We were standing on the Mount of Olives looking at the Temple Mount. The Mount is frequently mentioned in the New Testament as part of the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and the place where Jesus stood when He wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44).
The prophet Zechariah foretold Jesus will return to that very place:
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south”
From the same place, we could see the blocked up East Gate and the Muslim cemetery in front of the gate, which used to give direct access to the Temple Mount. All of these are shrouded in Biblical prophecy.
The East Gate prophecy has been the subject of a Sunday Study by Editor. You can read it here.
Dominus Flevit (the Lord wept ) is a Catholic Franciscan church designed by Antonio Barluzzi, located on the foothills of the Mount of Olives, where Jesus visualized the destruction of Jerusalem and wept.
Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Roman army under General Titus destroyed the second temple, the very soul of Israel.
In front of the church is the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where it is thought that Jesus was betrayed by Judas (John 18:1-14), and arrested …
… and adjacent to the garden is another Barluzzi church called the Basilica of Agony. The church is very dark inside depicting that the evil event happened at night.
On the route to Bethlehem, our Jewish guide announced that she was not permitted to enter Palestinian land and exited the bus. A young Christian Arab woman took over as the group was taken to lunch in preparation for a surprise stop that was/is very familiar to Editor and me.
Our destination was the called Shepherds’ Field, the place where special sheep were raised in ancient times. Both the shepherds and sheep held important significance because these sheep were not for human consumption, only for sacrifice in the temple. These sheep had to be birthed within 5 miles of the temple.
The shepherds were specially trained and watched from a tower above the cave (now appears to be replaced by a chapel). When the ewe was ready to give birth, they brought her into the cave and carefully swaddled the new lamb in cloths to prevent injury.
It was prophesied 500 years before his birth that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). He was swaddled in cloths and would become the spotless sacrificial lamb that would shed His blood for all men who would accept the free gift of salvation.
Our Christmas Eve post every year is Migdal Edar (Tower of the Flock). It is by far the most read post of any we have done in 8 years. You can see it here.