Towards the end of Jesus’s ministry, he spent most of his time in Jerusalem. Because of this, many auspicious occurrences took place in Jerusalem. With so much divinity in one place, Jerusalem undoubtedly becomes a must-visit for Christians. it provides unique opportunities to learn more about Christianity and the life of Christ.
As we’ve learned from scriptures, the ascension of Christ also took place in Jerusalem. This is no doubt an important occurrence to the Christian faith. To commemorate such an ethereal occurrence, an amazing temple was built on mount olives.
The chapel of accession, which is popularly known, is indeed a holy site. It is believed to have been built on the place where Jesus had his ascension into heaven. According to tradition, this small but yet beautiful synagogue contains stones that have the footprint.
The foot markings are believed to be imprinted as Jesus ascended to heaven. This makes the Chapel of Ascension transfigures not just a place but a site of significant divine occurrence. It is also transformed into an encyclopedia of history and a marvel to the eyes.
Highlights of the church of the ascension
The chapel of ascension is an ancient stone-walled building that was built over preexisting structures. Click To TweetThe octagon-shaped dome is located in the center of an enclosed yard. Its current structure was built to replace other structures built during the Byzantine and Curasers period.
Located in the suburbs of A-Tur, on the east side of the main road on the top of mount olives. This makes the chapel easily accessible and convenient to get to.
All three monotheistic religions rever a small burial crypt beside the chapel. Jews believe that it contains Huldah, one of the seven female prophets mentioned in 2kings 22: 14-20. Christians believe that Saint Pelagia was buried there from the 5th century. Muslims on the other hand believe that the holy woman Rabi’a al-Adawiya was buried there in the 8th century.None the less, Christian communities celebrate mass during the feast of ascension in the chapel’s courtyard. Some Christians are allowed to celebrate this feast inside the building. Click To Tweet
Background of the capel of ascension
Ever since the 4th century, the chapel of accession has been associated with the ascension of Christ. In the 12th century, this holy sanctum was claimed by Muslims. However, Christians still have access to the temple. The temple you currently see is from the crusaders’ era with some additions. These new additions include an octagonal drum and a stone dome. Both additions were made by Muslims who took over the temple.
The octagonal chapel is in the center of the courtyard. Its exterior walls adorned with entwined foliage and animal motifs. Another fact worth mentioning is the Russian Orthodox church not too far off. It was built in 1870, and it currently serves as another temple for ascension.
Early Christians honored the ascension in a cave upon mount olives. Eventually, a structure was built to serve this purpose uphill in the cave. The first church was built around 390 A.D by Poimenia but was later destroyed by Persians in 614 A.D. Later on, in 1150, the chapel was rebuilt by crusaders, but not long after, the crusaders fell in battle, and the chapel was claimed by Salah al-din. By 1198, Salah al-Din gave the church to two of his followers. By 1620 a mosque and a minaret were added to the temple’s original structure.
The chapel of ascension in the bible
As Christians, we rely on the scriptures to learn our past; hence, we understand our faith better. It is with the help of biblical passages that we can point out where Jesus ascended into heaven. Jesus took his disciples to mount olive, and he was taken up to heaven after giving them his final instructions.
In the gospel of Luke 24: 50-51, we are given a detailed account of how Jesus ascended into heaving as well, where he was ascended. In Acts 1:9-11, we have a slightly more detailed account of the ascension where we are told that Jesus, who is now taken into heaven, shall return in a very similar manner to how he left. This, of course, is referring to the return of Christ on rapture to carry the faithful back into heaven.
After the ascension, the apostles went into the upper room and prayed as well as offered supplication. This further highlighted the fact that the ascension of Jesus was no ordinary occurrence. In reverence to Jesus and to follow the path already laid before us, Christians are fond of visiting the temple of Ascension to pray and offer supplication to God.
Traveling tips when visiting the Chapel of Ascension
Our doors are always open to daily access, and we provide counsel and tour booking at a modest fee. We admonish you not to hesitate to book your tour as well as consult with us. With our guide, you do not only enjoy a hitch-free experience, but you also enjoy a spiritually edifying visit to the holy land and its many significant structures.
Finally, it is important you remember that the chapel of ascension has been converted to a mosque. Christians can still have the right to pray in the chapel only one time a year on the day of Ascension, 40 days after the resurrection.