I'm almost caught up with our trip, so hopefully by the end of today (Monday, Jan 12) I'll have you up to date with what we did today. Yesterday, Sunday, we went to the Mount of Olives which is just across the Kidron Valley from the Old City of Jerusalem where the temple was and where the Dome of the Rock is now. This is a picture from the Mt. of Olives, this is the view that Jesus and the disciples would have had when they hung out there and looked at Jerusalem. It was obviously much smaller and less populated in Jesus day and there were no Islamic giant golden domes, because Islam wouldn't exist for another 500 years.
On the Mount of Olives sets the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed with his disciples before he was arrested. This is a well known scene from the gospels and this is that garden. Fun fact, it really wasn't a garden but rather a working olive press that Jesus and his friends hung out in. This is, of course, where Jesus prayed to the Father to let this cup pass from Him, however his request was denied by God. The best example of the "unanswered prayer" ever. God saying "no" to Jesus provided a way for us to be reunited with God through Christ's sacrificial death in our place.
I had to take a picture of this tree at Gethsemane because this tree (according to scientists) is over 1,500 years old!
From here we went to the Museum of Israel and saw lots of cool stuff. Much of it was not to be photographed because of museum rules. This was a fantastic museum that we had to rush through that covers the history of the land of Israel from far before the Bible begins. For example, here is a skeleton of a woman and her dog that dates to 14,500 years ago! Oldest thing we've seen and it's a person!
Next up, the oldest piece of scripture ever found! It's a tiny piece that is featured in this first picture and then explained in the second pic.
Finally, these are the kind of jars that were probably used for ceremonial washing in the first century. It is highly likely that the jars filled with water that Jesus transformed into jars filled with wine were just like these. Always fun to get a visual for a big time story like the wedding at Cana!
That's it for this update, I'm gonna post another one in just a few hours, as soon as it's ready!