08 February, 2013

New City Jerusalem

Jerusalem field studies are my favorite days here. I say this too often, I know, but I love this city. Our first stop this day was at the Museum of Israel. Here there was a huge model of Jerusalem in 70 AD, forty years after Christ's death, and right before it was destroyed. The city's history amazes me.

We can thank Josephus, a Jewish eyewitness, for describing Jerusalem in his historical writings, because his accounts provided a great foundation for the building of this model. Herod the Great built mostly everything seen at this time. There was so much to learn from this recreation of the city. 

And it was Chris's birthday, so he got to wear Becky's hat for the day. Pretty freakin awesome to spend your birthday in Jerusalem right??

Now for my favorite part of the day :) I went into a part of Jerusalem I hadn't been in before... the New City! We were in West Jerusalem, more specifically. Obviously, I fell in love. 

Justin and Ben showing their excellent map holding skills

And then I saw it...

The golden arches. hahahah :) miss you Ryan!

After this, we were released for lunch. And I reallyyyy wanted a cheeseburger since I haven't one since being in the states. We went to a more Israeli burger place, not McDonalds :) so a group of 9 of us ventured to a non-kosher (YAY!) place called Meat Burger.

Then we got gelato :)

When we returned to the group meet up spot, Bill surprised Chris with some Israeli treats to celebrate his birthday! so nice

and so good

Bill took us through the Mahane Yehuda Market, which is known as the Shuk. I loved this place!!! So many vendors selling fruits and veggies, delicious pastries, all kinds of fish and meat, cheese, nuts, spices, wines.. to even clothes and shoes and things for your house! 

We continued more into West Jerusalem

We wandered into a very Jewish Orthodox part of the city. We only had a few minutes here, but I want to go back and take some more photos. The Jewish culture fascinates me.

Finally, we were on our way to one of our last stops...the Mount of Olives. I've been waiting to visit here for..basically my whole life :) hehe

We made it to the top! This is our view of the olive trees overlooking the town of Bethany.

My soul was shaken to be at this place. Physically, this is where my Savior touched the earth and where He left the earth. A God who has no need for me and no real reason to have such an undying interest in my affairs. But He loves me, so much so that He took the form of a man (Philippians 2:5-11) and lived a sinless life so He could be a perfect sacrifice in my place.
Luke 24:50 and Acts 1:1-12 describe His ascension from the Mount of Olives into heaven. Awesome.

Then some of us rode camels :)

At the end of the day we walked to the Dominus Flevit Church ("the Lord wept"). It overlooks Jerusalem and is near the Garden of Gethsemane, the place Jesus went to pray before He was lead to the cross to die.

The view inside the church

Outside, tombs cover the Mount of Olives

That concluded our blessed day in Jerusalem!! What a privilege we have to learn the Bible in the land it was written. I wake up every morning so thankful to be here.