Today we are visiting the Church of All Nations Jerusalem which is also known as the basilica of the Agony Jerusalem to commemorate Jesus Agony in the Garden (Gethsemane).
The Church of All Nation Mount Olives is a Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane which means in Aramaic “Oil Press”. Several trees in this garden are older than any other olive trees reported in the scientific literature. DNA tests show that these trees were originally planted from the same parent plant – They could be from the time of Jesus. Can you believe it?
For pictures from the Church of All Nations, Click here for the Church of All Nations Album!!
Now let’s go back to the Church of All Nations. According to Christian’s tradition, Jesus was praying to his father right here on this rock on the night of the agony ( known as “Jesus Agony in Gethsemane” or “Jesus Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane”) which is the night before his crucifixion. The Church that we see today was built in year 1920. The Funds for the construction of the church was donated by 12 countries, hence the alternative name of “The Church of All Nations”. If you look at the ceiling or the roof, from outside, you can see 12 domes – one for each country.
When you are inside the All Nations Church, the dim-lighting effects, produced by using translucent purplish blue alabaster windows, give you the dispirited atmosphere on the night of the agony.
Inside the church before the main altar in the central prayer hall, lays the Rock of Agony on which Jesus has prayed the night before the Passion (Jesus Agony in the Garden). The rock is encircled by an Iron wreath cast in the form of the Crown of thorns to recall the crown of thorns that that roman soldiers placed on Jesus’ head to mock him as the King of the Jews. On the wall behind the altar, there is a big mosaic depicting Jesus leaning on the rock while praying to his father while an angel descending from above to console him and the three disciples are sleeping below an olive tree. To the right of this mosaic there is another one depicting the Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and to the left there is another mosaic depicting Jesus identifying himself to the roman soldiers who came to arrest him.
Now let’s have a look at the Church of All Nations from outside. In the front there is a Portico supported by four structural columns. Each group of Columns bears the status of one of the authors of the canonical Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Here we see a golden mosaic depicting Jesus ads the symbolic link between the Material world and the creator:
- In the center – Jesus is kneeling in prayer. The Crimson color of his robe symbolizes the material world (Flesh and blood).
- To Jesus’ left (your right)– an angel is receiving his heart which he scarified for the sake of humanity. The crowed is shown beseeching God with prayer and tears for salvation. And a mother mourning for her son whom she old in her harms.
- To Jesus’ right (your left) – are depictions of earthly notable: A warrior holding a sword, a ruler kneeling in front of his crown and a wise scholar in a white robe symbolizing life experience. They are all bowing their head and recognizing Jesus’ supremacy.
- God is portrayed hovering over them all, holding a tablet with the Greek Letters Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) as written in the Scriptures: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending (Rev. 1:18)
Until we meet again in my next video let us all live the Jerusalem Experience!!!