Jerusalem is a strange place. Covering a series of high hills, there are very deep uninhabited valleys in-between. It must have been very difficult walking in Jesus time from town to town. Now too, there is a 20 foot high concrete wall between the Palestinian quarter and the rest of the city. There are checkpoints on the roads that allow Arab-Israelis to enter freely into the Palestinian areas but restrict Palestinian plated cars from leaving their quarter to enter Israel. And the Israelis keep putting up new walls to enclose more and more territory. Very strange and sad.
The fact Trump moved the US embassy here from Tel Aviv signifies he personally does not support the 2 State solution for Israel and Palestine. All this being said, we have not felt unsafe in the least here and only seen a few armed soldiers at the checkpoints or border with Jordan. Then you have all the ancient Bibilical sites in the middle of a modern city with traffic jams. It is surreal here, like nothing we have experienced before.
Today we visited the Church of the Birthplace of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was the last prophet and links the Old to the New Testament. We visited the Church of the Visitation. Elizabeth, 6 months pregnant with John the Baptist, is visited by Mary, pregnant with Jesus. John jumps in the womb.
We visited the Museum of Jerusalem. There is a huge outdoor model of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. We started our day at the tomb of Lazarus where he was raised from the dead. This infuriated the Pharisees because Lazarus had been dead for 4 days and had started to decay.
When we read of these stories again in the Bible, they will have new meaning for us.
It rains off and on and we are happy to come to the end of another great experience and day.
D and M