Oct. 22nd - Jerusalem Day 3 & Joppa

As we left the Grand Court Hotel in Jerusalem for the final time yesterday morning, Barry, Norm and Gus were able to fit in a few more stops before heading back to the coast and over to the airport.

The Garden Tomb 

 The Garden Tomb (or Gordon's Tomb), is located close to a hill that has come to be called "Skull Hill" because of how some of the contours of the hill resemble the features of a face. This tomb was uncovered in the late 19th century as a possible alternate location for the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. As Kieran, our guide at the tomb, repeatedly told us, "Whether it was this tomb or the one at the Church of the Sepulcher, His tomb is empty because he is risen!" 

The Garden Tomb (or Gordon's Tomb), is located close to a hill that has come to be called "Skull Hill" because of how some of the contours of the hill resemble the features of a face. This tomb was uncovered in the late 19th century as a possible alternate location for the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. As Kieran, our guide at the tomb, repeatedly told us, "Whether it was this tomb or the one at the Church of the Sepulcher, His tomb is empty because he is risen!" 

 An empty ledge inside the Garden Tomb where a body would have been laid.

An empty ledge inside the Garden Tomb where a body would have been laid.

The Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu

 After we finished visiting the Garden Tomb we drove a few minutes away to the Church of Gallicantu, a place designed to commemorate Peter's triple rejection of Jesus at the house of Caiaphas the high priest (Matt. 26:69-75). Gallicantu is Latin for "cock's crow". Several religious buildings have been constructed on top of each other on this same site. The main entrance of the current building has intricately carved doors depicting Jesus on the left in blue pointing to Peter on the right. On Peter's door you can see a blue and red rooster. 

After we finished visiting the Garden Tomb we drove a few minutes away to the Church of Gallicantu, a place designed to commemorate Peter's triple rejection of Jesus at the house of Caiaphas the high priest (Matt. 26:69-75). Gallicantu is Latin for "cock's crow". Several religious buildings have been constructed on top of each other on this same site. The main entrance of the current building has intricately carved doors depicting Jesus on the left in blue pointing to Peter on the right. On Peter's door you can see a blue and red rooster. 

 The first century street leading up to the building has been uncovered. The odds are good that Jesus was brought up these steps on his way to Caiaphas. In the background on the other side of the valley you can see the Mount of Olives. Because of it's location, it is highly likely that Caiaphas would have been able to watch the torch carrying mob leave Jerusalem, cross the Kidron valley below, ascend the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemene and back to town, all from the comfort of his palace.

The first century street leading up to the building has been uncovered. The odds are good that Jesus was brought up these steps on his way to Caiaphas. In the background on the other side of the valley you can see the Mount of Olives. Because of it's location, it is highly likely that Caiaphas would have been able to watch the torch carrying mob leave Jerusalem, cross the Kidron valley below, ascend the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemene and back to town, all from the comfort of his palace.

 In the lower levels of Gallicantu, there is a prison level where those arrested would have been lowered down through a hole in the ground by ropes. While never mentioned in the Biblical text, some speculate that Jesus may have been lowered into this pit at some point during his time with Caiaphas. At the lowest level a podium has been installed where one of our group was invited to read Psalm 88 as we stood shoulder to shoulder in the small room, thinking about what Jesus may have been thinking and feeling that night as all of his disciples abandoned him as he offered himself for sin.

In the lower levels of Gallicantu, there is a prison level where those arrested would have been lowered down through a hole in the ground by ropes. While never mentioned in the Biblical text, some speculate that Jesus may have been lowered into this pit at some point during his time with Caiaphas. At the lowest level a podium has been installed where one of our group was invited to read Psalm 88 as we stood shoulder to shoulder in the small room, thinking about what Jesus may have been thinking and feeling that night as all of his disciples abandoned him as he offered himself for sin.

"For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and eep. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhlem me with all your waves. Selah." - Ps. 88:3-7

Model of Jerusalem 

 The first thing we stopped to see after Gallincantu was the 1/50th scale model of Second Temple Jerusalem at the Israel Museum. It was amazing! I wish every student of scripture had an opportunity to see this amazing tool. Walking around the nearly acre large model, everyone in our group was excitedly putting pieces of the last five days together. "We walked along that road!" "We sat on those steps!" "We visited that pool, walked in that tunnel..." For those who worship with those who traveled in this group, don't be surprised if pictures of this model make their way onto powerpoint presentation or lesson handouts.=)

The first thing we stopped to see after Gallincantu was the 1/50th scale model of Second Temple Jerusalem at the Israel Museum. It was amazing! I wish every student of scripture had an opportunity to see this amazing tool. Walking around the nearly acre large model, everyone in our group was excitedly putting pieces of the last five days together. "We walked along that road!" "We sat on those steps!" "We visited that pool, walked in that tunnel..." For those who worship with those who traveled in this group, don't be surprised if pictures of this model make their way onto powerpoint presentation or lesson handouts.=)

The Shrine of the Book 

 The shrine of the book is a beautiful wing of the Israel Museum dedicated to the scrolls discovered at Qumran. Photography is not allowed inside the wing, so we took a picture of the roof.=) The main room, directly underneath this roof, is designed to look like a scroll. The roof itself is shaped like a lid from one of the Qumran pots. The different scrolls are displayed on a rotating scedule inside the shrine. The shrine also displays different artefacts discovered at Qumran, explaining the lives of the Essenes who copied and collected the various scrolls.

