Bus People

Feb. 15, 2023.

Melodee and I just returned from Israel a few days ago, and it was so wonderful to see many of the holy sites. However,  there was one that rather stunned me because of the sacred/profane paradox it offered.

We were sitting on some bleachers prior to going into the Garden Tomb, and the tour guide was orienting us to what we were about to see. She started her lesson talking about the place of Jesus’ crucifixion, and that most Bible scholars believe that Golgotha, which means ‘the place of a skull’ refers a cliff that has a few cave openings that resemble eye-sockets, nasal and mouth openings. And further it is believed that Jesus was crucified at the bottom of this cliff with the skull imagery behind him, rather than on “a hill far away”, as the hymn suggests. After explaining this, our tour guide pointed out that we were sitting right next to that cliff and the likely crucifixion site. And sure enough, when we looked to our right, there was a cliff with cave openings in full view only 200 yards away.

But then things got crazy, because backed up against the bottom of that skull cliff was a paved parking lot for the Jerusalem metro busses. Dozens of busses were stacked end to end; some were trying to get out; some were trying to get parked; horns were honking; it was chaos. At times it was so noisy we could hardly hear our guide talk. The very place where Jesus likely became the sacrificial lamb of the world is now completely consumed by a public transit system.

I was annoyed that someone hadn’t captured that location and created a meditation site so people could sit, look upon the place of the Savior, and recapture the wonder of their salvation. But then I was reminded that Jesus was born in a barn, spent his infancy running from the government, gave his days to the outcast, the broken and the sick, and was crucified between thieves. So why should we be surprised that his crucifixion site has now been offered to the ‘bus people’? There is something holy about this.

Blessings & Boldness,


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