PILGRIMAGE  in  HOLY-LANDS

 

JERUSALEM - The Old City

 

Mount of Olives

 

Di sebelah timur kota lama Yerusalem terbentang bukit sejajar dengan bukit Bait Suci, tetapi terpisah dari padanya dengan Lembah Kidron. Itulah Bukit Zaitun atau Mount of Olives dengan 3 puncaknya. Puncak di utara (818 meter) oleh umat Kristen disebut Viri Galilaei, puncak di tengah (808 meter) secara tradisional dipandang sebagai tempat kenaikan Tuhan Yesus, dan puncak di selatan (734 meter) oleh umat Kristen disebut Gunung Skandal, sebab konon di situlah raja Salomo mendirikan tempat pemujaan dewa-dewa yang dihormati oleh para istrinya yang asing (bdk. 1Raja 11:7-8 ; 2Raja 23:13-14). Bukit Zaitun disebut dalam Perjanjian Lama sebagai tempat ibadah (2Samuel 15:32), dan disinggung pula dalam kitab Yehezkiel 11:22-23 dan Zakharia 14:4. Bagi umat Kristen, Bukit Zaitun sangat penting, sebab dari sinilah Yesus naik ke Surga, dan di situlah Ia menyampaikan wejangan eskatologisnya dan juga mengajarkan Doa Bapa Kami (Lord's Prayer). Yesus sering mengunjungi bukit ini untuk berdoa.

 

Mount of Olives 2006

 

Ketika kaisar Konstantinus membangun gereja Makam Suci di Kalvari dan gereja Kelahiran Yesus di Bethlehem, ia tidak lupa membangun pula sebuah gereja di Bukit Zaitun. Ia mendirikannya di atas goa tempat Yesus menyatakan kepada para rasulnya misteri-misteri tak terselami dan menamakannya Eleona. Di tempat Yesus naik ke Surga didirikan sebuah bangunan bundar yang terbuka atapnya dan menamakannya Imbomon. Tidak lama kemudian St. Melania Muda tahun 439 yang tinggal di sini mendirikan dua biara, yang satu untuk wanita dan yang satu lagi untuk pria; mereka diharapkan berdoa siang dan malam di gereja Kenaikan Tuhan, dan di Goa Percakapan Yesus dengan para rasul. Di kemudian hari di bukit ini ada banyak biara lain pula. Pada tahun 614 semua biarawan dan biarawati itu jumlahnya 1207 dibunuh oleh tentara Persia. Gereja bernama Eleona dan Imbomon dihancurkan, dan hal yang sama terulang lagi semasa pemerintahan Al-Hakim. Para pejuang Perang Salib mendirikan kembali gereja Kenaikan Tuhan, sedangkan di atas reruntuhan Eleona didirikan gereja Pater Noster.

 

Mount of Olives 1862

 

Puncak di utara Bukit Zaitun disebut Viri Galilaei (=Orang-orang Galilee), sebab setelah Yesus naik ke Surga, malaikat menegur para rasul, katanya, "Hai orang-orang Galilee, mengapa kalian berdiri saja di situ memandang ke langit? Yesus yang kalian lihat terangkat ke Surga itu di hadapan kalian, akan kembali lagi dengan cara itu juga seperti yang kalian lihat tadi (Kis. 1:11). Tempat ini sejak tahun 1881 menjadi milik gereja Orthodox-Yunani. Mereka mendirikan di situ sebuah gereja yang pada tahun 1927 rusak akibat gempa bumi. Pada awal tahun 1964 Paus Paulus VI pada waktu berziarah ke Tanah Suci bertemu di sini dengan Patriarch Atenegoras dari Konstantinopolis.

