Our last stops on Tuesday, the 13th, were the Southern Temple Steps and the Wailing Wall. As we walked up to the steps, we were reminded that these were the actual steps that Jesus and His disciples would have walked up, approaching the southern entrance to the Temple. The gates on this side are closed and not accessible to Christians and Jews alike, but under control of the Muslims. Perhaps the Double Gate and the Triple Gate (as known today) were the Beautiful Gate in Jesus’ time.
Just below these steps were a number of mikveh pools, where the Jewish people would wash themselves before entering the Temple. It is conjectured that this is where Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, and thus was able to baptize thousands of converts in one day.
Just around the corner is the Western Wall, where millions today gather to pray and weep for their Messiah. The Western Wall is important to modern Jews for two reasons: This is the closest to the Holy of Holies that they can come, and God and promised to Solomon that His heart and eyes would be on this site forever:
And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually ( I Kings 9:3).