April 20, 2014 – Easter
Growing up in Australia, the thing I remember most about Easter, was that when we were in school, it was a five day holiday weekend with most of the schools and universities closing on Good Friday, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday making it a perfect time to get away for a long weekend. In fact for most us, it was a time we would get away either to the beach or go water skiing at the end of the summer before winter would start to set in.
Good Friday in Australia was as solemn a day as Christmas Day with pretty much everything being closed.
It was somewhat surprising when I arrived in the United States to find that many businesses, including my own, were open on Good Friday as if it was just another day. Although most government offices and banks are closed, certainly all of the retail stores are open and many businesses continue on as usual.
Nonetheless, in the Christian community, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are two very important days, the first being the day on which Christ was allegedly crucified on the cross with the last supper taking place the day before and Sunday being the day when Christ was resurrected.
Today’s pictures, which are a collection of images from both the old City of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, highlight some of the important locations relevant to Easter.
The tile referencing “Via Dolorosa” is as street that forms part of the Old City which was allegedly the path that Jesus took while carrying the cross on the way to his crucifixion.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is featured above, is allegedly built on the site where the crucifixion took place. This Church has become an important pilgrimage for many Christian since the 4th Century and today is controlled by at least four different religious groups from around the world who desire to maintain some domain over its presence in the Old City.
There are several pictures taken from the Church in Bethlehem which is allegedly on the site where Jesus was born.
Whether or not you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other religion, in visiting these locations, it is hard not to be moved by the beauty and peace that is contained within the walls of these various churches.
To me, it is not important whether I believe that Christ was the Son of God. What is important is the willingness to recognize that everyone has the right to their own belief systems and if those beliefs have as an underlying philosophy the notion of peace and good will towards others, it is certainly a concept that if more people were to adopt, the world would certainly be a better place.
(Photos taken in Jerusalem and Bethlehem – July 2006 and October 2011)