Tracing Jesus' Steps

Retracing Jesus' Path to the Cross

#1 Our journey started from Cairo, Egypt, visiting:

Crusaders' Castle
River Nile/Nile Tower
A 12th century's Roman aqueduct 
Egyptian Museum
Suez Canal
Mt Samaria (on our left) and Mt Judea (on our right)
Slogan: 'Push the desert away'

It was in St. Sargius Church that the Jesus' family was hiding from Pharoah's search-and-kill edict, after Jesus' birth. Cairo was the first place I had ever visited, where hotel staff wore white, mended uniform, which reflected its poor economic conditions, when it was once the world's first civilization.

It was also the first place where I had seen passengers dangling from rails of open-door buses, ready to hop off at any time in the middle of the road, and meandering their ways to the pavements through passing cars.

We had also visited a carpet-making factory, where under-aged workers were found weaving carpets with coloured-wool for a living.

We had also visited pyramids, by going underground into slopes, with torches in our hands, and winding through narrow passageways, but we never saw any corpses nor coffins inside these air-less pyramids.

One of our teammates had gone astray, by renting camel-ride at US$2, but the owner ran off with his changes, after he gave him US$10, hoping for a change.

We had a rifle-armed guard joining our coach, as we made our way through the desert wastelands, where raiding was quite common.

As our coach reached the embankment of Suez Canal, rifle-carrying Egyptian soldiers checked the underneath parts of our coach with a long-handled, specially-made mirror, for any smuggled bombs/weapons.

#2 - It was quite an eye-opening experience, as the scenery changed from an Egyptian desert into an Israeli yellow-flowered, greenery - God's promised land of flowing milk and honey. (Apparently, these trees had been planted over a  45-year period.)

(7) ...The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.
(8) If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us."  (Numbers 14:7-8) Jerusalem meant 'Holy City of Peace' 

(7) May there be peace within your walls...
(8) Peace be within you." (Psalm 122:7-8)

Israeli limestone houses, mostly equipped with solar-systems on rooftops,  were built around Muslim villages, after the Six Days' War with Jordan, to keep memories of old Jerusalem, built during the Roman's time.

Inside Garden of Gethsemane (where Jesus prayed before being crucified), we were being shown a replica of sacrifice altar, whereupon Abraham was trying to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to God.

"(9) When they reached the place God had told him about (in the region of Moriah), Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood." (Genesis 22:9)  

We were also shown fig trees, one of which was being cursed by Jesus and withered rightaway.

"(19) Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered." (Matthew 21:19)

Inside a room, we were also shown reclining position of diners, during Jesus' time, with oil-lamps on some types of long-tables,probably used for The Last Supper.

#3 - Wild, red flowers all over the garden's grounds

We were also shown/told about:
- water wells
- Biblical Meal
- Hebrew University/hostel
- Old Jerusalem
- Judea hills
- 8 universities (smallest 18,000 students)
- 5 million populations (400,000 Israelis, others Palestinians and Muslims)
- 3,000 year-old tombs
- Valley of Kedom, Jehu Gobba
- Mt. Moriah

On Mount Olive: 1) Judaism believed that Messiah would come again, but would not be allowed to walk through non-Christian  cemetery; 2) Muslims believed that Jesus was crucified, and that Black Mosque (built above Rock of Dome) see to end of travel of Mohammed, Mecca and Medina. They did not recognise that Jerusalem was holy; 3) Jewish believed that when Messiah comes, it would be first resurrection.  

#4 - 4 types of inhabitants (Jews, Muslims, Albanians & Christians)         

We were being shown/told about:
- 2,000 year-old olive trees
- Tomb of David's son, Absalom        
- Old David's city in ruins now
- Large and small stones (large ones from Roman's time; small ones from Turkish time)
- Mt. Zion
- Basilica Building with 2 lines of pillars to hold up roof, into the Holy of Holy
- Holy Place, where Jesus began His passion (suffered, sweated blood) in Garden of Gethsemane

Hashidim group, which wore like a Rabbi (black hat, long bearded side-burns), foretold ruin of Jerusalem

At the Wailing Western Wall, (left side for men; right side for women), only men were allowed into the Library, while women could walk about outside. During 10th Century A.D., Jews were disallowed by Crusaders to enter the temple built by them. They were only allowed to pray near the wailing wall, to wish for the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem to be rebuilt.