 

Mount of Olives 1940s

 

Betfage adalah sebuah kampung di Bukit Zaitun. Yesus mengutus dua muridnya ke situ agar mereka menyiapkan baginya seekor keledai yang hendak ditungganginya dalam perjalanan masuk ke kota Yerusalem (Markus 11:1-8). Tempat kampung itu tidak diketahui sampai sekarang secara pasti. Tetapi di tempat yang secara tradisional ditunjuk sebagai Betfage dulu, kini berdiri sebuah biara OFM serta sebuah kapel. Menurut peziarah pada abad IV, di tempat itulah Yesus berbicara dengan Martha dan Maria setelah ia datang ke situ untuk membangkitkan Lazarus. Sejak abad XII tempat itu ditunjuk pula sebagai tempat Yesus naik keledai. Sejak itu perarakan Minggu Palem dimulai dari tempat itu. Perarakan itu selanjutnya menuruni Bukit Zaitun, Taman Gethsemane, Gerbang Singa, dan berakhir di gereja St. Anne. Di atas altar utama gereja Betfage dapat kita saksikan sebuah fresco yang menggambarkan masuknya meriah Yesus ke kota Yerusalem.

 

 

Church Mary Magdalene
 

Bringing a taste of the Kremlin to Jerusalem, the 19th-century Church of Mary Magdalene is a distinctive Jerusalem landmark on the Mount of Olives.

 

Golden Domes of St. Mary Magdalene, Russian Orthodox church on the Mount of Olives


The Church of Mary Magdalene was built by Tsar Alexander III in 1888 in the traditional Russian style. Easily spotted from the Temple Mount, the Russian church's seven golden domes have been newly gilded and sparkle in the sun. Combined with its multiple levels and sculpted white turrets, the church looks like something out of a fairytale.
 

Church St. Mary Magdalene, berdekatan dengan Taman Gethsemane


The church is worth a close-up visit as well, for it stands in a tranquil garden and is filled with Orthodox icons and wall paintings inside.
The crypt holds the remains of Tsar Alexander's mother, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who was killed in the Russian revolution of 1917.
Also buried here is Princess Alice of Greece (Queen Elizabeth's mother-in-law), who harbored Jews during the Nazi occupation of Greece.

 

Exterior and icon-filled interior

 

This Russian Orthodox church was built in honor of the czar's mother in 1888 and the mosaic inside depicts the legend of Mary Magdalene presenting an egg to the Emperor Tiberius. The egg allegedly turned red when she handed it to him, symbolic of Jesus' blood. 28 nuns from all over the world live in the convent here today.

 

Church St. Mary Magdalene seen from Kidron Valley

 

Setelah keluar dari Taman Gethsemane, kita dapat mampir ke gereja St. Mary Magdalene milik umat Rusia. Gereja ini didirikan pada tahun 1888 oleh Tsar Aleksander III demi mengenang ibunya Maria Aleksandrowa, istri Aleksander II. Di dalam gereja ini terdapat banyak ikon serta kubur putri Elisabet Fiodorowa yang dibunuh pada tahun 1918. Di sekitar gereja ada banyak kuburan orang Yahudi serta sisa jalan menuju puncak Bukit Zaitun. Atap gereja ini ditutup dengan sejenis kubah emas khas gereja Orthodox-Rusia.

 

Names: Russian Orthodox Church of St. Mary Magdalene at Gethsemane, Church of St. Mary Magdalene, White Russian Church of St. Mary Magdalene
Type of site: Russian Orthodox church
Dates: 1888
Location: Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
Phone: 02/628-4371
Hours: Tue, Thu 10-12
Cost: Free
Bus: 37

 

 

Dominus Flevit

 

Dominus Flevit atau 'the Lord wept', mengingatkan Yesus berhenti sebelum memasuki Yerusalem menghadapi kesengsaraannya

 

Dominus Flevit Church is a small Fransciscan church located on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Bible trivia buffs know that the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35, when "Jesus wept" over the death of Lazarus. But Dominus Flevit, which means "the cry of the Lord," commemorates a different occasion on which Jesus was moved to tears.

