Places Associated with Holy Week

Chris —  February 27, 2014

This year at The Red Brick Church we are working especially hard to see the beauty of Christ as we anticipate Easter. Doing so will give confidence in our faith, encourage our hearts, and focus us more on our King.

Here is the second of several posts (see also What Happened During Holy Week) which will help in that endeavor. A lot more will follow. I am encouraging our church family to consider reading Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor’s new book The Final Week of Jesus.

Bethany – A village about 2 miles southeast of Jerusalem on the road to Jericho. It was from Bethany that Jesus sent for the colt to enter Jerusalem and Bethany was the home of Jesus’s friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

*Calvary– Latin equivalent of Golgotha

Emmaus – A town approximately seven miles northwest of Jerusalem. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to a man named Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).

*Gethsemane – A garden at the base of the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed with his disciples the night before he was crucified.

*Golgotha (also called Calvary) –“The place of the skull,” it is the hill outside of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified.

Jerusalem – The capitol city of Israel where the Temple was located. It is in a mountainous region and was heavily fortified in the time of Jesus.

Mount of Olives – A mountain outside of Jerusalem with Gethsemane at the base. It is where Jesus gave the famous Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25, Mark 13:1-7, Luke 21:5-36) in which he predicted the future on Tuesday of Holy Week.

*The Temple – The center of Israel’s worship. The Temple was completely rebuilt by Herod the Great in 20-18 B.C. Many detailed diagrams are available online. See Justin Taylor’s, “What Did the Temple Look Like in Jesus’ Time?”

*The Tomb – After the crucifixion, the Bible tells us that Jesus was placed in a newly hewn tomb (Matthew 27:60, Luke 23:53, John 19:41). There was likely a small, single chamber. Jesus was laid on a bench opposite of the opening. The entrance of the tomb was sealed with a large, disc shaped stone that could be rolled away.

The empty tomb offers compelling evidence that Christ rose victoriously. Lee Strobel writes:

William Lane Craig, who has earned two doctorates and written several books on the Resurrection, presented striking evidence that the enduring symbol of Easter – – the vacant tomb of Jesus – – was a historical reality. The empty grave is reported or implied in extremely early sources – – Mark’s gospel and a creed in First Corinthians 15 – – which date so close to the event that they could not possibly have been products of legend. The fact that the gospels report that women discovered the empty tomb bolsters the story’s authenticity, because women’s testimony lacked credibility in the first century and thus there would have been no motive to report they found the empty tomb if it weren’t true. The site of Jesus’ tomb was known to Christians, Jews, and Romans, so it could have been checked by skeptics. In fact, nobody – – not even the Roman authorities or Jewish leaders – – ever claimed that the tomb still contained Jesus’ body. Instead, they were forced to invent the absurd story that the disciples, despite having no motive or opportunity, had stolen the body – – a theory that not even the most skeptical critic believes today.

*The Upper Room – A room where Jesus met on Thursday of Holy Week with his disciples for the Last Supper. In the Upper Room, Jesus washed the disciples feet and announced the New Covenant. He also taught the disciples and prayed (John 14-17).

Via Dolorosa – The route Jesus took through the narrow streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha while carrying the Cross. The name “via dolorosa” means “way of suffering” or “sorrowful way.”


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