The shrine of the book is a beautiful wing of the Israel Museum dedicated to the scrolls discovered at Qumran. Photography is not allowed inside the wing, so we took a picture of the roof.=) The main room, directly underneath this roof, is designed to look like a scroll. The roof itself is shaped like a lid from one of the Qumran pots. The different scrolls are displayed on a rotating scedule inside the shrine. The shrine also displays different artefacts discovered at Qumran, explaining the lives of the Essenes who copied and collected the various scrolls.

Israel Museum 

 This is the four horned altar found at Tel Be'er Sheva (Beer-sheba), which we visited on  Oct. 21st . A replica of the altar is located at the lower exit of the tunnel we walked through, contructed from stones found at the site.

This is the four horned altar found at Tel Be'er Sheva (Beer-sheba), which we visited on Oct. 21st. A replica of the altar is located at the lower exit of the tunnel we walked through, contructed from stones found at the site.

 These two lions were guardians of an early Canaanite temple at Hazor. We visited this tel on  Oct. 16th .  

These two lions were guardians of an early Canaanite temple at Hazor. We visited this tel on Oct. 16th.  

 This is the actual Seat of Moses found in the 3rd century tabernacle at Korazim. We saw and sat in the replica on  Oct. 16th .

This is the actual Seat of Moses found in the 3rd century tabernacle at Korazim. We saw and sat in the replica on Oct. 16th.

 In the 1970s in north Jerusalem, and ossuary was found which contained the remains of a first century man who had been crucified. One of the heel bones still had an iron stake driven through it. The heel and nail in this picture are a copy, however, the inscribed ossuary the heel was found in is original.

In the 1970s in north Jerusalem, and ossuary was found which contained the remains of a first century man who had been crucified. One of the heel bones still had an iron stake driven through it. The heel and nail in this picture are a copy, however, the inscribed ossuary the heel was found in is original.

 This inscription which bears the name of Pontius Pilate, was discovered at Caesarea Maritima, which we visited on  Oct. 14th . 

This inscription which bears the name of Pontius Pilate, was discovered at Caesarea Maritima, which we visited on Oct. 14th

Joppa 

 The last town we stopped in before going to the airport was the city of Jaffa, or Joppa. This was the Biblical city from which Jonah attempted to flee from God by getting in a boat and sailing in the opposite direction he was told to go (Jonah 1). It is also the same from which Peter was summoned by Cornelious in order to hear what instruction God had for him and his family. In the narrow alleys in Joppa, there is a door labeled in multiple languages at the traditional house of Simon the Tanner, the man who hosted Peter in Acts 9:43 & 10:4-6. I think Barry has done a good job writing about this house and door on his web site (and his picture has better lighting=), so I would encourage you to read it when you get the chance. You can find the link  here .

The last town we stopped in before going to the airport was the city of Jaffa, or Joppa. This was the Biblical city from which Jonah attempted to flee from God by getting in a boat and sailing in the opposite direction he was told to go (Jonah 1). It is also the same from which Peter was summoned by Cornelious in order to hear what instruction God had for him and his family. In the narrow alleys in Joppa, there is a door labeled in multiple languages at the traditional house of Simon the Tanner, the man who hosted Peter in Acts 9:43 & 10:4-6. I think Barry has done a good job writing about this house and door on his web site (and his picture has better lighting=), so I would encourage you to read it when you get the chance. You can find the link here.

 Instead of walking around as a group, Barry let us loose for an hour to walk around Jaffa and see what we could see. Anna and I headed down to the water. She walked in the Mediteranean and we enjoyed the sunset together. We took several different pictures of the ancient harbor (in this picture they are the two clumbs of rock you see in the water). It was a perfect way to wrap up our trip. We were just a few miles south of Netanya where we spent our first night in Israel just a few short days ago. Our group shared one last meal together at a restuarant in town, and then we said our goodbyes to Gus at the airport.

Instead of walking around as a group, Barry let us loose for an hour to walk around Jaffa and see what we could see. Anna and I headed down to the water. She walked in the Mediteranean and we enjoyed the sunset together. We took several different pictures of the ancient harbor (in this picture they are the two clumbs of rock you see in the water). It was a perfect way to wrap up our trip. We were just a few miles south of Netanya where we spent our first night in Israel just a few short days ago. Our group shared one last meal together at a restuarant in town, and then we said our goodbyes to Gus at the airport.

Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible for Anna and I to make this trip together! Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. We arrived safely at home today and celebrated our youngest son's birthday. 

Lord willing, in the next few weeks Anna and I will create an online gallery of our favorite photos that we took during this trip. We'll let you know when we get that uploaded. 

Before I sign off I woud like to say this: If you ever have a chance to visit Israel with Barry and Norm, do it! Anna and I learned so much. God bless, 

Jeremy & Anna