Day 13 - Jesus' Last Supper & Trials

Jesus spent day after day teaching and healing in the huge courtyards of Herod's Temple Mount, until the day of Passover came and then he made special provisions to celebrate this covenantal meal privately with his closest friends inside the walls of Jerusalem. Jesus sent two of his disciples into the city with nothing more than instructions to look for the unusual sight of a man carrying a water jar and follow him, because he didn't want anyone to prevent him from celebrating this most important of Passovers with his disciples. Today we visited the remains of that secret location on the southwest hill of Jerusalem and reflected on the meaning of Jesus' reinterpretation of the bread and wine of Passover in that Upper Room. From there we headed down into the Kidron Valley and up to the Garden of Gethsemane, just as Jesus did with his disciples. There we pondered the incredible surrender Jesus demonstrated when he admited his desire to avoid the suffering of the cross, but chose to submit anyway. From this powerful spot we retraced our steps across the Kidron Valley following the route Caiaphas' soldiers would have taken Jesus to a mock trial at the home of the High Priest, also up on the southwest hill of the city. From there we continued north to the site of Herod's Palace where Pontius Pilate would have been staying for the festival and where he finally condemned Jesus to death, in spite of the clear evidence of Jesus' innocence. It was an intense day as we considered Jesus' willingness to allow sinful men to judge him, the only truly innocent man who has ever lived, but we know it is just preparing us for the powerful conclusion of our pilgrimage that awaits tomorrow ....

Overshadowed by the beautiful Dormition Abbey, we stood next to the building built over the foundations of the first century house where Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover meal in Jesus' last supper with them.

We visited and worshiped in the reconstructed Upper Room, recalling all the amazing events that took place in this one spot!

We retraced the route Jesus and the disciples took that night through the Kidron Valley and past these monumental Hasmonean tombs from the century before Jesus.

This beautiful Church of All Nations stands next to an ancient grove of olive trees known as Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives.

We spent some time reflecting on Jesus' powerful prayer in this awesome church which recreates that night scene in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We visited this first century cave near the Garden of Gethsemane which may have been where the other disciples were left sleeping while Jesus went off with three of the disciples to pray.

We returned to the city to visit the church that commemorates Jesus' sham trial before the religious authorities and saw the first-century stepped street that has been preserved there.

We finished our day with yet another delicious shewarma lunch, this time on a rooftop in the Old City, overlooking the ancient Muristan Market.