Israel 2012 – Day 7

Day 7 begins with us visiting my favorite spot in Jerusalem and the most gawdy spot.   We first stopped by and visited probably one of the most scenic spots we visited in Jerusalem.  I got this awesome panoramic shot.

While we were at the scenic outlook.  There was a couple unique vendors.  A camel ride, several people did it.  I think it was 1 rider for $5 or 2 for $7.  The donkey ride was $1 or $2.  The camel ride was way more popular.



As we were talking down the road next to the cemetery, we saw a Chevy Suburban.   There was a street vendor selling his products.  Guess, things aren’t too bad as a street vendor (seriously I don’t know if it was his or not)

Here are the graves.   Notice the stones, that is the same as what we do in the US, putting flowers.  Also, the person is buried underground, but the thing on-top so the family can bring candles.

Even Michigan and Michigan State fans get a long in the Holy Land!  This is my new little brother in Christ Bart Hall! 

Notice the glass, they put at the top of the wall so people would have bad cuts…

This saying really hit me hard…

As you can guess, we were headed to the Garden of Gethsemane.  It hit home what happened here after seeing the place.  Here are some pictures of Olive trees (They said the oldest on the planet).  Some of these could have been seedlings when Jesus was on earth.   What really, really hit home when Jesus prayed and stated, “…not my will, but your will be done..”  Jesus was 100% God and 100% human (I believe that), he felt scared knowing exactly what was coming.  Just imagine, part of punishment was to bare the sin of all past, present and future (of all time, of all people) in the 6 hours hanging on the Cross.  That is more than any human can understand.  It brought me to tears when I was praying in the Church of All Nations.  I was very humbled realizing once and for all the sacrifice Jesus did for all of us.  Jesus knew what it felt like to be a liar, cheat, murder and every other kind of sin as he had it put on his shoulders.  I write this just one week before Easter, it’s moving to me.   When I read the bible, hear stuff, I’m quickly taken back to the Garden.  Besides Mt of Beatitudes, this was the most moving, this is why.  Here are some pics of the church and Garden.

Garden wide view

This is the biggest and oldest tree I could see

The church of All Nations is the church with the large picture on the front.  I have a good picture on Day 6.  It was amazing up close.  We spent a bit of time at the Church of All Nations praying and just lingering about.  We went to the “Grotto” next.  Ever heard the statement “a stone’s throw away”.   What this meant the Disciples where down in the Grotto, and Jesus was a “stones throw” away over the wall “per se” away from everyone.  There is a wall. 

There’s the wall

This is the entry to a location where Mary’s family is buried.

We hopped on the bus and headed to more locations.  We were taking a break, it was Friday and a lot more people were out and bout.   Notice the costumes, this is more Purim.

They told me this wall and all the dents were created by bullets, that is definitely worth a pic

Lunch.  This is the kind of “Cardo” I like to do, pizza.  Some people were waiting in line I saw this sign and made that comment!   Olive and Cheese pizza, Yum!!

As we were sitting eating, actually got caught in my own picture.  J   Just how serious was eating you ask?  We had a wife and husband (one got pizza, one got a Falafel) when they tried to sit at the same table, a person came around and told them they couldn’t.  It’s something with mixing something…(I’ll ask Pastor Joel). Mothers Milk and blood don’t mix I believe.   This picture is Austin, Joel Heron, Christine (from Indiana) and me!

Olive Press, when they say a millstone around the neck, picture this 🙂

Even Detroit Pistons fans are in Jerusalem!

They have Steelers and Penguins fans!

What a cool dedicated painting

Entering the Jewish quarter

I joked when I saw this, I wasn’t buying this for my wife and wanted to show her LOL

From here down, I had a range of emotions different than earlier in the day.  These thoughts are my opinions alone.  It doesn’t detract from what Jesus did for me in the least!  I’m a little saddened…  These next few pictures are gawdy IMO.  You have to remember what “happened here and to whom (Jesus)”.  The actual appearance a person really has to look past, it’s a “shrine” and can easily be taken as an Idol.  We all know how God likes Idols, HE DOESN’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We visited the Church of Holy Sepulchre.

Remember the Ladder Pastor Joel Talked about (for those who went to GCC), it’s been there a while (150 – 200 years).  I’m appalled Christians can’t come together over such petty things.  Don’t we worship the same Jesus??  The church is shared by a few different denominations, they can’t agree on certain things I guess, it was sad to hear such petty things.  

As excited as I was in the AM, when I visited this place, I had to remember my saying “worship the person who as this place and what he did, don’t worship the place itself!”.  Visit your favorite search engine, look up the story, ask your pastor or priest.  I’m sure it’s not as bad, but it sure did when I was there.


This is the best picture I got, Jesus was crucified here.  All the gold was almost too much.   There is a rock below people can kneel down and touch. 

This is the holiest place for Orthodox, this stone is where Jesus’s body was laid after he died.  I respect the fact people wanting to kneel here.  I didn’t personally, but just knowing Jesus’s body could have been in the particular area is moving. 

Next, we visited the “tomb” where Jesus was supposedly laid to rest.  Austin asked, if this is so special, why don’t they just have a hillside and garden vs. all the trimmings, gold and such.  Good question.

We waited about 45 minutes to see the tomb, there is 7 people at once that can see.   Big candles in front of the tomb.

Front of the tomb, this represents the 12 disciples

There was a middle room before entering the tomb.  I believe this is the internal of the tomb.

Thank you Jesus for what you did for us!  I came out shaking my head a little, I didn’t say anything, but it was a bit over the top.

Another portion of the Church

After we left the church, we went shopping…How did that young lady get in there, Oh Stacy Hall!


Fresh fish!

Nazarene Church

We spent a bit of time also shopping in the market.  What an experience, going from one quarter to the next, every quarter is unique.  This day I experienced a wide range of emotions. Knowing I visited one of the holiest places, it was surreal yet had to just remember it’s a place and not a shrine to worship.   The local citizens are awesome and patient with tourists.  There are dozens and dozens of tour groups, lots of tour buses and normal life happens for many.  

I am VERY thankful I was allowed to visit these holy places and experience them.  I had one day left in the City I came to see.   Most of all, I have a fresh perspective of what my personal savior did and got a glimpse of the general area these events happened.  The scripture came alive.  One more day to go!

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