Jerusalem: Death and Resurrection

Friday is our last day in Jerusalem. It’s a significant day to gather our thoughts. What stories will we tell? How will we answer the question, “How was it?” I asked a few people today. Their responses were “Beyond expectations,” “I can’t reduce it to one thing,” “Just being here.”  
As if we couldn’t learn anymore or see anymore, we ended our journey with a visit to the Holocaust Memorial and then the Garden Tomb--an odd combination, but very powerful.
The Yad Vashem Memorial is a moving tribute to the 6 million jews who died in Europe, including the 1.5 million children. A Cantor sang three songs beginning with Psalm 23, then two prayers the Jews would have sang as they walked to their death. I saw a little boy dressed for Sabbath. The next generation of Jews who will tell the stories of their grandparents and great grandparents. We found the tree planted for Corrie Ten Boom and her family in a grove of trees dedicated to Dutch "righteous" who were gentiles that gave refuge to Jews.
Then on to the Garden Tomb. The place some believe is where Jesus died, was buried and rose again. He died for the sins of the whole world, which is the connection with the Holocaust.
How moving to see the evil committed within the last 75 years, and know Jesus died for that. The tomb is empty, Jesus is Savior and Lord.
We celebrated communion, sang, shared, prayed, gave each other the peace of the Lord. What an awesome ending to a wonderful pilgrimage.


  1. I've enjoyed your pictures and thoughts Mike. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Heather HejmanowskiMarch 17, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    You are a great writer, Mike. I really enjoyed revisiting the sites through your descriptions. I especially liked the story about the bus driver taking the group to his home for tea. I wonder how surprised his mother was when he showed up with 40 people! And I appreciated hearing more of the historical detail, like the story about Jesus entering the old walled city through the Sheep's Gate, reserved for temple sacrifices. I didn't know that story. I'm curious if the Golden Gate was blocked to Jesus personally, or just blocked in general. Why would the gate be blocked to prevent the Messiah from returning? Wasn't the Messiah anticipated to return?


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