The Mount of Olives is a sacred place for both Jews and Christians. “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Matt. 26:30).*
sunset view from Mount of Olives
Easter is a wonderful time to visit Israel. The weather is very pleasant with cool mornings and warm days. The color green is prominent everywhere, flowers bloom even in the Negev desert; and the Dan, Banias and Jordan streams are full with water from thawing snows in Mount Hermon. This is also a captivating time for religion. Often, the Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated concurrently with the Christian week of Passion. With all these, Jerusalem becomes a major, significant center of spirituality and faith.
The little teardrop Church of Dominus Flevit, halfway down the western slope of the Mount of Olives, recalls the Gospel incident in which Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem.
This poignant incident occurred during Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, when crowds threw their cloaks on the road in front of him and shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
This church is built over a cave in which Jesus was said to have taught the disciples the prayer that begins "Our Father who art in heaven".
The 4th-century Byzantine church has been partially reconstructed and provides a good sense of what the original was like. The half-restored church has the same dimensions as the original; the garden outside the three doors outlines the atrium area.
The Bethesda Pool, where Jesus heals the paralytic man in the Gospel of John, is a complex site. It appears to have been a mikveh, or ritual bath. As the spot of one of Jesus’ miracles, the Bethesda Pool was built over in subsequent periods with chapels and churches that are still visible today.
In the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, the glass doors of the Davidson Center, near the Western Wall - the last remnant of the Holy Temple - swish open silently to welcome you. When they close behind you, you enter another world. It is the world of Jerusalem’s glorious past, showcased through the prism of advanced visualization technology.