With “Following the Footsteps of Jesus” as our trip theme, we have been walking where he walked, seeing where he spoke, and more easily imagining his day-to-day life. With that in mind, today’s goal was to visit, remember and commemorate the events during the last week of Jesus’ life. We began by walking the Mount of Olives,
being awed by the 2000-year-old olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemene,
exploring the Herodian quarter ruins where Jesus’ trial in the high priest’s home may have happened,
trying to reconcile the fact there are two sites claiming to be the place Christ was crucified and buried (Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb),
and gladly putting aside all questions as we worshipped together through Scripture and song.
Being in the cities referenced in the Bible, learning about the historical events in Jesus’ time, and getting a real feel for life in Israel’s climate and geography are all meaningful and helpful in properly understanding His words and actions. However, much time has passed and many of the places where important things happened have been destroyed and/or built over more than once. We can’t really be sure that “x” marks the spot even if we would dearly wish it so. So, although we are in the right country, often in the correct area, sometimes on the real spot, following Jesus’ physical footsteps isn’t the point. The point is to simply follow Him. I think I can see more clearly how to do this, having been here in the places he lived and moved — I certainly do hope so.