Excavations in the archaeological park adjacent to the Haram esh-Sharif in Jerusalem have revealed features from many different periods. Among the most interesting is the monumental stairway pictured here. The use phase of this construction corresponds with the time when the limestone platform above contained the (Second) Temple of YHWH. These stairs were used by worshippers approaching the temple complex from the south.
It is quite likely that Jesus himself climbed these stairs.
Imagination is needed to picture the place in his time. Listen to the splash of water as worshippers perform rites of immersion in pools at the bottom of the stairs. Feel the stone beneath your feet as you ascend (or descend) this hill called Zion by the prophets. Be careful not to bump up against hundreds of others on a busy day. Feel the cool air as you reach the top of the stairs, pass through a gate, and follow an underground tunnel. That tunnel, and more stairs, carries you to the surface of the enormous platform built by Herod the Great. Squint as you emerge into the sun again and there before you, rising in brilliant white marble, is Jerusalem's lofty temple.
Photograph by Bible Lands Explorer Jay Hess.
Dr. Mark Ziese, Dean of the School of Bible and Theology at Johnson University, manages the website Bible Land Explorer and teaches regularly in the Biblical heartland. You are invited to join Mark and Vicki for a Mediterranean Cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection in October, 2018. See the link here for details.