According to Luke 19:41, "As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it" because "the days will come upon you when your enemies will... dash you to the ground." (Christians believe this was fulfilled in 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.) Dominus Flevit Church is believed to mark the place where Jesus' mourning over Jerusalem occurred.
The current Dominus Flevit Church was commissioned by the Franciscans, who still run the site, and designed by Italian architect Anton Barluzzin. Constructed in 1954, the church is in the shape of a tear drop to symbolize the Lord's tears.
The current church stands on the ruins of a 7th-century church, some mosaics of which still remain. The western window in Dominus Flevit provides a beautiful view of the Temple Mount.
During the construction of the modern church, an ancient Jewish tomb dating to as early as the first century BC was discovered beneath. The tomb and several ossuaries (bone boxes) can be seen by visitors.

 

Franciscan Church of Dominus Flevit

 

The incident of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem is commemorated in the Franciscan Church of Dominus Flevit, located about halfway down the western slope of the Mount of Olives. Designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi in 1956, the roof is shaped like a teardrop. The church's name means "the Lord wept," recalling Jesus stopping before entering the city to grieve over its future destruction.
During preparatory excavation work prior to construction of the church, a cemetery dating back to 1500 BC was uncovered containing many ossuaries — small stone boxes for reburial of remains — a number of which can be seen in a grotto just inside the entrance to the Dominus Flevit grounds. Around the time of Jesus, it was customary to wrap the dead in linen shrouds and place them in small niches cut in the walls of tombs. About a year later, after the flesh had decayed, the bones were placed in ossuaries, to save space in expensive rock-cut tombs. As we shall later see, Jesus' burial was actually the first step in this burial process practiced by Jews in the1st century.
After the steep descent from the brow of the Mount of Olives into the Kidron Valley, Jesus entered the city, presumably through an eastern gate which led directly to the Temple precincts. Today that would be the now closed Golden Gate.
 

View of Temple Mount from a window in Dominus Flevit

 

Dengan menuruni puncak Bukit Zaitun, melalui jalan di samping gereja Pater Noster, kita tiba di gereja Dominus Flevit (=Tuhan menangis) serta ke Getsemani. Jalan di sebelah selatan melewati kuburan para nabi. Sedikit di bawahnya terdapat pintu masuk ke gereja Dominus Flevit. Gereja ini didirikan pada tahun 1891 untuk mengenang tangis Yesus atas Kota Suci pada waktu Ia memasuki Yerusalem dengan jaya pada hari Minggu menjelang sengsara dan wafatnya. Dalam Injil Lukas disebutkan, Ketika Yesus hampir sampai di Yerusalem, di jalan yang menurun pada Bukit Zaitun, semua pengikutnya yang banyak itu mulai berseru-seru memuji Allah dan mengucap terima kasih kepadanya karena semua keajaiban yang telah mereka saksikan (Lukas 19:37). Beberapa ayat sesudahnya, Lukas menambahkan, Ketika Yesus makin dekat dengan Yerusalem dan melihat kota itu, ia menangis. Katanya, "Kasihan, alangkah baiknya kalau hari ini engkau tahu apa yang dapat mendatangkan perdamaian. Tetapi sekarang engkau tidak dapat melihatnya. Engkau akan mengalami suatu masa dimana musuh-musuhmu akan mengepungmu dan mendesakmu dari segala sudut. Mereka akan menghancurkan engkau bersama seluruh pendudukmu, dan tidak satu batu pun akan mereka biarkan tinggal tersusun pada tempatnya, sebab engkau tidak memperhatikan saat ketika Allah datang untuk menyelamatkan engkau". (Lukas 19:41-44).

Gereja Dominus Flevit adalah milik para biarawan OFM, dan didirikan di atas reruntuhan kapel kuno. Altarnya dihiasi jendela kaca dengan panorama ke arah Yerusalem.
 

