It is hard to put into words my thoughts of this particular place in Jerusalem. This may well have been where Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again, but it didn’t seem like it. There were so many thousands of people crammed into this one church, and so much “glitz,” that we were not even able to get to the various “holy sites.” It was difficult to worship there.
Around AD 300 Constantine’s mother, Helena, visited Israel, trying to find out where the various holy sites were. She would build a church wherever she determined something happened in the life of Christ. She actually built two churches here. A thousand years later the Crusaders built a much larger church over the two churches. The building is beautiful and impressive. Four churches vie for control here: the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church.
We descended into the lowest level, where Helena would have first built, to see the stone arches that hold up the building and the beautiful mosaics in the flooring. Along the way down, you can see crosses etched into the walls, where pilgrims have left their marks as they worshiped Jesus.