Frequent readers of this blog may already recognize the picture above. I have used it a couple of times. It is a picture taken from the Dead Sea Spa Hotel on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. We are looking across the Dead Sea at the cities of Jericho (lower) and the outskirts of Jerusalem (on top of the hill). I like this picture because it helps us to understand passages better. For instance, consider this verse:
When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. - Luke 19:28
This verse follows the account of Jesus' interaction with Zacchaeus in Jericho. It is only 13 words long and simply says that he went "up to Jerusalem". Although the passage doesn't mention how he went up, we can probably safely assume that he walked. He walked to Jerusalem.
The elevation of Jerusalem is around 2500 feet ABOVE sea level. The elevation of Jericho is around 800 feet BELOW sea level. The distance between the two cities is about 12-14 miles (depending on the exact path that you took). This picture was taken in late April, which is a little after the time of year of which this passage is written. The latter rainy season has ended, so there is nothing but clear skies.
14 miles. Uphill. In the direct sunlight. He walked. And, of course, He knew that He was walking to his death.
Knowing the land of the Bible helps you understand the Bible.
Perhaps in later posts, I'll talk about more paths that were walked in the Bible.