January 25, 2007

“Walk about Zion, go around her,
number her towers,
consider well her ramparts,
go through her citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever.”
Psalm 48:12-14

On Tuesday, my IBEX group made our first trip to the city of Jerusalem for an introduction to the Old City. Thankfully, this trip was only the first of many trips we will take there.

One of our first stops was the roof of the Petra Hostel. From this roof, we could see the entire Old City, the Mount of Olives, and even the hills of Moab on the far horizon. Here’s a pic of the Dome of the Rock from the rooftop.


Another stop we made in the Old City was the church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the traditional location of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the church is not exactly picturesque, it is most likely the accurate location. Being there really drew my attention to what was accomplished at that spot 2000 years ago–the salvation of men. I was forced to think about the glory of the cross that I had heard about at Truth and Life last week. Here’s a picture of my roommate, Patrick, coming out of a preserved first century tomb.


Another stop we made was outside the Eastern wall of the Old City by the Golden Gate–a sealed gate that would lead to the Temple Mount. This gate is directly opposite of the Mount of Olives, an important location throughout the Bible. Jesus taught his disciples there. Jesus would have walked down this mount many times, including his triumphal entry. Gethsemane is located on this mountain. Finally, this is the mount from which Jesus ascended and to which the Bible says he will return one day. This is a picture of me and Lester, with the Mount of Olives behind us.


One of my favorite stops of the day was at the ancient Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a lame man. The ruins of the pools were pretty interesting, especially this one large cavern that still contained water under the remains of Byzantine arches. However, the coolest thing there was a church that was built in the days of the Crusaders. Todd, our Land and Bible professor, took us into the church and told us to sing. So we sang in this old church with amazing acoustics. I don’t know if “Be Thou My Vision” will ever sound so beautiful again.

As we wrapped up our day in Jerusalem, we briefly visted the Wailing Wall and the Jewish Quarter before returning to Jaffa Gate, where our day had begun. We will return to the Old City twice in the next week for field trips. I’m psyched out of my mind.


5 Responses to “Jerusalem”

  1. Roberta Blakey said

    Too bad somebody didn’t record your singing. We would have loved to hear it! Keep the great pix and commentary coming.

  2. Ben, that is awesome that you were at what is most likely the location where Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection took place, I can’t imagine. Love the pics…and great haircut, by the way!

  3. Bill said


    Sweet pics! Love that you got to go!!!

    Keep the blogging up!!!

  4. Ben,

    The Hotchkiss Richness still lives on!!! Dorm Chapel was amazing!!! We wished you ALL were there with us. We Aj, DA, Jeanjaquet and Grijalva gave great and honest testimonies of their walks and things learned. D and Z were awesome! Worship and singing was very real. We collected lots of money for Yiga!!! Yey!!!

    good to hear from you man! Hotchkiss misses you too!!!

  5. Meisha said

    Ben…I love the blog…update though! I keep checking to see if you have updated and I’m always disappointed! I’m just kidding…I know you are super busy. Have so much fun and learn a ton! You have the best Land and the Bible teacher ever!

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