Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Holy Land--a Pictoral View of Where Christ Walked in His Final Days

Just on the other side of this hill, (The Mount of Olives) is Bethany. In Bethany the Savior found friendship, comfort and loving support during the final week of His ministry in the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
Each morning during His final days, He would descend the Mount of Olives, (where this next picture was taken) pass through or near the Garden of Gethsemane, cross the Kidron Valley, also known as the Valley of the Dead, and ascend to the Temple Mount where He would teach the people.

On His final night, His journey would not only take Him through Gethsemane, but He would stop there as well. Here in a grove of olive trees, Christ would take upon Himself the sins, suffering, sickness and imperfections of all mankind.

On Friday morning, following an illegal trial where He was sentenced to death, Christ was taken to Golgotha, where He would offer His life as a sacrifice for each of us.

“Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.” (
Mark 14:14-15)

And they [brought] him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
(Mark 15: 22.25)

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. (John 19:41)

They took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. (John 19:40)
And laid His body in the garden tomb.

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they (the women) came unto the sepulchre. . . . And they found the stone rolled away. . . .
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus . . . .
And it came to pass . . . [that] two men stood by them in shining garments . . .and they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen. . . "
(Luke 24:1-6)

And so it was on that first Easter morning that Jesus Christ was resurrected. He suffered that we might overcome, He died that we might live.
It is interesting to note that each day of the last week of His life bore testimony of His divine mission.
Symbolically, mountain tops and temples are representative of Heaven. Christ descending the Mount of Olives each day was symbolic of His descending to earth. Here on earth His journey would take Him through the suffering of Gethsemane to His death on the cross.
And yet, on the third day, He would cross the gulf of death (Valley of the Dead) and ascend back to His Heavenly Father (symbolized by his ascension to the temple mount).
Because He suffered for all our pains---physical, emotional, and spiritual--all our wounds and heartaches can be healed.
Because He lives again, so can we.
And because He has shown us the way to return to our Father in Heaven, so may we return to His presence, if we follow the path He trod.
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives !
For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only begotten of the Father—
That by him and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
(Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24)



Shannon said...

Perfect post for this week. For some reason, the Easter story is a little more pronounced for me this year. Nothing major has happened that I know of, I'm just really thinking about it more than normal. Thanks for the visual reminders and thoughts. Happy Easter yourself!

Momza said...

Well that has left tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat...what more can we say than this: "I believe."

Heidi Ashworth said...

This was beautiful--thank you so much!

Jenny-Jenny said...

That was a beautiful testament. Thank you for sharing such beautiful truths in such a meaningful way.

Happy Easter.

Christina said...

Thank you for the beautiful tribute to our Savior's life and the beautiful pictures. Someday, I'd like to go there and take my own photos, but you know, it's just not that stage in my life yet. =)

Carolyn said...

I love the photo of the olive trees.

Did you go there? Did you take the photos? If so I would be interested in a print of the olive trees. For some reason they really spoke to me.

What a beautiful Easter post.

Xazmin said...

What a beautiful, perfect post. I loved it...brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this beautiful testimony of the atonement.


Marilyn said...

Thank you for this beautiful visual reminder of our Savior's life. I would love to visit there someday.