So much history, so little space! Jerusalem is packed with so much history that you can’t get away from it. We ate breakfast, hopped on the bus and were at the City of David in less than 10 minutes. Once there we were amazed at how our Bibles were once again coming alive before our eyes. Yes we were looking at rocks, rooms, artifacts and even a 3,000 year old toilet that didn’t look too comfortable, but all of these point to the Bible and King David.
To get to our next location we traveled all the way across the street. Literally, across the street. Until less than 8 years ago this location was a parking lot full of cars in a space deprived city. Now after a few years of excavation and reaching 25 feet down, ancient remains of houses, water cisterns and grain silos are available to look at and learn from.
At the North West corner of that new archeological dig is an unbecoming set of stairs which our guide took us down. After a few twists and turns at the bottom we started heading north while in an underground tunnel. The tunnel kept going and going while getting shorter and narrower. Pretty soon the walls were bumping both shoulders and everyone had to walk crouching down or leaning over. The questions started coming, “Where are we going?” “How far does this go?” How exciting! We almost felt like explorers. A few minutes later we came to a set of steep stairs with light streaming in from about 15 feet above.
With squinting eyes we climbed the short staircase and emerged into the bright sunshine. Letting our eyes adjust we looked around. We had walked under a busy main street of Jerusalem and under the walls of the Old City. Our adventure let us out right at the South West corner of the Western Wall! The wall towered above us with it’s imposing stone blocks the size of cars. Needless to say everyone’s cameras started capturing the amazing sites.
After a short jaunt for lunch we came back inside the Old City through the Dung Gate. Walking around to the South Wall of the city we rested our legs on a large set of stairs that led up to nothing. Why did our guide Eli bring us there? To see more old rocks? No. To connect with the Bible and most importantly with Jesus. Archeologically these steps date back to the time of Jesus. During that time with the original walls and gates, the gate here was used by all pilgrims walking up to the temple and every other common person to access the Temple Mount. That included Jesus. As one of the common people of his day he would have had to use these same stone stairs. Talk about walking in the footsteps of Jesus!
Next on our itinerary was a short walk around the corner to one of the most iconic sites of Jerusalem, the Western Wall. In keeping with the established custom men went to the left and women to the right. We stood and took in the site. We walked up and put prayer written requests in the cracks. Most importantly, we prayed.
Finally our day ended with a special stop at King of Kings Church in downtown Jerusalem. We joined the congregation for their evening service. It was a great mix of worship songs in English and Hebrew followed by a sermon on Romans 11. Tomorrow we have an early appointment at a relatively recent archeological discovery. Time for some rest!