Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Monday, April 16, 2012

Last Week Walk W2012, Day 1

Our students finished their finals Friday, so with the exception of a last paper a few needed to finish, they are free of academic pressures their last 5 days here.  After their final Sabbath and then a free day yesterday, we have a two-day experience that we started today called "The Last Week Walk."  Beginning in Bethany, we retrace the events of Jesus' final days.

For these sites, I have the students drive the devotionals we have at each site. I assign different students to do the scripture readings associated with each event and then share some thoughts and their testimony.  We then, of course, sing.

Our "official" class picture.  I am going to miss them!
Many of these sites appeared in my Holy Week posts, and last semester's post also provides some more background on the sites.   I am so absolutely pressed with grading and other final activities that I cannot add much more commentary this time around.  I will just post the readings that I assigned and then post pictures from the sites.

Bethany: Raising of Lazarus and the Anointing of Jesus
  • Outside of tomb: Kyler Harmon (John 11:38–46)
  • In the church garden: Samantha Brooks (John 1:1–8; cf. Mark 14:1–9, God So Loved the World, 44–45, esp. “The Woman and Her Testimony”); Hymn 295, “O Love that Glorifies the Son”
  • We sang a number of other hymns inside the church.
Remains of the Byzantine Church near the traditional site of the grave of Lazarus

This is a Muslim cemetery, but it reminds us that this slope of the backside of the Mount of Olives has long been a burial ground
The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Lazarus
Looking down over the Muslim mosque down towards the Franciscan (Catholic) church below
The traditional tomb of Lazarus, from which Jesus raised him from the dead, lies under the Muslim mosque


The Franciscan Church commemorates the raising of Lazarus, of course, as well as several other episodes including him and his sisters Martha and Mary

Here the story of the unnamed woman anointing Jesus' head has been conflated with the Johannine account of Mary anointing Jesus' feet
Elaine with some of the students in a sis pic

Bethphage: The Triumphal Entry
  • Courtney Neves (Mark 11:1–10; see GSLW, 13, on accepting Christ as King), overlooking the backside of the Mount of Olives from behind the church
  • Examination of first century tombs east and below the church
  • Hymn 69, “All Glory, Laud, and Honor,” as well as other hymns of praise inside the church
The Church at Bethphage, where the Palm Sunday procession begins.  It looks a lot different without the crowds!
First century tomb with rolling stone in place

Tombs like the ones where Lazarus and Jesus were bruied

Inside the Bethphage church

Detail of the Triumphal Entry mural

Pater Noster: Remembering Jesus' Teachings on Prayer

The current Pater Noster, or "Our Father" Church, sits on the site of the Eleona basilica built by Helena, the mother of the emperor Constantine.  Together with the Holy Sepulchre and the Basilica of the Nativity, it was one of the three important churches built by newly Christian Rome.  It was built over a cave where Jesus was believed to have delivered the Mount of Olives Discourse about the destruction of Jerusalem and the eventual end of the world, but it later became associated with Jesus' final teachings on prayer and, by harmonization, with the Lord's prayer as it appears in the gospel of Luke.

  • Codi Jameson (Mark 11:20–26 on prayer and forgiveness; this passage was later harmonized with Luke 10:38–11:4, giving the site its later association with the Lord’s Prayer and its title Pater Noster or “Our Father”)
  • Hymn 145, “Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”
The cloister in front of Pater Noster

Inside the chapel, where the other class had its devotional

The Lord's Prayer appears in hundreds of language around the church and its court yard.  Here Travis Aldous poses in front of the prayer in Malagasy (he served his mission in Madagascar)/
Carrie Fox served her mission in Norway.  She is also Elaine's RS counselor

And of course I served my mission in Thailand: Khate Phrabida khong rao . . .

Codi getting ready to lead our devotional in the gardens of Pater Noster

The gardens give a wonderful view of the city much as Jesus would have seen it

Walking Down the Mount of Olives

From Pater Noster we walked down the Mount of Olives, tracing much of the route that Jesus must have taken again and again that final week.

Jewish graves on the Mount of Olive

Dominus Flevit 

The lovely little tear drop-shaped church of Dominus Flevit, "The Lord Wept,"  commemorates the two times the scriptures record that Jesus wept over Jerusalem.  On the grounds are many ossuaries, or bone boxes, like those that were used in the first century for second burials a year after the initial interment.  It also afford splendid views of the Old City across the Qidron Valley.

  • Cassidy Lang (Luke 19:41–44 [beginning of Jerusalem ministry]; Matthew 23:37–39 [close of Jerusalem ministry]) 
  • Hymn 122, “Though Deepening Trials” (all 7 verses)

The kitchen! With Maddie, Sarah, Ethan, and Kyle
With our friends and colleagues the Ludlows


Close up of an ossuary or "bone box"
Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens: Remembering the Promise of the Second Coming

Next we walked over to the Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens, which provided a good venue for us to review the Mount of Olives Discourse.  We then had our lunch and walked down to Gethsemane to catch our bus for the last site.
  • Trav Richardson (Mark 13:1–8, 24–33; cf. Zechariah 14:1–4 and GSLW, 37, on Second Coming)
  • "The Spirit of God"
Trav getting ready to lead our devotional

The Cenacle or "Upper Room": The Institution of the Sacrament

The Cenacle (from coenaculum, Latin for "supper") sits on the site of the Byzantine Church of Holy Zion.  It, and the Cenacle, commemorate the Upper Room where the Last Supper was held.  We were really blessed: there were two other groups when we entered, but they soon left.  We were able to have our most of our devotional and then sing two sacrament hymns and have a prayer offered by Jared Ludlow with the room all to ourselves.  As soon as we finished the prayer, several large, noisy groups came in.
  • Dan Edmonds (Mark 14:22–25; see GSLW, 55, “The Sacrament and Us”)
  • Hymns, "How Great the Wisdom and the Love" and "Jesus of Nazareth"
Dan leading our devotional

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