a peek of the dome: church of peter in gallicantu

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Do you see the crow?

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The image that greets you on the church’s main entrance. It has a French phrase that translates into something like “outrages Caiaphas”.

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French phrase “en fosse profondes” translating to “deep pit”. Guess where Jesus was the night before He was crucified?

Located outside the walls of Jerusalem, is the Palace of Caiaphas*. A few yards away from the Zion Gate, this place is also known as the Church of Peter in Gallicantu. The church is a mixture of the ancient and the contemporary. Byzantine mosaics were discovered and throughout history, was carried over by the Crusaders and French assumptionists.

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A relic from the 5th Century Byzantine basilica that once stood here, then got destroyed

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Luke 22:61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

The Church of Peter in Gallicantu (Latin meaning “the cock’s crow”) stands by the ruins of the high priest’s palace. Personally, this is one of the places that highlighted my trip. Believed to be the site of the “sacred pit”, where Jesus was held in custody, our group waited in line to go to the actual prison cell.

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A fine carving on iron doors. This modern art reflects the scripture wherein Jesus predicted Peter’s denial of Him three times, before the rooster crows. (Mark 14:27-31)

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And the denial happened (Luke 22:61)

The prison cells and the guardroom were shaped out of bedrock. Holes and fixtures for chains are used to fasten the prisoner’s hands and feet during torture. The “dungeon” we have been into, believed to be Christ’s sacred pit, was a heart-wrenching sight: It has given me a visual of where Christ might’ve stayed the night before His crucifixion.

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A brief description of the sacred pit.

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Imagine this: A dark and morbid place wherein the only access was through a shaft from above. The prisoner (in this case, Jesus) would have been lowered and lifted up by means of a rope harness. (Refer to the third image of the Church above.)

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Our church pastor about to give us a biblical insight.

I witnessed and felt something spiritual, beyond my imagination, the moment I was in that place. No words to explain; simply put, the experience was overwhelming that tears flowed down my face. I know that Jesus is REAL. But to be there to actually see it and feel it?

It’s like a hundred times more real.

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A view from the outside.

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Steps where Jesus could’ve walked towards Caiaphas palace.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

(*Note: Caiaphas was a major antagonist of Jesus. He was a high priest under Herod said to organize a plot to kill Jesus.)

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