Names: Dominus Flevit Church; Church of Dominus Flevit
Type of site: Franciscan church; biblical site
Date: 1954
Hours: Daily 8am-12, 2:30-5.
Etiquette: Wear modest dress (shoulders and knees covered).

 

 

Golden Gate

The Golden Gate of today dates to the Muslim Umayyad period (7th-8th centuries AD) — long after the time of Jesus. The story is told that the gate was walled-up to prevent the entry of the Messiah, who was expected to come from the east and enter through that very gate. Even now, there is a belief among Christians that these measures are futile, and that the Golden Gate will miraculously reopen when Jesus comes for the second time. In truth, it was closed after the Muslim conquest, when the Dome of the Rock and aI-Aksa Mosque were built, to prevent unsupervised access to the Temple Mount by "unbelievers." At the time of the Crusades it was opened twice a year, on Palm Sunday and the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. The gate was finally closed under Turkish rule and has remained so to this day.
 

Golden Gate


However, evidence exists of an earlier gate beneath the Golden Gate, possibly the one used by Jesus. Its remains were accidentally discovered in 1969 by James Fleming, a young Bible student who was exploring the Golden Gate after a heavy rain the previous day. While kneeling to frame a picture of the gate in his camera view finder, the ground beneath him gave way. He found himself in an eight-foot hole, in a mass grave full of human bones. To his astonishment, directly beneath the Golden Gate, were the remains of a hitherto unknown earlier gate. He managed to take a few pictures of the five trapezoid-shaped stones that made up the arch of the gate. The similarity of the stones to the Herodion masonry of other gates leading to the Temple Mount suggests that this lower gate was also Herodian. If so, it very well could have been the gate Jesus rode through when he entered Jerusalem.

 

Taken from Dome of the Rock looking towards the Golden Gate 1900s

 

Another theory suggests that the arch supported a bridge that spanned the deep Kidron Valley from the Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives known as the "Causeway of the Heifer," since the High Priest used this way to reach the place on the Mount of Olives where the ritual burning of the Red Heifer took place, to purify the pilgrims with its ashes (see Numbers 19:2). If so, than Jesus ascended this bridge supported by the stones of this arch, entered the eastern gate, then proceeded to the Court of Gentiles surrounding the inner Temple precincts.

 

Inside the Golden Gate 1900s

 

Many Jews believe that the Messiah will lead the resurrected from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem via the Old City's Golden Gate, which faces the mount. Tradition has it that it was through a gate on this site that Jesus rode into Jerusalem, just as an earlier Jewish tradition says that this is how the Messiah will enter the city at the End of Days. The gate, however, is tightly sealed. It is said that a Muslim ruler decided to have it bricked up to prevent any Messiah from arriving in Jerusalem and wresting the city from Muslim hands.

 

 

Kidron Valley
 

This is the Kidron Valley as faced the Golden Gate (right of center along the wall) with the Mount of Olives. In 2000 the ground near the Golden Gate collapsed revealing a gate below the modern one. The hole was filled as this area is a Moslem graveyard. The southwestern portion of this wall was close to first century Herodian (Second Temple era) foundations of the outer wall of Jerusalem. Jesus may have exited a gate facing east towards the spot the photo was taken from.


The Kidron Valley is located on the eastern edge of Jerusalem, between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. Many important events of biblical history occurred in the Kidron Valley.
In the Old Testament, King David crossed the Kidron Valley to escape his wicked son Absalom (2Samuel 15:23-30). The Kidron Valley is also where King Asa burned the pagan idols and asherah poles (1Kings 15:13) and where the evil Athaliah was executed (2Kings 11:16). It became a major cemetery as far back as King Josiah (2Kings 23:6).
In the New Testament, Jesus traveled from Jerusalem to Bethany through the Kidron Valley to visit Lazarus and raise him from the dead (John 11 and John 12). Jesus also rode the foal of a donkey up the Kidron Valley from the Mount of Olives through the gates of Jerusalem during his “Triumphal Entry” ( Luke 19:28-44). A few days later, after the “Last Supper” with his disciples, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley to go pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he was ultimately arrested ( John 18:1-11).
 

