Today we walked the tunnels under the Western Wall of the Temple, visited the Western Wall (where Jews go to pray), went to the Temple steps, walked on a Roman Cardo (road) from Ancient Jerusalem, visited the Upper Room (where the last supper and Pentecost took place), and visited Yad Vashem (the holocaust museum).
Another amazing day in an astoundingly beautiful and deeply spiritual city. For me, the Temple Steps were the highlight of the day. We know that Jesus visited the Temple.
The Gospel According to Luke tells us:
“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.”
Luke 2:41 NIV
So the Temple was well known to Jesus. He went there during his childhood with his parents for Passover and he continued this practice into adulthood.
The thing is, there is only one entrance to the Temple. You either go up the Temple Steps and in or you don’t go at all.
So while scholars might argue about whether the other places are exactly right, no one argues about the Temple Steps. He was there. Period.
Last time I was in Jerusalem, my parents and I took a photo of the three of us touching one of the exposed (ie original, or not-reconstructed) steps. It was our great joy to do so again today.
For me, the first photo of our hands on those steps was a great comfort while my Dad underwent treatment for cancer last year. To recreate the photo today was a declaration of victory over the disease and of how our faith continues – changed by the experiences of the last two years, I’m sure, but still strong and vital.
This Lent, may you take a look at the things that have sustained your faith during trying times. And may you find that your faith is alive and well today.
Above: St. Andrew’s pilgrims praying at the Western Wall.