Visitors were allowed to scribble their prayers on papers and hide them in-between rocks of the Wall. No one would be allowed to open and read them.  If any fell down, priest would bury them in bottles in Mt.

Olive until the Messiah returns. At the exact spot of Jesus' birth, inside a narrow-entranced Orthodox Church, it was marked with a David Star on the ground.

#5 - 8 gates and 30 towers of Old Jerusalem City

We were shown/told about:
- Walls with bullet holes from the Six-Days' War
- Israeli women soldiers
- 3 levels of city (Upper level: Gate of Zion)   
- Cardo (heart of city)
- Only street level of city walked by Jesus
- Remnant roof of a Jewish Synagogue (12th Crusaders),built in 18th century, 3 floors, 2nd temple period
- Josephus, Commander of Galilean Army, Roman historian, succeeded by Philineas
- 'mic way': baptism pools (meaning reborn, purification), rain/spring waters nobody touches before
- Church of Nativity/mosque
- 6th century flooring (original)
- Dead Sea - lowest area below sea-level, 1,290 ft deep, 6 times of saltiness, swimmers can float
- palm trees
- 12,000 inhabitants living in Old Jerusalem 
- David's Tower Bethlehem: House of Blood, where Jacob buried wife, Rachel.

"(19) So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is,Bethlehem). (20) Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb." (Genesis 35:19-20)

#6 Historians found nails in bones with hooks

We were being shown/told about:
- People sitting on cross
- Cross originally looked like a 'T' with no protruding wood on top
- Soldiers smashed bones with hammers and speared spines
- 1st wall from First Wall Period
- Hasmonean City Wall
- Cardo Gate from Macabian Period
- Street stones of 2,000 years ago
- Garden Tomb, where Jesus was buried in cave in The Place of the Skull/Golgotha
- Joseph's tomb was not a cave, but man-made tomb. Its rolling-stone-door was never found
- Stone where Jesus' crucified body was laid before burial

#7 Crossed Sea of Galilee by boat

We were being shown/told about:
- Nazareth behind Tiberias
- Galilee Museum
- 2,000 year-old ancient fishing boat (27 feet long, 25 feet wide; unearthed in 1986), probably used by 
  Jesus, James and John, taken out of water for display and filming
- Church of Tabgha: 7 hot springs, 5 loaves and 2 fish
- Mt. Beatitude: spread the gospel
- Tiberias (250 metres below sea-level; St. Peter's fish)
- Church of Holy Sepulchre, destroyed in 6th Century, renovated in 10th Century 
- Queen of Sheba came to meet King Solomon for marriage
- 3rd Century: Mother of Constantine (Queen Helena), made people became Christians, built the 3rd 
   church of the world.
- Church of Annunication
- Coptic Ethiopians Christians lived poorly for hundred of years
- Tomb of Jesus

St. Mark mentioned 2 tombs; measured Jesus' body and built tomb; new tomb donated by Joseph;

'(6) He is not here; He has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.' (Luke 24:6)

Via Dolorosa - Jesus walked with a cross, 14 stops to Golgotha At Station No.5, Simon of Cyrene (Libya in Africa), came for passover,helped Jesus to carry the cross.
At Station No.6, Veronica wiped sweat off Jesus' forehead
At Station No.7, Jesus fell twice on the ground
At Station No.9, Jesus fell thrice on the cross
At Station No.10, Jesus stripped of clothes     
At Station No.11, Jesus was nailed to the cross
At Station No.12, hole in rock marked by stars: Jesus died on cross 
At Station No.13, used olive oil to clean Jesus' body - a great honour for the Messiah
At Station No.14, Jesus buried in tomb belonged to Joseph on Friday temporarily, because no burials allowed on Saturday.

#8 Blue colour represents life and protection of sea-shells.  Wearing in form of strings on belt: protected from evil.