Kidron Valley dilihat dari Kota Tua Jerusalem


Many scholars view the Kidron Valley as a major location in “ends times” prophecy. Christians believe Jesus Christ will return to earth on the Mount of Olives, cross over the Kidron Valley, and reenter the City of Jerusalem as King of Kings. Jews believe that the Messiah will come from the East, pass over the Mount of Olives and through the Kidron Valley before arriving on the Temple Mount. Muslims have their own account where the prophet Isa Almaseh will return in a similar way. These views of the “end times” have caused all three religious communities to build huge cemeteries throughout the Kidron Valley.

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the LORD. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished." (Jeremiah 31:38-40)
 

Kota Tua Jerusalem dilihat dari seberang Kidron Valley


Memandang Lembah Kidron dari ketinggian Bukit Zaitun, kita langsung dapat menduga mengapa lembah ini sejak dahulu kala membangkitkan emosi para penduduk Yerusalem. Lembah ini tampak menakutkan dan sangat miskin akan kehijauan. Di lembah ini terdapat sejumlah kuburan yang dibuat dalam cadas. Seluruh suasananya mengarahkan pikiran manusia pada alam baka. Menurut kepercayaan rakyat (Yahudi dan Islam), Pengadilan Terakhir akan dilangsungkan di lembah ini. Salah satu versinya, di atas lembah ini mulai dari Tembok Kota Lama Yerusalem hingga Bukit Zaitun akan dibentangkan sebuah tali tipis yang harus dilalui setiap orang. Orang-orang benar akan sampai ke ujungnya, sedangkan para pendosa akan jatuh ke dalam lembah di bawahnya. Menurut tradisi Yahudi, Mesias akan datang dari sebelah Bukit Zaitun dan melalui Lembah Kidron akan sampai ke Bukit Bait Suci melalui Golden Gate. Pada saat itulah semua orang mati akan dibangkitkan dan akan dilangsungkan Pengadilan Terakhir atas segenap umat manusia. Maka sejak berdirinya Bait Suci I (First Temple yang didirikan oleh Raja Salomo), orang-orang Yahudi mulai menguburkan orang-orang matinya di lereng lembah ini.

Di Lembah Kidron dapat kita saksikan beberapa kuburan, yaitu kuburan Absalom, Zakharia, dan St. Yakobus. Sesungguhnya semua kuburan ini tidak berkaitan dengan tokoh-tokoh tersebut. Dalam kuburan Absalom dan Zakharia malah tidak pernah ada orang yang dikuburkan, sebab kedua bangunan itu didirikan sebagai monumen bagi orang-orang yang dikuburkan di sekitarnya. Kuburan Absalom disebut juga Tugu Absalom. Dalam kitab Samuel kedua, diketahui bahwa Absalom adalah anak raja Daud, seorang pemberontak. Sewaktu masih hidup, ia telah membangun bagi dirinya sebuah tugu di Lembah Raja, sebab dia tidak mempunyai anak laki-laki untuk meneruskan keturunannya. Tugu itu dinamakannya menurut namanya sendiri, dan sampai hari ini tugu tersebut dikenal sebagai Tugu Absalom (2Samuel 18;18). Atap tugu ini dibuat menurut gaya Yunani, sehingga para arkeolog yakin bahwa tugu ini didirikan kira-kira 700 tahun sesudah meninggalnya Absalom. 5o meter ke sebelah selatan dari kuburan Absalom terletak kuburan Zakharia (disebut pula kuburan St. Yakobus) yang atapnya mirip piramida serta kuburan keluarga Ben Hezir.

