Pontius Pilate, who is best known for being responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, has left another mark on Jewish history.
A pilgrimage road that was discovered a few years ago south of Jerusalem’s Old City, and originally attributed to King Herod the Great, is now believed to be constructed under the infamous Roman governor.
The revelation came after dozens of coins were found under the cobblestone pavers that make up the road. The coins date to around A.D. 31, which was during Pilate’s reign.
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The road connected the Pool of Siloam to the Jewish Temple, more than a third of a mile to the north. It took more than 10 years to complete and required more than 10,000 tons of limestone slabs.
“This is where the beating heart of Jerusalem is. We’re talking about the Pool of Siloam, we’re talking about Mt. Moriah, the Temple Mount. We’re talking about the City of David. The Pilgrimage Road links them all together,” said Zeev Orenstein, Director of International Affairs at the City of David Foundation>, which is helping fund the archeological efforts.
According to Jewish tradition, pilgrims would travel to the temple three times a year to celebrate Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles with a sacrifice.
Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God. – Exodus 34:23-24 (NIV)
The Pool of Siloam was used by the Jews to purify themselves before making their way to the Temple. It was first discovered 15 years ago after a sewage leak drove excavators underground. That discovery provided insights to archeologists to uncover the road and how pilgrims would travel from the Pool to the Temple.
Like many historical sites from Jesus’ time, the road will be opened up to visitors, first only partially, and within a few years, all the way from the Pool to the Western Wall. However, it will remain underground due to the active city life directly above it.
“The word in the Bible, the Hebrew word is Aliyah b’regel, oleh regel. Now what we understand that to mean is that it’s a spiritual ascent, going up to Jerusalem, going up to the Temple. It’s a very holy place,” Orenstein said, noting that the road goes uphill.
“When you’re in the place where the Bible happened, the words of the Bible come to life,” he added.
To walk where Jesus walked has long driven many Christians to explore the beauty and wonders of Israel. But even if you can’t physically visit Israel, there are other ways to immerse yourself in Jesus’ life, His steps and most importantly in the midst of this Easter season, His death and resurrection.
Here at Pure Flix, we’ve put together a list of the Best Easter Movies for 2022. Join us in exploring these films to help deepen your understanding of this monumental moment in human history.
Photo Credit & H/T: CBN
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