We were shown/told about:
- Ancient Roman synagogue of 3rd Century
- Houses of rich people
- Church of Beatitude, donated by Messolini
- Mt. of Transfiguration, where Jesus' face shone
- Armaggeddon Plateau (Megiddo), which was once a desert 30 years ago. 
- King Solomon's palace and stable, aqueduct and water system /fortress, now in ruins
- Painting on wheels or stones (painted what he saw)
- Olive press (petrol of ancient days, exported from Greece - people were rich)
- Golden lampstands: symbol of Jews
- First town confessed Jesus as Messiah
- Pearl: representing life and protection

Church of Capernaum: Thought poor fishing village found limestone,shipped from Judea. a) After Jesus left Nazareth, He started missionary work. Met two fishermen - Peter & John. b) When Jesus preached inside synagogue; it proved that Jesus was a Rabbi, when only Rabbis were allowed to preach.

Symbols: a) Star of David on stone; b) Kind of vessel for storing olive oil; c) pomegranates with 537 seeds; representing Jewish rule of Judaism. Sons of Zebidah (Jesus offered brothers to be fishermen of men) donated money to the church.

Jesus cursed Capernaum (Matthew 11:23 & 24) and it was destroyed by the Greeks for a long time:

"(23) And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths." If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. (24) But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you." 

Peter and his mother-in-law's house, where she had been healed.
She had rooms rented out for a living.

Ancient city to be built for 3 reasons: a) controlling highways; b) holy reason; and c) water.

#9 Jurash - ancient Roman ruins, 375 metres below sea level

We were shown/told about:
- Jordan means deep valley
- Fig trees, almond trees and grape trees
- Ammon new town
- Jordan is a mountainous country
- Canaan is around Jericho; Moses walked through Mt. Nebo,looking for Canaan.
- Orthodox Church of Annunication won award recently for design; Goland Heights
- Sea of Galilee, below sea-level 
- Samaria mountains where Palestinians lived - sensitive areas
- Electrified wires to signify from which area illegal Palestinians tried to sneak into Israeli territory.
- Old Jericho
- Jordan: Salt City
- First of 22 cities built above each other in 4,000 B.C.
- King Jeroboam lived 750 B.C.
- Counted by coins they found in city to determine age.
- Platform Temple
- 3 metres down, back to Canaanite period; 5 temples in one place
- Sacrifice Stone
- 5 gates went back to Canaanite period: Iron Age period
- Gate of city: a place where Judges sat to collect taxes
- King Jeshuphat bargained 3 days with Pharaoh
- Nazareth 60,000 population
- Water baptism at Jordan River
- Ancient Roman castle ruin: 700 B.C. Enter from South Gate. 2.5 mile-fortress wall, built in 3 years. 
  Steps built in 1 A.D. Forum square/swimming pool; 12 springs in olden days, now only 2 remained.        

Mt. of Temptation, where Jesus was tested for 40 days

"(13) and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan..." (Mark 1:13)
Springs inside city; ducts under mountain. Flowers and trees hiding entrance (Book of Joshua)  

There would be an Armageddon War between Mt. of Transfiguration and Solomon's Megiddo, when the Messiah returns. (Book of Revelations)

#10 Moses' Rod at ancient temple 2-3 B.C.

We were shown/told about:
- Medaba City Church (St. George's) to see mosaic stones of map on the ground
- Springs in desert area were scarce: Mussa Springs
- Petra (Jordan) was built by Romans in 3,000 B.C.
- Treasury; Guard's Room; Roman Theatre, 2 A.D.; Houses
- In Amman (Jordan), oranges were sold in cases, at US$1 each
- Diana's Temple 
- Roman Theatre in Petra with 6,000 seatings
- Archaelogical Museum (Dead Sea Scrolls)

Moses' spring nearby, where Moses hit rock and water sprang out; Byzantine period

"(6) I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel." (Exodus 17:6)

Petra (Red Mountain)'s narrow hill-roads, where only donkeys and horses could navigate through narrow gaps (Revelations 12:6)



"(6) The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days (=3 1/2 years)."

Last modified onSunday, 08 July 2018 15:55

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