The Mount of Olives is directly across from the Eastern Gate (or Golden Gate) of Jerusalem. This gate is the one through which the Messiah will enter when he returns. You can read more about the history and prophecy regarding this gate in my previous post HERE.
The landscaping around the Garden of Gethsemane is beautiful with many bougainvillea bushes along the fence. The picture above is the view from the garden, looking toward the Eastern Gate.
These olive trees are ancient, some as much as nine hundred years old. The garden is on the grounds of a Catholic church, The Basilica of Agony.
This grove of trees is where Yeshua and his talmidim (disciples) went to pray following the Passover Seder in the Upper Room. It is here that He struggled with the task of the cross set before him. His prayer was so intense that drops of blood appeared on his body. It is here that Yeshua was arrested and taken to prison. The memories of the Bible stories I heard since childhood flooded back as I stood in this place. You can read about this in Matthew 26:36-56.
The Garden of Gethsemane is fenced and visitors aren't allowed to enter. When I visited in 1996, we were able to walk down these paths. It was an emotional visit for me then. My eighty-four year old traveling companion, Carmita Polson, knelt in this spot and praised Yeshua for His willingness to go to the cross. I will never forget that day.
On this trip, I was able to visit the church next to the garden. I didn't go inside on my previous trip, so this was a new experience. This is a beautiful building inside and out. The Basilica of Agony was designed by Antonio Barluzzi, and was built with donations from around the world. Because of these contributions, the church is also known as the Church of All Nations. The picture below is the front of the building showing the gorgeous mosaic.
|photo from Wikipedia|
The inside is even more beautiful. The ceiling is such a beautiful blue. It looks like a night sky with stars twinkling down.
When we left, I admired this beautiful iron door leading to the outside.
Shelby took a few moments to reflect while looking out over the city of Jerusalem. I love this picture of her. Our moments to be still were few and far between because our schedule was packed full every day. Shelby has Parkinson's and it was difficult for her to keep up, but she was a real trooper. She said, "If I have to crawl, I will." When I got weary, she was my inspiration.
In contrast to the beautiful art in this place, I thought you'd be amused by this sign at the entrance to the church. Catholics believe in quiet worship. More than once while visiting various churches, we ran into nuns who were constantly saying, "Shhhh," with a finger to their lips.
When we left the Mount of Olives, we began our trek down the mountain to the Old City through the streets of the Arab quarter. It was an adventure. I'll tell you all about it in my next post.
I'm linking up today with:
All Things Bright and Beautiful Link-Up
The Gathering Spot Link-Up
Modest Mom Monday Link-up
Share Your Stuff Tuesday
Jenny's Monday Meet-Up
A Return to Loveliness
Winsome Wednesday A Wise Woman Builds
Whole Hearted Wednesday
Wake Up Wednesday
Hearts for Home
Fab Creative Friday