Day 18 (Western Wall tunnel, Foot washing service)

The Western Wall, also referred to as the Wailing Wall is often seen as a little piece of wall located on the Temple compound where Jews and Christians go regularly to pray. The importance of this piece of wall is that it is the only accessible part of the original wall when the temple existed in the time of Jesus. The temple had faced towards the east and had its back towards the west. At the back of the temple was the Holy of Holies. What this means is the Western Wall is the closest wall to where to the Holy of Holies was located. Therefore the reason that so many go to pray there is because of its location to the Historical location of the back of the Temple where the Holy of Holies was located.

The High Priest could only enter the Holy of Holies one time a year. The Holy of Holies is where the presence of God dwelt. Take this fact into consideration. There was only one person who could enter the Holy of Holies where the presence of God was and that could only happen one time a year. Now that Jesus became the sacrificial lamb, anyone can simply chose to become a follower of Christ and can enter into a relationship with God and can feel his presence. There is no doubt that we take for granted the sacrifice that Jesus gave.

In this picture you can see the Western Wall with the Dome of the Rock behind it. What I am about to explain is important. The height of the wall you see has been compromised. When the Moslems took the city they built arches on top of arches. They then placed roads and build houses on top of the arches. What this has done is elevated the city that is around the Temple mount. The height of this wall should be nearly twice the size. We had the opportunity to go under the city to see what the Original Roman city Western Wall looked like. It was incredible. The rocks that were used surpassed the size of the Great Pyramids. There was one rock we saw that weighed 600 tons. If you were to stack 80,000 Elephants on top of each other it would still weigh less than this rock. This blows my mind. I keep checking my math to make sure this is right because it sounds so ridiculous but it is correct.

This is the rock I am explaining. There was no way to get a full shot of the entire rock so this is the best I could do. Something else that is interesting is that this rock is not at the base of the wall. It is actually on top of other rocks. Imagine putting a 600 ton rock on top of other rocks. We were taught how they did such a thing but to me it is still incredible and still unfathomable.

This was a great experience. I am a very skeptical person. I question the authenticity of many things that I see but this is certainly the wall that surrounded the Temple mount during Jesus’s time. What this experience taught me is that the Old City of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus was much more impressive than the Jerusalem we see now. Herod the Great is most commonly known for his evil acts and the despicable things he ordered, such as the murdering of many children. When Herod the Great was getting ready to die he ordered all of the Prisoners to be killed so that when he did die there would be people all over mourning and crying. All these things being true, they have overshadowed the incredible buildings he built. The things Herod built were absolutely incredible. His Coliseums, bathhouses, walls, but most importantly the Temple were magnificent.

This man was an extraordinary builder. He makes Bob the builder look like a pansy.

This is a model of what Herod’s temple looked like. One side of me feels a little sad that the temple is gone because of its beauty. However I am very glad that it has been destroyed for Matthew 24:2 says,

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

The fulfillment of this prophecy occurred in 70 AD when the Jewish rebellion resulted in the Roman destruction of the temple. This fulfillment verifies Jesus’s authenticity. Jesus was correct in this prophecy and other prophecies he made. I take everything Jesus said as truth. Even when he calls himself the Son of God.

At the end of the day we held a foot washing service. We all washed each others feet. This was to help us understand servant hood in a way that most of us never comprehended before. Jesus washed feet, so we as followers of Christ washed feet and prayed over the people we washed. It was a great experience. People who have not experienced the love of Christ by Christ through others must experience this. There is no hiding from this type of love. Once true servant ship is noticed it shatters the 600 ton walls we have put up around us to keep others out.

The most powerful tool that Christ has given us is his example of Love and it is that example that we must put at the front of all of our personal ministries.

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