Gaining a New Perspective (by Jessica Stallbaum)
Early in the morning, we were driven to the very top of the Mount of Olives. The view was breathtaking. From that elevation, we could see so many of the places we had recently visited on our sojourn across Israel. The Dome of the Rock with its multimillion dollar gold overlay was glistening in the sun in the distance whereas, in contrast, in the foreground, there were thousands of tombs filled with faithful Jews waiting for the Messiah to come- for the first time- with their feet pointed toward the Temple Mount.
From there, we started walking on a well-worn path down the mountain, a steep descent of about 400 feet over the course of a half mile. Toward the bottom of the path is a garden belonging to the Church of All Nations. This site is believed to be the site of THE Garden of Gethsemane. The ancient olive trees that stand there today are only 500 years old, but they do the job of creating the intended atmosphere. It’s surreal. We were given 30 minutes to sit in the garden and process where we were, what had happened here, and what was to happen next after Jesus left this garden 2,000 years ago. I pulled up Luke 22 on my YouVersion Bible app and found that the only version I had downloaded was the Message version. This wouldn’t have been the version that I would have chosen to read on this occasion, but I soon found out that it was exactly what God purposed for me to read.