The nature of the mystique that abounds when speaking of Israel and the prophecies is a constant theme for Christians.
An example of this mystique, the '800 metre tunnel' journey experienced on my very first visit to Israel in 1999. The Messianic Christian Israeli tour guide led our small group through a low doorway adjacent to the Wailing Wall.
The Wailing Wall itself is full of mystique as it symbolises the 'promise' of the rebuilding of the Temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
If you are fortunate to visit the holy land, I suggest this 800m walk under and beside the Wall, which is a favourite and a highlight for many Christian pilgrims.
I was spell bound as I bent slightly to fit through the doorway. It took a little time to adjust to the surroundings as there was scaffolding. The path went to the right, then down steps, a walkway heading north from the Wailing Wall, down more steps, and another pathway. It was here one could look down through an opening to a maroon ceramic floor which dates from Solomon's time.
A little way further along, down a small flight of steps, you will find yourself beside Herod's Western Wall foundations, which are part of the retaining walls surrounding Herod's Temple area, which was finished being built in 1BC.
Some of these stone blocks were 75 feet in length, an astonishing size. You will follow a tunnel, lit by lights, north along the entire length of Herod's Temple foundation wall, then you will walk for 15 minutes up a sloping pathway until you come out into the sunlight through an inconspicuous unguarded door onto a walkway in the Old City.
This YouTube video takes you on the tunnel tour.
The tunnel was wet, this was the ancient city's water supply from springs. Our guide made several stops giving explanations. Much of this underground area adjacent to the path was in the process of excavation at the time we were there.
We saw additional foundations for Solomon's Temple which was the location of the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant. These were taken into exile to Babylon and returned with the Exiles.
Due to the political climate, archaeological excavation is sometimes halted, we saw several doors which gave an appearance of use. The guide expressed absolute confidence a new Temple would be built.
Palestinians have been excavating under the 1900 year al-Aqsa Mosque, which was built on the same site as the Temple Mount, and which is considered the third holiest site in Islam.
Their excavations may create structural weakening, but the Israelis are completely confident that a new Temple will stand on Temple Mount - only the "how" is uncertain at this time.
There was only one sentiment could describe this tunnel experience, 'mystique'.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 44 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 44 years with 4 children and 5 grand children