Plot by the Sanhedrin to arrest and kill Jesus
|1And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, 2Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. 3Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. 5But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.
|1After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
|1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. 2And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.
Mount of Olives
The mountainous ridge called the Mount of Olives stretches totay from the Hebrew University Mount Scopus campus in the north to the Jewish cemetery and beyond, to the village of Silwan in the south. Between these two ends of the mountain are the olive trees from which the mountain takes its name. The area at the bottom of the mountain would have been the place for the olive gardens and an olive press, “Gat shemen” in Hebrew, from which the name “Gethsemane” comes.
The gospels record on more than one occasion Jesus’ sorrow for Jerusalem as he made his way down the slopes of the Mount of Olives. It was a path he would have known from childhood from His many visits to Jerusalem.
Down the road from Bethphage He came riding on a donkey colt with palm branches symbolic of Judaea strewn along the way. “Hosanna!” (“save now!”) was the cry upon the lips of the people (Matthew 21:1-9). This prayer from Psalm 118:25 was a request for salvation. Yet Jesus knew that these cries would be changed within a week to “Crucify him!” He wept again for Jerusalem, for He knew what would befall the people in less than one generation as the city would be besieged and taken.
The House of Caiaphas
The St. Peter in Gallicantu (cock crow) Church commemorates Peter’s three denials of Jesus and his repentance. It lies on the eastern slope of present-day Mount Zion. This site also commemorates the illegal trial of Jesus staged by Caiaphas and Annas, and the imprisonment of Jesus. Outside the existing church is an ancient stairway which is actually a main walkway up the side of Mount Zion. It is very likely that Jesus, after being taken prisoner in Gethsemane, was led up these stairs to the house of Caiaphas. These stairs were in existence in Jesus’ day.
This location for Caiaphas was determined by reports from Christian pilgrims from the 3rd century A.D. Their reports say this site “was known by all.” About 460 A.D. the Empress Eudoxia built a church on the ruins of Caiaphas’ house to commemorate Peter’s denial and repentance. The present day church was built over the remains of a basilica destroyed on this site by the Persians in 614 A.D. Some archaeologists believe that the house of Caiaphas was located higher up on the summit of Mount Zion in the present day Jewish quarter.