Passion and Resurrection - Part 2

Course: Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts

Lecture: Passion and Resurrection - Part 2

(This is a set of slides presented by the lecturer, obviously taken on a tourist trip to Israel)

The first slide is a photo of the traditional site of the Upper Room. The next slide shows the typical medieval depiction of the Lord’s Supper. Another slide demonstrates an artist sketch of what a typical U shaped or reclining table would have looked like with people reclining on cushions with one elbow supporting their bodies and eating with the other hand. Food would have been placed in the middle of the table in the empty space in the middle of the U.

There’s a photo of the Garden of Gethsemane, laid out today with nice curbed sidewalks and beautiful flowers and olive trees reminiscent of the original meaning of the name. The original Hebrew word Gethsemane means Oil Press. The picture also shows the Dome of the Rock and parts of Old Jerusalem. In another photo you see the Garden of Gethsemane looking from a different direction and also the Church of All Nations. Further up the Hill of Olives stands the Church of Mary Magdalene.

Another slide reveals the stone lined walkways in Gethsemane with an old tree that some believe to be two thousand years old. The next slide pictures an orchard of olive trees that are fairly young and new in the Jezreel Valley in Galilee.

Another shows the traditional site of Caiaphas’ home and the prison dungeon beneath it. It’s certainly not the true location of the original home and courtyard of the high priest because this place is erected over a cemetery of which would have been considered unclean by the Jews in Christ’s time. It seems that it was a holding place for prisoners at one time or another.

Here are authenticated Roman steps coming up from the Kidron Valley to Old Jerusalem and in the background you can see the Church of St Peter in Valley of Cantu commemorating the denials of and subsequent repentance of the Apostle Peter. The next slide shows one of numerous reenactments of the way to the Cross by modern day pilgrims who find it worshipful and spiritual meaningful to reenact the walk to Golgotha.

A view over the roof of the walked in portion of Old Jerusalem; in most cases structures built in recent centuries but still in the style that would have resembled structures of an earlier time even those in the days of Jesus. Another slide is of a modern arch roofed area over ancient paving stones, perhaps as old as the 2nd century AD, though that is disputed by some, perhaps on the same location as that of just outside of Pilate’s original palace. There’s a lot of debate that surrounds the location and authenticity of these kinds of places. The next slide shows scrawling’s in one of those stones reflecting a game often placed with dice and at the very least, an object lesson reminding us of the story of the soldiers gambling for Jesus’ seamless robe.

Another photo of the depiction of the mockup of the scale model of Old Jerusalem as seen at the Holly Land Hotel; this time with the Antonio Fortress portrayed in the foreground with part ruins and part restoration of that Antonio Fortress.

In another photo, one sees the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, obviously a building erected considerable later than Christ’s crucifixion but there is good archeological support for this being the true location of the site which has been preserved until today. Another angle of the church is shown, shared by four different Christian denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic. And the grotto ornate elaborate furniture and architecture inside, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with the exact spot of the Cross which of course is far more difficult to claim as we have found commemorated with the Grotto at the end of the aisle, invisible in this slide. The location supported by the 19th century British explorer and archaeologist, Gordon, and hence the company known as Gordon’s Calvary is this skull shaped out cropping of rock adjacent to what today is the site of the Modern Jerusalem used as a bus barn, servicing all of the transport of Jerusalem. While much less likely to be the actual location of Jesus’ death; the fact that the site was called Golgotha and that term means the place of the skull given the frequency of such outcropping around Jerusalem, this may in fact be something akin to it, but the site long before the Church of the Holy Sepulcher resurrected it; that the place where that church now exist may have appeared in Jesus’ day.

Next to Gordon’s Calvary is what has come to be known as the Garden Tomb. A beautiful site for tourist to see a typical ancient tomb carved out of rock. The larger stones to the immediate right of the entrance were put in at a later time to wall up about two thirds of the entrance to protect it from collapse.

The next slide allows one to view those two different kinds of stones somewhat better that originally; there would have been a giant upside down U shaped archway entering into the tomb. Again, the location is not likely to be the correct site as the location that would have been much closer to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; the appearance that this area has retained over the centuries is much more likely to look like what Jesus’ tomb would have been like. A third photo includes those extra stones added with still clear and beautiful roses in the fore ground. If one goes on Sunday morning, one cannot walk up to the entrance of the tomb but the Anglicans who own this land have beautiful outdoor services with a small amphitheater and seating that is incredibly spiritually moving and worth any visitor time and planning.

Just south of Jerusalem is this so-called rolling stone tomb which again is probably not the location of Jesus entombment and burial, yet gives us a picture of how that opening could have been sealed with many strong people, the stone rolled into place. The inside shows its different niches for different family members whose caskets were sometimes place on shelves or the floor or in a smaller niche such as shown on the left of the photo.

Here we see a typical Jewish ossuary; this one is very decorative, made for someone of some prominence. This would have been the smaller bone box into which the bones of a deceased person would have placed after they had been buried for year or so. Once the flesh had rotted away, the bones were preserved and remarried in these smaller coffins, not least to preserve space which became less and less over the centuries.

A beautiful little chapel with wild flowers in the fore ground and the palm tree, the Sea of Galilee at the back at a place called Tabda. A small Catholic church is shown with a stature of Jesus and his three fold restoration of Peter outside of a small amphitheater between the chapel and the lake front, another glorious site for contemporary Christian worship, thus commemorating the resurrection as well as the events that transpired with the reinstatement of the disciples and their commissioning as in John 21 but also in Matthew and Luke.