Olives on a Mountain
When I heard the words “Mount of Olives tour”, the first thing I thought of was a mountain full of olive trees where we learned how to taste olives properly. Well, the mountain is full of olive trees but we did not get to taste them.
Instead, our tour guide Yariv, taught us about how Jesus spent his last days on the Mount of Olives and much more.
Here are some views from the Mountain
The Church of Dominus Flevit
The Church of Dominus Flevit is where Jesus made the prophecy that the temple built by King Herod would be destroyed. Forty years later the temple was in ruins and the prophecy came to pass.
Inside of the church, there is a cross on it in front of a window. If you are at the correct angle, the middle of the cross will be on the Dome of the Rock. That is where the second temple had been and where Jesus had pointed.
The Garden of Gethsemane
The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus brought three of his disciples and told them to pray. He asked them not to fall asleep while he went to pray on a rock. This is where Jesus spent his last night before the Crucifixion. He knew that Judas would betray him that night. Of course, the three disciples fell asleep and Judas betrayed him for a small amount of silver.
The Thorn Bush
This thorn bush was not the exact one, but the same species that was used to make the crown for Jesus’ head. I did not want to touch it but my mom did, and said it was as strong as wood. I think it would be very painful to have this put on your head.
The Chapel of the Ascension
The Chapel of the Ascension is a mosque where Jesus ascended to heaven forty days after his resurrection. Inside of the mosque, there is a stone which has the footprint of Jesus from where he last stood. The Christian church has two services every year because of the The Gregorian and the Julian calendars.
The Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish Cemetery is where many Jewish people are buried because they believe that when the Messiah returns to earth, everybody will rise from the dead. The Jewish people would like to be first in line. There are rocks placed on the tombs as a sign of respect and to let the person know they were thinking of them.
The Church of Pater Noster
The church of Pater Noster is a very interesting church because this is the place where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. Together they made the Lords Prayer.
The church has copies of the Lord’s Prayer in over 100 different languages. We found the Lord’s Prayer in Greek, English, French and many more.
Mother Mary’s Tomb
The last stop on our tour was the family tomb of Mother Mary and her parents. Their tombs are in an underground Greek Orthodox Church full of incense and icons. Mary’s tomb is made out of stone and there is a small room with a little doorway where you can prey. To get to the church, you have to walk down about 48 steps. Her parent’s tombs are about 20 steps down behind a red curtain.
On the way back to Jerusalem, we followed the stations of the cross, where Jesus walked on his way to be crucified. On Good Friday many people from all over the world come to walk and re-enact the stations of the cross. The final three stations are located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
I know the Easter story from the Bible, and from Easter movies, but actually being there and walking where Jesus walked really helped me understand what he went through.
The Mount of Olives tour was great, even though we did not get to taste the olives (Yariv said they were sour). Yariv gave us a lot of information and was a very enthusiastic tour guide which made the tour more fun and enjoyable.