Muslim quarter from the Jewish quarter.
The Pool of Bethesda was interesting as we recalled the man who had been ill for 38 years and Jesus asked him what might have seemed a strange question: ‘Do you want to be well?’ Sometimes we become comfortable in our sickness or weakness.
For me, the most disturbing sight of the day was the women who were touching what might be the tombstone of Jesus, leaning on it in extreme devotion, sometimes stroking it with their scarves.
‘He is not here! He has risen!’
This is a land steeped in religion. Jews, Muslims and Christians co- exist. Everywhere you go you see religious people – people praying, people reading their bibles or other holy books. What a unique opportunity. You are reminded at almost every turn that this is where Jesus lived.
We were able to visit the City of David and see Nehemiah’s wall, then came back through a tunnel which brought us back up to the ancient Pool of Siloam and then the western wall.