Shalom friends…and welcome back. I’m making my way through various sites around Jerusalem and want to share them with you. Several days ago, I was at the Southern steps of Temple Mount. As with my visit to the City of David, access to the Southern steps was closed for shabbat. However, there is still much to share about this very significant site.
To give you some perspective during the time of Jesus, see the photo to the left. (The photo is from the Model City of Jerusalem.) Yesterday, we discussed the City of David, and you will see that city in the lower right quadrant of the picture. King David and King Solomon lived there. Just above it, you will see Temple Mount, with the Temple sitting atop.
Obviously, the Temple is no longer there, as it was destroyed in 70 AD. However, in this photo, you are looking toward the Southern steps, leading to the Southern entrances to the Temple Mount. That is the area we are focused on today.
In Israel, there are places where Jesus “might have been,” where He “probably was,” and where we know for certain He was! This is one of those “know for certain” sites! Jesus entered Temple Mount with the common people. Religious leaders and dignitaries would have entered via a bridge on the western side of Temple Mount, but common people would approach from the south, ceremonially wash themselves in a mikvah (see photo to the right), then ascend these steps to Temple Mount.
One thing to know about the Southern steps: they are rough, uneven, and can be dangerous if one is in a hurry. Hmmmm….suppose that was purposeful, to remind the people to be diligent and intentional as they approached the presence of God? That is a good reminder to us all, not to run ahead of the Lord, but to calmly and patiently, step-by-step ascend into His plans and purposes for us.
Again, be reminded that What in the World is Going On?, a new Bible study, will begin this Sunday at both campuses of Calvary Community Church in Phoenix. We will be in the Prayer Room at NW campus at 9:00am, and in Room 403 at Central campus at 11:00am. The study runs through November. (Find more info here.)
Next up: the Western Wall…so check back soon!