The view of old of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives is simply stunning. It is easy to see why Jesus frequented the mountain with his disciples. Jerusalem is sacred to three great monotheistic religions. It is known as the City of Peace to Jews, as El Qud to Moslems and as the City where Christ was condemned, crucified and rose again to Christians. As I looked down on this great, white city, I imagined Jesus having the same viewpoint, but his bird’s eye view has changed over two millennium. Instead of the golden dome of the Mosque, the second temple would have been centre stage of Temple Mount.
When the guide reminded us that Jerusalem is situated on the mountain where Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice, it all fitted logically into place. The Lord God Almighty, who is so good to us feeble minded humans, offered us the perfect link for the Old Testament and the new because here is the site where he sacrificed his son too, but whereas Abraham did it to show his love for God, ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,’(John 3:16). It is the Mount of Olives where He will stand when He returns.
From our viewpoint we could see the Golden Gate, which Jesus must have gone through on travelling from Bethany on a colt on Psalm Sunday, and the Garden of Gethsemane, where He sweated blood on the evening before His crucifixion.
Twisted trunks and gnarled branches reflect the agony Christ must have felt at the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s hard to tell how large it was then, but it looks no bigger than the average medium-sized garden belonging to most UK homes and a church now stands close by. Adorned with flower beds, the garden hides it treacherous past. I stood and reflected on the Lord’s last evening. Would I have fallen asleep while he prayed? Probably. Would I have tried to stop the soldier taking Him? More than likely. Would I have denied Him three times before the cock crew? To save myself, for sure. Sorry Lord and thank you for sacrificing your life and rising again for such a sinner!