National Geographic : 1967 Dec
EMOTION-WRACKED PILGRIMS, bearing a cross, surge through the Via Dolorosa-Way of Sorrows -singing, chanting, and reading from the Gospels. Arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper, deserted by His Disciples, spat upon, tried, and humiliated, Jesus staggered under His great cross toward Calvary. Each year at Easter time, throngs retrace His steps from Pilate's judgment hall to the place of Crucifixion. 772 miss the secular world? "Forty-five years ago," he said, "I left everything for the love of God. This," he gestured toward the grim and silent desert that seemed to engulf the monastery, "is the world of Jesus. I want to know no other." AND THEY that went before, and they thatfollowed, cried,saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord... Ho sanna in the highest. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple.... MARK 11:9-11 It was on a Sunday in the fair spring time of the year that Jesus, mounted upon the colt of an ass, came to fulfill His destiny in the ancient capital of David. Down the Mount of Olives and up to the Golden Gate leading directly into the Temple, a vast throng lined the way, shouting and waving palm fronds. But the Son of Man saw beyond the tri umphant procession and, says St. Luke, "when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it..." (19:41). You can stand today, as I did, atop the Mount of Olives and look down across the Valley of Kidron and see a Jerusalem still reminiscent of that which met the eyes of Jesus.* On the site of Herod's splendid temple of white mar ble now spread the broad esplanades of the Moslem Haram esh Sharif-Noble Sanctuary-capped by the blue-and gold Arabic perfection of the Dome of the Rock, in Moslem belief the spot from which the prophet Mohammed ascended into heaven. The high city walls-built principally by the Turks, but generally upon Herodian and Ro man foundations-still glow in the sun set like burnt gold, and tribesmen still herd their goats and fat-tailed sheep through the gates for sale in the suqs. As in Christ's time, Jerusalem com bines sublimity and squalor, piety and avarice. Even after 2,000 years, money lenders and hawkers still swarm about the sanctuaries. You can buy a crown of thorns as a macabre souvenir of the Pas sion, or a garish certificate of pilgrimage, *See in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: "Jerusalem, My Home," by Bertha Spafford Vester, and "The Other Side of Jordan," by Luis Marden, both De cember, 1964; "Conquest of the Holy City," by Franc Shor, December, 1963; and "Jerusalem, the Divided City," by John Scofield, April, 1959.