Dick Hunt's Blog

March 26, 2013

Being in Jerusalem.

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Being in Jerusalem.
by Dick Hunt, March 26th, 2013.

At the threshold of Holy Week my memory has swept back to being there with a group led by St. John’s Parish some years ago. We had a Bus , a Driver and a Official Guide. The latter was fluent, (we were told) in 31 languages, very caring and was well versed in both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. We flew to London and then to Israel, to Tel Aviv where we met our Bus. Although we covered briefly almost all Israel in 12 days on the ground, the highlights were Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Our Hotel was just outside the old Walled City and I remember how moving it was to realize we were actually walking where Jesus walked. We saw the City from the Mount of Olives, from the Garden of Gethsemani, from Bethany, from the Wailing Wall which is really just the supporting ramparts of the original Temple of Solomon. Our first View of the “Hill Golgotha” where the Crucifixion took place taught us why it is sometimes called “The Place of the Skull”, for the facing slope immediately looks like a skull, just beyond being where Jesus was crucified, along with two murderers. Jesus’ Body was taken down from the Cross by a man called ‘Joseph of Arimathera’, who had made his own Tomb prepared in a Garden, carved from a rock face. It had never been used, so Jesus’ Body was laid there and a large stone was rolled in front of the door and an armed guard stationed there to keep the Apostles from stealing His Body. And so the sun set on the scene of the first “Good Friday”, when God turned the sad into the Victory!

Ruth and I went into the tomb and it was as the Bible described – very moving to see where Jesus Body had lain until early on Sunday morning. The Women were first at the tomb with spices to better Honor the One they had loved and cared for. And so they saw the Risen Saviour first and thought He was the Gardener until he spoke to Mary Magdalene, who recognized His voice and ran to tell the Apostles of His Rising. Over the next 40 days “He was seen many times in His Risen Body and on one occasion by more than 500 people at once”. He appeared in rooms where the door was locked and barred, to people in their home until they “recognized Him in the ‘breaking of the bread’”. On the beach where He broiled some fish, in the ordinary places where they had known him before. When they were certain that He had overcome death and thus that the sin of the world was also defeated in his willing death for all believers, He led them out to the Mount of Olives where he commissioned them to go out to all nations, teaching them what had happened and Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And He promised them He would send them His Spirit to dwell in them until He comes again to judge the world at the end of the age. And as C. S. Lewis said, “when the playwrite walks on stage, the play is over”. The day of judgement is at hand. All our decisions regarding our opportunity to say yes to the Son of God as Lord and Saviour will now be made and past. Are we there yet? The day is at hand. We have seen where it all transpired. Just as was stated in the Bible. Come, come.

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