Monday, January 18, 2016

Israel-Day 6th

We both had a good night sleep last night so we were ready for the day. We started at the Tower of David which has nothing to do with King David.  Israel can be confusing like that. Archealogical evidence shows that the foundation was Herod's palace where Jesus was likely convicted and flogged. It has had several walls built around it since then and now serves as a museum of Jerusalem.

We were greatly helped to understand the story of Jesus' time in the Holy City by hands on topography maps and models that showed the relationship between important buildings and areas within the city walls. I very much look forward to trying to describe it all to others.

Our next stop was the Church of the Reussurection or Holy Sepluchre, whichever you prefer.  There is so very much to take in  there because of the many traditions that lay claim to the spot.  Our guide is very quick to dismiss "Protestant propaganda" so my questions were almost ignored. Both Bobbi Lynn and I waited to touch the rock on which Jesus may have died.  It seemed like a necessary thing for a pilgrim to do.  Finally we took a quick trip to Bethlehem where we saw our first Palestinian soldiers. Their Prime Minister was in town to celebrate the Armenian Christmas. Because of the celebration we only got a glimpse of the believed spot Jesus was born.

There is much in dispute about these sites but there are too many witnesses very close to the days Jesus spent on earth allowing us to trust in the respective traditions.

Anyone who would come to these places and question the historicity of Jesus is a fool. Well, he is a fool even if he never comes to the Holy City.   Peace, Pastor Eric


  1. Hey Dad just wondering what you meant by "Protestant Propaganda" and the type of questions you asked?

    1. Protestant propaganda evidently refers to legends that Protestants have spread to make the Holy Land more mysterious. I aske why there is a ladder on the secon floor of the Church of the Resurrection having heard of a legend. He dismissed me. I asked about rumors of possible places of the Upper Room. He dismissed me. He also didn't bother with Roman Catholic propaganda like the Via Delerosa.

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  3. January 18,2016
    Monday was an exhausting day and so I am writing this a day late, but my comments are for 1/18/16. It was cold and windy today and we spent most of it outdoors. The Tower of David was very interesting and amazing to think we were in Herod's palace where Jesus was condemned. We were able to be in what is thought to be the praetorium, which has just been opened for the public in the last year. We also learned that where Christ Church stands is where they believe the people cried out "crucify him, crucify him". It is amazing to walk around the old city, we better realize how close in proximity the events described in the bible are. After visiting the Herod's palace we walked across the street back to Christ Church and the coffee house to warm up and get a bite to eat before we headed to the Church of the Holy Sepluchre. This was very moving for me emotionally as I was able to touch the slab believed where Jesus was lain as well as to touch the rock the cross was put into. The church is very ornate, and reverent. We were told that because this is the off season there are no lines and we could get in and out of the sites with ease. It was very cold, but quick! Because we had extra time before dinner, the group decided to go to Bethlehem. Shoresh tours are very flexible and since tensions were lower they granted our request and I'm so glad we went. A beautiful church although under reconstruction and since being an Armenian holiday we could only look at the cave where they believe Jesus to be born through a peep hole in a door! We got back in time for dinner and after dinner we had Evensong in Christ Church. The acoustics are wonderful and glorious to sing in. A fellow tour mate, Lillian, from the UK sang so beautifully a communion anthem. They asked me to play the piano our hymns to which I obliged. We got back to our room about 9:45 and fell into bed.