Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Week: Thursday

Tradition has it that the Last Supper was held in an upper room in the upper/western portion of the city somewhere near the inverted cone shaped dome of the Dormition Abbey on the upper right of the golden Dome of the Rock.

Somewhere up the hill directly behind the temple in this photo (The Model City of Jerusalem at the Israel Museum).

Just below the Dormition Abbey on the crest of Mt. Zion is one possible site of the Last Supper.

The ground floor of this crusader building houses a traditional site, but not the likely site, of David's Tomb--where Jews come to pray.

The upper room of this Christian Crusader building turned mosque (notice the mihrab--direction-of prayer-niche in the wall) turned Christian holy site. While built a millennium after the time of Christ, the upper room does provide a nice place to consider the events associated with the last supper. 

Luke 22
 ¶Then came the day of aunleavened bread, when the bpassover must be killed.
 And he sent aPeter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.
 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?
 10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.
 11 And ye shall say unto the agoodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.
 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

Further north along the western ridge is an alternative site for the Last Supper. The Syrian Orthodox Church is on the northern end of the Armenian Quarter. The Syrians claim that this was the site of the Upper Room and of the gathering of Christians on the day of Pentecost. This "Upper Room" is actually beneath the street level chapel. Given that fact that much of the current city is built on centuries of built up layers of rubble, what was once upper is now lower. Hence the description of the "Upper Room down" by our Syrian Orthodox host.

From St. Peter in Gallicantu Church

Luke 22
 19 ¶And he took abread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my bbody which is cgiven for you: this do in dremembrance of me.
 20 Likewise also the acup after supper, saying, This cup is the new btestament in my blood, which is shed for you.

From the Syrian Orthodox Church

John 13
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to awash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
 13 Ye call me aMaster and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
 14 If I then, your Lord and aMaster, have bwashed your feet; ye also ought to cwash one another’s dfeet.
 15 For I have given you an aexample, that ye should do as I have done to you.
 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
 17 If ye know these things, ahappy are ye if ye do them.

From the entry door to St. Peter in Gallicantu Church

Matthew 26
34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Sarah, Joel and Will playing with children in a Bethlehem Orphanage on Christmas Eve 2009 (for more photos of this visit click here.)

John 13
 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye alove one another; as I have loved you, that ye also blove one another.
 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have alove one to another.

Placard in the Garden Tomb gardens.

John 14
 27 aPeace I leave with you, my bpeace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be ctroubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 15
I am the avine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without bme ye can do nothing.

From St. Peter in Gallicantu Church

 John 18
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

From the Upper Room (left side in above and below photos) Jesus and his disciples would have descended down through the city and out a gate into the Kidron valley

The eastern wall (right of photo) of the city parallels the Kidron.

The Temple Mount (upper left) looks down on the Kidron with the Mount of Olives rising in the east (right). Jesus would have entered the valley some where near where the photo was taken and then walked northward up the valley to a garden called Gethsemane--the distant grove of tress in the top center of the photo.

Approaching Gethsemane from the southwest.

The Basilica of the Agony (aka The Church of All Nations) (bottom center) is built over a large rock believed to be were Jesus prayed. To the left of the church are a dozen or so ancient olive trees that some surmises maybe as old as two thousand years.The Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene is the onion domed church.

Some of the oldest trees in the traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane

Beyond the enclosed, church controlled olive trees of Gethsemane are many other olive orchards on the Mount of Olives. At this time of year the grass is green and wild flowers (red anemones) are blooming. This is how I like to picture Gethsemane.

Olive trees in the Kidron valley with Gethsemane in the distance.

From the Russian Church of Mary Magdalene. Notice the cup.

Luke 22
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, aremove this cup from me: nevertheless not my bwill, but thine, be done.

From the Russian Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky next to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Luke 22
43 And there appeared an aangel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

From the Basilica of the Agony at Gethsemane (aka The Church of All Nations)

Luke 22
44 And being in an aagony he prayed more earnestly: band his sweat was as it were great drops of cblood falling down to the ground.

Gethsemane means place of the olive press. This olive press at the BYU Jerusalem Center shows how the great pressure from the press forces olive oil to ooze out of the mashed olives. The resulting oil was used for food, cooking, light, healing and anointing. Under the press and pain of the sins, burdens and sorrows of the world blood oozed from the pores of Jesus. This atoning sacrifice brings to all of us the gift of healing, light and life. For more on olive oil and olive presses click here.

From the Russian Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky

 Luke 22
45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
 46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

From the Russian Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky

Luke 22
47 ¶And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

From the Basilica of the Agony at Gethsemane

 50 ¶And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and ahealed him.
 52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?
 53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of adarkness.

Luke 22
54 ¶Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.

With Gethsemane in the rear, BYU students climb up out of the Kidron valley.

Jesus was taken to be tried before the Sanhedrin in the house of Ciaphas. The traditional site of the house of Ciaphas is half way up the hill where the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu is located (left of mid-center)

Roman steps from the time of Jesus lead up hill to the place of trial. These steps may very well be the steps were Jesus walked going to and from Gethsemane.

From St. Peter in Gallicantu Church

 Mark 14
 53 ¶And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
 54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
 55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to adeath; and found none.
 56 For many bare afalse witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
 57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
 58 We heard him say, I will destroy this atemple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
 59 But neither so did their witness agree together.
 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
 61 But he held his peace, and aanswered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the bChrist, the Son of the Blessed?
 62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the aSon of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
 63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
 64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all acondemned him to be bguilty of death.

 65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
 Roman era ruins beneath the church include a vertical shaft through which prisoners were lowered down into a chamber for holding. It is very likely that Jesus may have been held here until morning when he would be turned over to Roman Authorities.

Jesus tied up and ready to be lowered to the holding chamber.

Above the center arch in the holding chamber are holes where prisoners could be tied up for lashings.

Mark 14
 66 ¶And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:

 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.

 68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.

 69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

 70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galil├Žan, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

 71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

 72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

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