“Gethsemane and The Golden Gate” – Chapter 28 of the forthcoming book, “An Ahava Adventure” by Steve Martin

Dec. 1, 2019

Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus (Christ) the Messiah, is coming back. The first time He came as the Sacrificial Lamb, and His own people did not accept Him. At His return He will come as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, riding on His powerful, warrior white horse.

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16, NKJV

Yeshua HaMashiach returns soon.

When Jesus walked the earth the first time, up through 33 A.D., even His own people didn’t realize that this was the Messiah, the One sent to save us from our sin and restore us to God the Father.

As Paul spoke clearly in Acts 13:26-33, the One Who had come first to the Jews was not accepted by them, though many did later. Because He had to come as the sacrificial lamb, sinless, without spot or wrinkle, they did not see Who He was, their Messiah.

“Brothers! — sons of Avraham and those among you who are ‘God-fearers’! It is to us that the message of this deliverance has been sent! For the people living in Yerushalayim and their leaders did not recognize who Yeshua was or understand the message of the Prophets read every Shabbat, so they fulfilled that message by condemning him. They could not find any legitimate ground for a death sentence; nevertheless they asked Pilate to have him executed; 29 and when they had carried out all the things written about him, he was taken down from the stake and placed in a tomb.

“But God raised him from the dead! He appeared for many days to those who had come up with him from the Galil to Yerushalayim; and they are now his witnesses to the people.

“As for us, we are bringing you the Good News that what God promised to the fathers, he has fulfilled for us the children in raising up Yeshua, as indeed it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’” Complete Jewish Bible

When the four of us crossed over the Kidron Valley to get to the Church of All Nations, covering the rock where Yeshua prayed before His crucifixion, we walked around the 2,000-year-old olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Here is where Yeshua and His 11 disciples had come, for Judas Iscariot had already gone to the high priest to betray Him, and as was His custom to pray that night during Passover.

Garden of Gethsemane, next to the Church of All Nations

Knowing that His time had come to be the Passover (Pesach) Lamb, He willingly chose to finish the mission He had been sent to do. Only by His Blood, and not of any other sacrificed lamb, could the forgiveness needed for restoration to the Father come about.

The Sacrificial Lamb, Yeshua

This is a very sacred place. This is a very holy location in all of Jerusalem, the Holy City. The very spot where our Lord and Savior went to pray and prepare Himself to lay His life down for all mankind, for those who would receive His redemption, occurred here.

Within 12 hours He would hang on the cursed tree on Golgotha, condemned and crucified for that which He had not done, but did so as He took our place instead. Then as He Himself prophesied beforehand, within three days He would rise from the dead, out of the borrowed tomb where He was laid, proving that He was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God.

“The Jews then said to Him, ” What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, ” Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  20  The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.” John 2:18-22, NASU

Directly across from Gethsemane and Church of All Nations is the Golden Gate, the Eastern Gate, the only gate in the wall surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem where no entry is allowed. That is because the Muslims, in another futile attempt to stop the future return of the Messiah as so many have prophesied, completely filled it in with stone at the time of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. And then in further contempt have buried their dead in a cemetery placed in front of the gate.

Golden (Eastern) Gate with Muslim cemetery in front.

Wikipedia offers this documentation: “The Hebrew name of the Golden Gate is Sha’ar HaRachamim (שער הרחמים), Gate of Mercy. In Jewish sources the eastern gate of the Temple compound is called the Shushan Gate. If the Golden Gate does preserve the location of the Shushan Gate, this would make it the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem’s Old City Walls. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through the eastern Gate, and will appear again when the Anointed One (Messiah) comes (Ezekiel 44:1–3) and a new gate replaces the present one; that might be why Jews used to pray in medieval times for mercy at the former gate at this location, another possible reason being that in the Crusader period, when this habit was first documented, they were not allowed into the city where the Western Wall is located. Hence the name “Gate of Mercy”.

Wikipedia states this about the sealing of the Eastern Gate.

Closed by the Muslims in 810, reopened in 1102 by the Crusaders, it was walled up by Saladin after regaining Jerusalem in 1187. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it together with the city walls, but walled it up in 1541, and it stayed that way.

Suleiman may have taken this decision purely for defensive reasons, but in Jewish tradition this is the gate through which the Anointed One (Messiah) will enter Jerusalem. In relation to the Muslim belief Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, it is suggested that Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate to prevent a false Messiah or “Antichrist” coming through entrance. The Ottomans also built a cemetery in front of the gate, to prevent a false precursor to the Anointed One, Elijah, from passing through the gate. This belief was based upon two premises. First, according to Islamic teaching Elijah is a descendant of Aaron, making him a priest or kohen. Second, that a Jewish kohen is not permitted to enter a cemetery. This second premise is not wholly correct because a Kohen is permitted to enter a cemetery in which either Jews or non-Jews are buried, such as the one outside the Golden Gate, as long as certain laws or Halakha regarding purity are followed.

The gate was sealed by Israeli authorities in 2003 because the group managing the area had ties to Hamas. The gate was kept closed in order to stop illegal construction work there by the Islamic Waqf. Israeli officials believe the work led to the destruction of antiquities from periods of Jewish presence in the area.

In February 2019, the interior of the gate was reopened for Muslim worshipers, from the Temple Mount. However, the gate itself still remains sealed.”

The four of us walked to the Eastern Gate, coming from the Lion’s Gate, passing through the Muslim cemetery.

As a side note, the Lion’s Gate is also known as St. Stephen’s Gate, for he was martyred at a location believed to be just down the steep hill leading up to the gate, in the Kidron Valley. The Lion’s Gate was also the one entered by the IDF during the Six-Day War in June 1967 when Israel retook Jerusalem’s Old City from the Jordanians and stood once again in front of the Western Wall. This was another very historical fulfillment of prophecy on the prophetic timetable for the Jews, Israel, and Gentiles.

As believers, we know that nothing can or will stop the Lord Jesus from coming through that very gate, in His triumphant return to take up His royal throne in Jerusalem. All that has been spoken of through the Written Word, the Torah, the Tanakh, the Old and New Testaments – the complete Bible – will be fulfilled through the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the Son of God, the Redeemer, the One Who has the Name above all names.

Yeshua HaMashiach is returning in glory at the appointed time, in these last days, the end of days.

When you go to Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, the City of Peace, you will get more understanding as to why God Almighty has chosen this place, these people, this Land, to call His own. You will further have grown in your heart a piece of His heart, the love for His people.

You will know why this place, this city, this land in all the earth, so holy, set apart and known as the joy of the Lord, Jerusalem.

Psalm 137:5-6, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth. If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.” NKJV

Steve Martin

STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS My good wife Laurie and I (45 years in October 2022!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's messages, and our Ahava Adventures trips to Israel. Steve has also authored and published 34 books. We live in the Charlotte, NC area. We have four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.

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