Luke 13:1-2 | Psalm 85:11| John 9:6-7
You haven’t been down this road before.
Kaitlin and Naomi shared with us news of the discovery of the Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem. It is the ancient path traveled by Jewish pilgrims obeying the biblical commandment to travel to Jerusalem three times a year for a Temple sacrifice.
The road appears to have been built by Roman governor Pontius Pilate–yes, the same Pontius Pilate who sentenced Jesus to crucifixion. It went from the wall of the city to the Temple, which was destroyed in accordance with Jesus’ prophecy in 70 AD.
As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.” Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”Luke 13:1-2 NLT
This Pilgrimage Road, traveled by millions of faithful Jews on their way to the temple each year, was likely where Jesus was standing when he spoke that prophecy!
But why did it take archaeologists so long to find? Wouldn’t it seem that a road large enough to handle millions of Israelites would be easy to spot?
It would be, except for the fact that it was buried. The Roman attack on Jerusalem that destroyed the temple saw the rest of the city razed to the ground. Afterward, as the years passed, later inhabitants built on top of the Jerusalem that Jesus walked.
In fact, many of the significant places in Old- and New Testament scripture are still being unearthed.
Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven.Psalm 85:11 NLT
It seems that, oftentimes, the truth requires some digging. Have you ever heard someone say that the Bible is just a book of stories? While the Bible does contain a lot of stories, its status cannot be reduced to that of a storybook.
Why? Because the stories in the Bible are true. They really happened. Sometimes, they happened after the date of their writing. That’s taking truth to a whole new level!
When you read about the Pool of Siloam as the place where Jesus had the man born blind wash his spit-mud off and see for the first time, think about this: you can now visit the site of that pool.
Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!John 9:6-7 NLT
You can go to the Pool of Siloam yourself and come back seeing, as well. Because the more digging you do, the more you will know that God’s Word is true.
Questions for Group Discussion
- Why might it be important that the Pilgrimage Road has been unearthed?
- Does it matter if some of what is in scripture is figurative, metaphorical, or otherwise not wholly accurate? Why or why not?
- Can parts of the Bible be untrue without affecting the integrity of the Bible as a whole?
- Do you know anyone who has been to Israel? What was their experience, specifically with being in biblical locations?
Challenge: I’ll Take the Low Road
The Pilgrimage Road has been buried for around 2,000 years. That would qualify it as The Low Road for what we’re doing.
We hope you like creative projects. Because this project is creative.
Challenge: draw the Pilgrimage Road.
Before you get your pencils and erasers and what not, think about what this challenge entails. You will need to do some research. Scratch that…you will need to do lots of research. You will need to look at maps of Jerusalem, modern and ancient, and figure out where the road goes. You will need to draw enough of Jerusalem to provide some context for the road’s course. You might need to add some color.
The upside is: there aren’t any rules. You don’t have to draw it from overhead, as in a map. You don’t even have to draw…maybe you make it a collage of research photos. Get creative. But you do have to make it good. And you do need to treat it as your own personal pilgrimage.
So grab your traveling art supplies, and get started!