Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives, Israel

The Mount of Olives, viewed eastward from Jerusalem above, is part of a mountain ridge that runs just east of Jerusalem. After rising steeply from the Kidron Valley (bottom of the photo) to a height of 2,684 feet (818 meters), the Mount of Olives, named after the olive trees that once covered it, tapers off eastward; where it ends, the Judean desert begins.

The Mount of Olives is where Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, which was fulfilled (see Holy Sepulchre Church), as well as the End Times.* Jesus prayed and let Himself be arrested near the base of the Mount of Olives (see Garden of Gethsemane) for crucifixion the next day (see why Jesus was crucified). And after rising from the dead (see Jesus' tomb) to prove His deity, Jesus ascended to heaven** from the top of the Mount of Olives.

What is all of the white stuff covering its slope facing Jerusalem?

They are 150,000 tombs in a massive Jewish cemetery. Below is the view down from near the top of Mount of Olives.

Mount of Olives Cemetery

Jewish gravesites in Jerusalem cost about $3,000 but those above each cost $25,000.

Why so much?

Many Jews believe that when the Messiah comes, those buried facing Jerusalem will be resurrected first. But the Bible says that the Messiah already came 2,000 years ago and that when we die, those who believe He paid the death penalty required for their sins will go to heaven, while those who deny it will "go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:43-44)

Your corpse will end up in a grave one day, which could be decades later or this weekend. When that happens, where will your soul be? If you feel there is no heaven or hell and that the Bible is wrong, consider this:

You wouldn't give your opinion about a movie without having watched it, would you? Have you ever read the Bible for yourself? No, not hearing things about the Bible or watching people talk about the Bible. Have you ever watched 'the movie' for yourself?

If not, isn't the destiny of your soul too important to entrust to hearsay? Why not watch the movie for yourself before passing judgment that could make or ruin the rest of your eternity? If the whole Bible seems daunting, just start with the Gospel of John.

* Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:1-14)

** Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem... (Acts 1:6-12)

Mount of Olives