 

Tombs in Kidron Valley: Absalom's Pillar (left), Zechariah's tomb (the father of John the Baptist, right) and the tomb of the sons of Hezir

 

Nama Ofel disebutkan dalam Alkitab yaitu wilayah di sebelah Bait Suci. Dalam kitab kedua Tawarikh tercatat, Yotam-lah yang membangun Pintu Gerbang Utara di Rumah Tuhan, dan memperkuat tembok Yerusalem di daerah yang disebut Ofel (2Tawarikh 27:3). Di bukit ini, tepatnya di sebelah selatan, berdirilah benteng orang-orang Yebus yang dikalahkan oleh Raja Daud. Pada suatu hari Raja Daud dan anak buahnya berangkat hendak menyerang Yerusalem. Orang Yebus penduduk kota itu, mengira bahwa Daud tidak akan dapat mengalahkan Yerusalem. Sebab itu mereka berkata kepadanya, "Engkau tidak akan dapat masuk kemari orang-orang buta dan orang-orang pincang pun sanggup mengusirmu". Daud berkata kepada anak buahnya, "Adakah di sini orang yang membenci orang Yebus sama seperti aku membenci mereka? Cukup bencikah dia sehingga ingin sekali membunuh mereka? Kalau begitu masuklah melalui terowongan air dan seranglah orang-orang pincang dan buta yang kubenci itu". Itulah sebabnya orang berkata, "Orang buta dan orang pincang tidak boleh masuk Rumah Tuhan". Daud berhasil merebut benteng Sion dan mendudukinya, ia menamakannya Kota Daud. Kota itu dibangunnya di sekeliling benteng itu, mulai dari sebelah timur bukit yang ditinggikan dengan tanah (2Samuel 5:6-9).

 

 

The Kidron Valley Tombs
The tombstones in the Kidron Valley – The Absalom Monument, Zechariah's Tomb and The Tomb of Bene Hezir
At the bottom of the Mount of Olives, close to the bed of the Kidron Valley, are a number of extremely impressive burial structures carved in the rock. These are burial caves and commemorative tombstones of the rich of Jerusalem and its priests that scholars think were built towards the end of the Second Temple Period. Despite their relatively late dating, they are popularly known by names connected with biblical events.

The Absalom Monument
The lower part of the Absalom Monument is cube-shaped and carved out of the rock, while its upper part is built of stone. The façade of this tombstone has high pillars, capitals and much decoration. Inside the structure there are a number of rooms that were used for burial.
The source of the name "the Absalom Monument" is from the biblical story of Absalom, King David's third son, of whom it is written:
"Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar which is in the King's Valley, for he said, 'I have no son to keep my name in remembrance'; he called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom's monument to this day" (II Sam. 18:18)

The Tomb of the Sons of Hezir
The Tomb of Sons of Hezir is a burial cave carved out above the Kidron Valley cliff, facing west.
The front of the cave has two pillars, with two pilasters and a decorated cornice and it leads into burial rooms that were carved into the mountain. The burial cave is dated by scholars to the second century BCE. Above the façade of the cave an inscription was discovered reading: "This is the grave and monument of Elazar Hania Uazar Yehuda Shimon Yohannan sons of Yosef son of Obad Yosef and Elazar sons of Hania Priests of the Hezir family". According to this inscription it would seem that in this cave were buried the descendents of the priestly family of "Hezir" which was known from the time of King David:
"So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe--now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter…." (II Kings, 22:14 )

Zechariah's Tomb
Zechariah's tomb is carved entirely from the rock. The monument is dated as being from the 1st century BCE. The monument has no burial room and it can be assumed that it was built as a monument for a grave that was nearby that has not survived or whose hewing was not completed. According to a Jewish tradition from the 13th century, this impressive moment is connected to the killing of Zechariah the Priest in First Temple times:
"Then the spirit of God took possession of Zechariah the son of Jehoiada….But they conspired against him, and by command of the King [Joash] they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord". (II Chron. 24: 20,22)

 

 

GOD IS THE LORD WHO DOES MIRACLES

   

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