In the New Testament, the ancient city is the setting for many of his miracles and most dramatic moments: his triumphal entry, his cleansing of the Temple, his healing miracles at the Pools of Bethesda and Siloam—both of which have been uncovered by archaeologists—his clashes with the religious authorities, his last Passover meal, his agonized prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, his trial and execution, his burial and Resurrection.
Following his arrival in Jerusalem for Passover, Jesus is brought before the high priest Caiaphas and charged with blasphemy and threats against the Temple. The traditional location of that tomb, in what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is considered the holiest site in Christianity. In I made several trips to the church to document the historic restoration of the Edicule, the shrine that houses the reputed tomb of Jesus. Now, during Easter week, I return to see it in all its soot-scrubbed, reinforced glory.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with holiday pilgrims waiting to enter the tiny shrine, I recall the nights spent inside the empty church with the conservation team, coming upon darkened nooks etched with centuries of graffiti and burials of crusader kings. I marvel at the many archaeological discoveries made in Jerusalem and elsewhere over the years that lend credibility to the Scriptures and traditions surrounding the death of Jesus, including an ornate ossuary that may contain the bones of Caiaphas, an inscription attesting to the rule of Pontius Pilate, and a heel bone driven through with an iron crucifixion nail, found in the Jerusalem burial of a Jewish man named Yehohanan.
Just yards from the tomb of Christ are other rock-hewn tombs of the period, affirming that this church, destroyed and rebuilt twice, was indeed constructed over a Jewish burial ground. I was overwhelmed by all the questions of history I hoped this brief and spectacular moment of exposure would eventually answer. Today, on my Easter visit, I find myself inside the tomb again, squeezed alongside three kerchiefed Russian women.
The marble is back in place, protecting the burial bed from their kisses and all the rosaries and prayer cards rubbed endlessly on its time-polished surface. The youngest woman whispers entreaties for Jesus to heal her son Yevgeni, who has leukemia. A priest standing outside the entrance loudly reminds us that our time is up, that other pilgrims are waiting. Reluctantly, the women stand up and file out, and I follow. That quest will be endless, full of shifting theories, unanswerable questions, irreconcilable facts.
But for true believers, their faith in the life, death, and Resurrection of the Son of God will be evidence enough. Read Caption. The shrine attracted global attention in when restorers uncovered remnants of an ancient tomb behind its ornate walls. By Kristin Romey. Photographs by Simon Norfolk.
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This story appears in the December issue of National Geographic magazine. In Jerusalem, Jesus healed a paralyzed man at a ritual pool surrounded by five colonnades called the Pool of Bethesda, reports the Gospel of John.
Many scholars doubted that the place existed until archaeologists discovered clear traces of it beneath the ruins of these centuries-old churches. Palestinian Christians parade through the streets of Bethlehem at Christmas, which different denominations celebrate on different dates: Roman Catholics and Protestants on December 25, Orthodox Christians on January 7, and Armenians on January 6, or, in the Holy Land, on January Some scholars regard Jesus as a social revolutionary whose true mission was regime change rather than the salvation of souls.
The columns of a partially restored, second- to fifth-century synagogue in Capernaum lie atop an older structure very likely visited by Jesus, according to some scholars. Nearby, archaeologists discovered a dwelling that was venerated by early Christians—possibly the home of the Apostle Peter. Here, according to the Gospels, Jesus miraculously calmed a storm, walked on water, and blessed his disciples with boatloads of fish. Showbread table. Depicts the curtain that hid the most sacred room of the Temple, the holy of holies.
Seven-branch menorah. Burnt offering altar. Reliefs show the altar and menorah in the Temple court. Chariot wheel. Flaming chariot wheels symbolize the divine presence. Columned arches.prodeniltaka.ml/map22.php
Evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ
Oil lamp. Scenes from the life of Christ—including his infancy, triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and Last Supper—adorn a small Coptic Orthodox chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Several Christian sects warily share the cavernous sanctuary, each laying claim to a chapel or other space. Keys to the church are entrusted to a local Muslim family. Just hours before his arrest and Crucifixion, according to the Gospels, Jesus prayed in a garden called Gethsemane, probably from the Aramaic words for oil press. Sharp, painful point on seat. The only crucifixion victim ever discovered had a nail driven through his heel. The story helps us understand that the cycle has been repeating itself from the dawn of time. When Adam and Eve tasted the forbidden fruit, they were not committing a sin; they were beginning their journey to becoming adults.
In verse 21 of Genesis there is a beautiful touching detail that is generally overlooked. It is the work of parents to give the children roots and wings. Giving them roots is the easy part. Allowing them to find their wings is a more painful process.
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