Mount of Olives

On April 8, we arrived in Jerusalem. 

Our first stop was on the Mount of Olives.  From here, you can see out over the city, including the old city of Jerusalem which is now divided up between christians, muslims, and jews. the city walls are much larger than i expected.  the ancient walls, built, destroyed, and rebuilt, yet still standing strong after years and years of adversity. from my vantage point i could see the site known to be the location of the last supper, approximatly 11 oclock from the dome of the rock. 

Luke 19

 41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Matthew 23

 37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[d]

The mount of Olives has so much signifigance.  I learned that the reason Jesus always came to Jerusalm by way of the mount of olives is because that is where people from Galilee stay when they come to Jerusalem.  This is where his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazareth lived.  I was reading in Matthew and Luke leading up to our arrival.  I read about Jesus and his disciples traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem, how they passed through Samarea and Jericho (as we did on our way) and how when he arrived to the Mount of Olives he told the disciples that the time of his betrayal was near, but that he would go before them and meet them in Galilee.  Jesus loved the Galilee so very much.  I do too now that Ive been there.  Even as they arrived at the Mount of Olives, he was already thinking about and looking forward to meeting his disciples in Galilee after the ressurection.  This is so neat to me, something I have never thought about before.  We also visited the Garden of Gethsemene also on the Mount of Olives.  We saw a 2000 year old olive tree.  we stood and looked out over the place where Jesus was so distressed he felt like an olive in an olive press.  Did you know that is what Gethsemene means? 

Luke 22

 39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”

 41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.[e]

 45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

As the history and truth of this holy mountain began to set in, I found a quiet corner, doned the ipod, and the first song up:  Patty Griffin, Up to the Mountain:

Up To The Mountain

I went up to the mountain Because you asked me to
Up over the clouds To where the sky was blue
I could see all around me
Everywhere
I could see all around me
Everywhere

Sometimes I feel like I’ve never been nothing but tired
And I’ll be walking Till the day I expire
Sometimes I lay down No more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you ask me to

Some days I look down Afraid I will fall
And though the sun shines I see nothing at all
Then I hear your sweet voice, oh
Oh, come and then go, come and then go
Telling me softly
You love me so

The peaceful valley
Just over the mountain
The peaceful valley
Few come to know
I may never get there
Ever in this lifetime
But sooner or later
It’s there I will go
Sooner or later
It’s there I will go

And then, just because the Holy Spirit knows how to get my attention, the next song on my ipod is

The End of the World, U2

 

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