Welcome back everyone, get ready for more surreal adventures in the land of the Bible!
First up, the valley where David fought Goliath. That's it, probably in that field. Fun facts we learned yesterday from the Bible Ninja who is leading our trip, Dr. Jim Martin. David was probably 20 years old when this went down. He was also their version of a sniper with that sling, so Goliath had no chance. Still, because this was "representative warfare" (think the opening scene in Troy) David's life and the life of everyone he knew rested on his ability to take out Goliath. This is like having to hit a free throw when the fate of the earth rests upon your ability to make that free throw, no pressure. Somewhere in that field David cut Goliath's head off, I'm still waiting for the really awesome movie version of that scene.
Obviously the power lines and the road weren't there.
This is just a warmup for the next 2 picture which might be the biggest wow of them all.
What you are looking at in the picture below is what some people (definitely not all) think might be the Place of the Skull (Golgotha) where Jesus was crucified. If you look closely those two dark indentions look like eyes. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy when we were there, our guide said that when the sun is shining the shadows make the skull appearance more pronounced. This location is not far from the Old City of Jerusalem where we are staying and would have been just outside the city in the first century. The scriptures tell us He was crucified just outside the city of Jerusalem. Fun fact, the tomb was very close to the location of Jesus execution, so just a hundred or yards away is...........keep scrolling.
What very well could be the empty tomb that Jesus was buried in! Like I mentioned, there is some serious debate about whether or not this is the spot, and our Bible Ninja leans towards this NOT being the location, but the guide at this spot (called The Garden Tomb) seemed pretty convinced that there was a good chance this was the spot. Either way, this tomb is empty because Jesus conquered death! This tomb has been jacked with a lot over the centuries so doesn't look how it did in the first century. Scroll down to see what the stone that was rolled away may have looked like.
This is probably what Lazarus tomb looked like (it's actually a tomb on the Mount of Olives) and the stone is similar to what would have been rolled in front of Jesus tomb. I love a good visual, so I'm hoping this will be helpful to others who are trying to visualize what these tombs looked like when Lazarus came out and when the women and the disciples ran to find the risen Christ later.
We will be going to another place later in the week where many people think Jesus was crucified and buried, but there is a church built on top of all that so it will have a very different feel. Just wanted to put that out there so folks will know there is definite debate about the "real" site of these events, and obviously a lot has happened in and to Jerusalem in the 2,000 years since Jesus died and rose again.