By Marianne Schwab | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog
The Temple Steps in Jerusalem
Journey to Israel Where the Bible Comes Alive
The Bible comes alive when you step foot in Israel and that's certainly true when you visit the temple steps in Jerusalem. I can understand why many people may be skeptical regarding the Bible as I used to be, but when you visit the real villages and cities where Biblical events took place this Holy Book takes on an entire new meaning and you discover why they call it the book that breathes.
Israel was probably one of the last places I thought I'd ever want to visit until about 15 years ago when I was feeling a strong urge to go to the Holy Land. I was attending the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and our Senior Pastor, Jack Hayford, was hosting a trip to Israel the first week in April so I decided to join this special Walk Where Jesus Walked tour.
As I begin to write this series on my trip to the Holy Land, it's Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, and I'll be sharing many photos and experiences of my time in Israel. Even though I visited over a decade ago, Israel is a timeless land with over a five thousand year history. The political climate is volatile, but the historic places remain intact for the most part (although some have unfortunately been destroyed since my visit) while others are not as accessible as they once were.
One of our first stops on our Jerusalem tour was a teaching on the original southern steps leading up to the Second Temple of Jerusalem built during the time of Herrod. These were the very steps that Jesus also walked on during His visits to the Temple. Excavators uncovered the easternmost part of this staircase with its alternating long and short steps in the late sixties and seventies.
Historic treasures are constantly being uncovered in Israel and archeological expeditions often enlist the help of volunteers on their digs. There are many voluntourism opportunities to participate where you can literally uncover the past of the biblical era, an opportunity few experience.
Pastor Jack Hayford gave a powerful message the day we visited here describing how the steps were designed as a long step, followed by a short step, followed by a long step and so on (as you can see in the photo above) for a very specific reason. With this design it's quite easy to walk up these steps quickly, but you have to exercise more caution when you walk down them. This was intentional in the design so that it was easy to rush into the presence of the Lord but difficult to leave His presence.
I thought this was beautiful and after this message, I took a few moments to have this particular experience as worshipers experienced over two thousand years ago when they made their way to the Temple to rush into the presence of God.
When you only have the remnants of the Temple it's difficult to imagine what it might have looked like before it was destroyed in the first century. A model of the Temple (built to a 1:50 scale with authentic construction materials) is located on the grounds of the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem (in the photo above). This model captures a glimpse of how the city appeared before it was ransacked by the Romans. The steps that were excavated cannot even be seen in the photo above as they were to the very far left and out of frame to give you an idea of their location in relation to the Temple Mount area.
Israel is a beautiful country rich in history and I look forward to sharing so much more on the exciting visit that happened long ago, but I'll treasure for a lifetime.
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