Posted by: cindybythesea | November 22, 2013

The Harvest is Ripe – Part 10

Jerusalem of Gold – The City of the great King!

Finally, today was the day – Jerusalem!  The excitement level was high as we boarded our bus for one of our last tours.  Yes, we had visited Jerusalem just days before when we toured Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum, but, today, we would be traveling to the heart of the city – to the temple mount.

As we approached the city, I was struck by its beauty as it shone dazzling white in the morning sun through the windows of our bus;  the majority of the buildings (and, across the country) constructed from the beautiful and naturally white Jerusalem stone that is so prevalent across the region.  In the photos below you can see how brightly these stones shine.

I was completely awe struck and even more so, when I spotted the gold domed al-Aqsa Mosque sparkling brightly in the morning sun. And, while the Mosque in and of itself is not meaningful to me, it is impossible to mistake what you are looking at when you see it. In other words, what I had previously only imagined or had seen only in photos was now right in front of me – right before my very eyes.  The temple mount!  The place where Jesus had walked and talked and will return again.

If you look closely at the photo below, you can also see the “Golden” or “Eastern” Gate (as it is known) in the foreground.

*An enlarged version of this same gate below.

Incredible! There is so much history in this gate alone. For one, it’s the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem’s old city walls and two, (and most importantly) is the one in which Messiah will enter when he comes. (Ezekiel 44:1-3). A belief so widely understood (by just about everyone) that the Ottoman Sultan in 1541 sealed off the gate and planted a large cemetery in front of it in an effort to prevent this very thing – for no kosher Priest or Rabbi (according to Jewish law) would defile himself by entering a cemetery.

There are many things in Jerusalem that I would liked to have seen but, did not get to, such as – the Garden of Gethsemane, Golgotha, the Via de la Rosa, the garden tomb and more. But, seeing these gates, it almost made up for it. For I could see and feel in my spirit the joy and the triumph of the returning King!

Because we were such a large group (hence the logistics of keeping us all together – not to mention time constraints) our day was focused on the temple mount alone. In fact, it was tricky just getting us from where our bus dropped us off to the temple site. Steep narrow roads (less like a road  and  more like an alley – but, complete with cars) made walking a precarious activity. And, we had to hustle to keep up with our group or be left behind. No time for lolly gagging with the camera.

When we finally reached the Western Wall or Wailing Wall as it is better known – the men were separated from the women. The men would go to the mens court to pray and the women, likewise to the women’s court. But, first our bags had to be scanned and checked for weapons. Without a doubt, the temple mount remains one of the most volatile places on earth – a place, where tensions constantly run high.  In fact, just in today’s news – a vote to allow Jews time and space to pray on the temple mount (not just at the wall) is coming up for approval in Israel. If passed (which, is doubtful), it would almost certainly result in violence. This quote from Muhammed Hussein, Head of the Supreme Muslim Council as reported by Aljazeera –

He (Hussein) added:  “I cannot imagine that Muslims around the world will remain idle as they see Jews desecrating their holy site. This issue transcends politics. It is greater than politics.”  http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/11/jews-muslims-share-al-aqsa-mosque-2013111184111359951.html

*Two views of the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.

It’s traditional to write a prayer on a slip of paper for placing in to the wall and so I had mine ready as we entered the court of the women. It was very crowded that morning with people from seemingly all over the world as I heard many different languages being spoken.  Fortunately, there were folding chairs set up for those who wanted to sit and pray and for those waiting for an opportunity to approach the wall.  I waited until I could see a space open up and hurried to reach it before it was lost.

What an amazing feeling it was to stand up against the wall; to place my cheek and hands on the cool surface of the massive stones from which it was constructed. I reached up placing my prayer in one of the grooves along with hundreds, maybe even thousands of others. And, as I stood there praying, I was startled to feel someone reach up and place their hand on my left ear. It was a woman from our group who remembered that I had recently lost the hearing in my ear – and, there in this special place, she prayed for God to bring healing to my ear.  What a blessing! I was so touched by her thoughtfulness, it is something I will never forget!

When I had finished praying I returned to the folding chairs to sit and meditate on all I was seeing. It was there that I noticed two doves, who had made their nests high up in the wall.  I was just blown away as it reminded me of one of my favorite Bible passages.

   “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young — a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God” Psalm 84:1

How I loved the sight of those doves!  For me it was a special reminder of how wonderful it will be to someday dwell in the presence of our Lord.

The day was rounded out by shopping on Ben Yehuda Street for souveniers and, an address from one of the Orthodox Rabbis, who spoke to our group about the temple institute and the items being prepared for it. Yes, the reality of the third temple is very close – many (Rabbi’s) believing that it will come within their lifetime.

As I returned to my bunk that night, I could not help but, think what an amazing day it had been. With my own eyes, I had seen Jerusalem, city of the great King, where Jesus spoke, taught, was crucified and will come again!

Friends, I titled this series, “The Harvest is Ripe” – not just for the grapes and olives we would pick but, for the people of the region who are in so desperate need of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. For without him, there will never be any peace – not there, not anywhere.  Please pray for the salvation of souls – Jew and Gentile, Israeli and Palestinian. God loves them all so much – just as he does us!

Watch and see – God is going to do great things – for yes, indeed, the harvest is ripe!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

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Responses

  1. How beautifully you described God’s city. I could almost touch it. It renewed a longing Ive had to one day to go to Jerusalem….if not in this life I will see it when messiah comes. Thank you for sharing your tip.

    [Hi Sandra, thank you so much! I never thought I would ever get to visit Jerusalem either, but, I guess you never know! Thanks for taking the journey with me! C]


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