Explore Israel: A Biblical Tour of the Holy Land


Day 5: Passion Week

We journey back to the Jerusalem of Jesus’ time. The week before his crucifixion, Jesus rode down the Mount of Olives and into the Temple through the Southern Steps. This is the triumphal entry that began the final week of his life. 

Later that week, Jesus and his disciples visited a house to celebrate a Passover meal. The place is referred to as the Upper Room. Traditionally, this site is located on Mt. Zion, just outside the Old City walls. 

After the “Last Supper,” Jesus and his disciples walked across the Kidron Valley and entered the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. Jesus was grieved in his spirit and begged his Father for another way to save humanity. But in the end, he chose to obey his father’s will. Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane by officers serving the chief priests. 

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher marks the traditional site of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The path to the church is known as the Via Dolorosa, which in Latin means the “Painful Path.” This is where tradition states that Jesus struggled long under the weight of the cross to his death.

After the resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mt. of Olives. The Book of Acts tells us that “he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” As the disciples stood in awe at his departure, two angels promised that Jesus would return in the same way. 

Jerusalem is a place of ancient despair seen in the crucifixion and hope for all nations. Here Christ made it possible for us to be reconciled to God and live with him forever. His resurrection brings us hope for his future return. While the time and place of his return is uncertain, the Mt. of Olives stands as a reminder that our Messiah is coming back.