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The Dome of the Rock is highly significant to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. This rock, or foundation stone, is believed to be where creation began and where God made man from the dust of the ground. The bare rock, or foundation stone, is roughly sixty feet by forty feet, and considered the site where Abraham was sent to sacrifice his son Isaac, from which, thankfully, Isaac was spared. It is also where David built an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor.
According to legend, the Prophet Muhammad was taken to Mount Moriah at the Temple Mount by the angel Gabriel. They mounted a white animal resembling a flying horse. On this Journey Muhammad met prophets of old; they prayed together. Onward they flew through seven heavens; reaching the final heaven, Muhammad was given instruction and teachings that became the basis of the Islamic religion.
It is clear that this rock, foundation stone, under the Dome of the Rock, is a hallowed spot and therefore highly contested. Believed to be the spot where Creation began, it may also be the exact location of the last battle at the end of times, the beginning and the end.
Another beginning of the end was the pathway through Jerusalem where Jesus carried the cross, bleeding onto the streets from his beatings and torn flesh. This pathway is a narrow street in Jerusalem called the Via Dolorosa.
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The Via Dolorosa has fourteen stations of the Cross.
Station One Where Pontius Pilate washed his hands of Jesus’ fate and granted the people a crucifixion.
John 18: 28-40 Easy-to-Read Version
Jesus Is Brought Before Pilate
Then the guards took Jesus from Caiaphas’ house to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early in the morning. The Jews there would not go inside the palace. They did not want to make themselves unclean, because they wanted to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate went outside to them and asked, “What do you say this man has done wrong?”
They answered, “He is a bad man. That is why we brought him to you.”
Pilate said to them, “You take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
The Jewish leaders answered, “But your law does not allow us to punish anyone by killing them.” (This was to show the truth of what Jesus said about how he would die.)
Then Pilate went back inside the palace. He called for Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “Is that your own question, or did other people tell you about me?”
Pilate said, “I’m not a Jew! It was your own people and their leading priests who brought you before me. What have you done wrong?”
Jesus said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it did, my servants would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jewish leaders. No, my kingdom is not an earthly one.”
Pilate said, “So you are a king.”
Jesus answered, “You are right to say that I am a king. I was born for this: to tell people about the truth. That is why I came into the world. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.”
Pilate said, “What is truth?” Then he went out to the Jewish leaders again and said to them, “I can find nothing against this man. But it is one of your customs for me to free one prisoner to you at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to free this ‘king of the Jews’?”
They shouted back, “No, not him! Let Barabbas go free!” (Barabbas was a rebel.)
Station Two Where Jesus took up his cross.
John 19:1-3 Easy-to-Read Version
Then Pilate ordered that Jesus be taken away and whipped. The soldiers made a crown from thorny branches and put it on his head. Then they put a purple robe around him. They kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail to the king of the Jews!” And they hit him in the face.
Station 3 Where Jesus fell under the weight of his cross.
Station 4 Where Mary watched Jesus go by with the cross.
Station 5 Simon of Cyrene was forced to help Jesus carry this cross.
Luke 23:26 Easy-to-Read Version
The soldiers led Jesus away. At that same time there was a man from Cyrene named Simon coming into the city from the fields. The soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross and walk behind him.
Station 6 Where it is believed St. Veronica wiped Jesus’ face leaving an image of his face imprinted on her handkerchief.
Station 7 Jesus fell a second time.
Station 8 Where Jesus consoled the weeping women.
Luke 23:27-31 Easy-to-Read Version
A large crowd followed Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying. They felt sorry for him. But Jesus turned and said to the women, “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children too. The time is coming when people will say, ‘The women who cannot have babies are the ones God has blessed. It’s really a blessing that they have no children to care for.’ Then the people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ They will say to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ If this can happen to someone who is good, what will happen to those who are guilty?”
Station 9 Where Jesus fell the third time.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is where stations ten through fourteen are located.
Station 10: Jesus is stripped.
Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the cross.
Station 12: Jesus dies on the cross.
Station 13: Jesus is taken down from the cross.
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb.
Dear Lord, surely my mind cannot take in all I will see on my trip to the Holy Land. I thank You for the time to research the many places marking significant events in biblical history. I have learned much; revelations from Your Word have opened my eyes. The Bible is truly coming alive! Months ago a thought came to me; go to the Holy Lands. I know it was You, Lord. I recognized your still small voice. You know I yearned to know more about You. Traveling to Israel and Jordan is the opportunity of a lifetime. Please continue to teach me through Your Word and through the commentaries I am researching. Go with me; teach me there; take my hand and walk the Via Dolorosa with me. Amen