Following the Footsteps: MAP & LOCATIONS
Introduction – Hospitality at Bethany
Bethany (present-day al-Eizariya) is about two miles from Jerusalem on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. To reach Jerusalem, travelers would ascend the rest of the eastern slope, descend into the Kidron Valley, then ascend further into Jerusalem.
4/2 – Jerusalem – The Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday)
In Scripture we often read about travelers going “up” to the city of Jerusalem, and for good reason. It sits high on a plateau in the hills of Judah. It has a long history with God’s chosen people. Jesus traveled from Bethany to Bethphage, entering city of Jerusalem through the East Gate. At this time crowds shouted
“Hosanna!” (“Please! Deliver us!”) recognizing Him as the Messiah.
4/3 – The Temple – A House of Prayer (Monday)
In Jerusalem, Solomon’s Temple stood from 960–586 BC when Babylon destroyed it. Zerubbabel rebuilt a less-glorious Temple in 516. In 20 BC Herod enlarged it into a magnificent white marble structure which the Romans destroyed in AD 70. As a boy, Jesus visited Herod’s Temple and later taught from it during His ministry. Once a year, the high priest entered God’s throne room, the Holy of Holies. Separating this area from people was a 4-inch-thick, woven, heavy veil which was torn in two from top to bottom as Jesus died. Followers of Christ can now approach God directly, without earthly priests intervening.
4/4 The Mount of Olives – A Place of Retreat (Tuesday)
The Mount of Olives is part of a long mountain ridge that towers over the eastern side of the city, just east of Jerusalem. The ridge is covered with olive trees. The Mount of Olives is mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament including passages about David, Ezekiel and Zechariah. It represents what Jesus knew His disciples needed to hear just prior to death and resurrection and ultimately his ascension when they would be without his constant companionship. Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12), and His victorious second coming is prophesied to be there (Zech. 14:4).
4/5 – The Upper Room (Thursday)
The Upper Room was the place in Jerusalem where Jesus had His last meal with His disciples, called the Last Supper or the first Lord’s Supper. There He also washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). The coenaculum (eating room) for supper (coena) in a Roman house was sometimes upstairs and reached by an external staircase. This particular upper room, which is considered to be the site of several events in the Bible, is called the Cenacle. The upper room location today is an approximation, and probably not the actual place of the last supper. It is near the Zion Gate – southwest of the Temple Mount just outside the old city walls.
4/6 – Gethsemane (Thursday)
“Gethsemane” means “olive press.” It was a secluded place, probably walled, located outside the city on the Mount of Olives. Olive groves once covered the slopes of the mountain. Jesus visited this place after the Last Supper.
The garden of Gethsemane is on the lower left slope of the Mount of Olives, facing it from the Temple Mount. To get there from Jerusalem required crossing the Kidron Valley, a deep ravine that separates the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. Scripture records David crossed this valley while fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23). Ancient tombs can be seen in the Kidron Valley.
4/7 – The House of Caiaphas (Thursday Night)
Caiaphas was the high priest during the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. His home (or palace) was the place Jesus was taken and questioned before the Sanhedrin. Peter was sitting in the Roman style courtyard of this home when, for the first of three times, he was confronted with being with Jesus and denied it. The present-day house of Caiaphas is believed to date from the period of Jesus and to be the original location. It is on the eastern slope of Jerusalem, just beyond old city walls.
4/8 – Calvary (Good Friday)
Calvary was the place where Jesus was crucified on the cross. The name is derived from the Latin word “Calvaria,” meaning “skull.” The Semitic name “Golgotha,” used in Matthew, Mark and Luke, comes from the Aramaic word “skull” or “head.” As the site of many crucifixions, perhaps the name Calvary came from the presence of skulls. Or maybe the name was based on the dome-like geography of the area. The specific location is not known. We know it was near Jerusalem, just beyond the city walls near a road (John 19:20; Heb. 13:12; Matt. 27:39). Possible sites are the place where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre now sits or the Garden Tomb location northeast of the Damascus gate.
4/9 – The Empty Tomb (Easter Sunday)
John 19:41 tells us that Jesus’ body was placed in a tomb located in a garden in the vicinity of where He was crucified. The tomb had never been used (Matt. 27:60) but was owned by Joseph of Arimathea. The tomb was large enough to accommodate someone sitting up, although the entrance required bending over to see inside or to enter. A large stone sealed the entrance (Matt. 27:60). The actual place where Jesus’ tomb was located may have been at the present-day Garden Tomb location or where the Church of the Sepulchre now sits.