Easter Sunday is the most joyous day in the Christian calendar.  The day marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ who died on the cross at Calvary as a sign of love for all people so that they can also be resurrected from sin.

On a recent trip to Israel we had the pleasure of visiting numerous sites throughout the country that really brought the Bible to life for us.  In Jerusalem, we visited several places that were poignant reminders of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  To say that we felt God’s presence and experienced powerful biblical history is an understatement.   In celebration of this important holiday we are pleased to share just a few reflections from our lens.  Happy Easter and Passover.

Jerusalem Mount Scopus overlooking Jerusalem
We enjoyed a panoramic view of Jerusalem as we stood on Mount Scopus overlooking the Mount of Olives. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick
Jerusalem Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations
Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick

As we walked the 1-mile length of the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) through the Old City of Jerusalem, we thought about the physical challenge that Jesus felt as he carried the cross along the hilly terrain to his death on Calvary.

  • Via-Dolorosa
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Jerusalem Station-6
There are 14 Stations of the Cross that depict images of Jesus carrying the cross. This 6th Station identifies a Jerusalem woman who wiped the face of Jesus. The cloth she used reportedly took up the image of Jesus. The Greek translation of this event is called Vera Icon, meaning ‘true image’, thus the woman becomes known as Veronica. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick”

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection or Church of Anastasis, is considered to be the holiest church in the world because it is the place where Jesus died on Calvary and tomb where He was resurrected.  The Church, which is located in the Christian side of the Old City, contains the last few Stations of the Cross, the Calvary (Golgotha) Altar, the Stone of Anointing, the Aedicule that holds the Holy Sepulchre and the Tomb.

Court yard of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Calvary (Golgotha) altar. Visitors can feel the hole where the cross was erected. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick”
A mosaic depiction of Christ’s body being prepared after his death, opposite the Stone of Anointing. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick”
Visitors kneel down to kiss the Stone of Anointing. This is where Jesus’ body is said to have been anointed before burial. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick”
The Aedicule. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick”

For Christians, traveling along the Via Dolorosa and visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are high points on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Experiencing biblical history during our travels through the Old City and New Jerusalem is one of the most transformative travel experiences we have had.  Certainly, our visit was reminder that Easter is much more than chocolate bunnies and colored eggs.