Have a real look at this. A real look and think it over. Think it over, in depth, really, truly, basically and with insights. Look at these photographs because they are at the very core of all that is going on these days in the Fertile Crescent, the renewal of the Caliphate, if any, the Christians of the East, the centenary of the mass murders that cut down the Armenians, the Assyrians, Syrian-Orthodox and the Orthodox Greeks of the Pontius… Here is it as Metropolitan Christodoulos, most senior hierarch of the Greek Rum-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, accompanied by his assistant and quite in good shape right now, comes with the part of the key that will allow to open the lock of the front gate of the Holy Sepulcher. He will not, nor will Abp. Theophanis who serves today, nor Metropolitan Hesychios. Both Muslim families (Wajeeh) Nusseibeh and Judeh will make it. Look and think it over, especially those who are far away, far from Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Arabia, Sinai. Indeed, Christ is risen, once for all times and we expect his Second Coming. And look, the way of the Cross, though we do not really know how Jesus marched through the narrow streets of Jerusalem at his time. The same pattern as today, still the true way is unknown, not certain. He did it for all times. He could not even imagine that the place where the tradition handed down from the very Early Church shows his suffering, the crucifixion, and his death, then his resurrection – that this place would be locked and controlled by two Muslim families. And that this year as after 1967, the Israeli (Jewish and Arab) Police will take care of the Holy Site and protect it, and also manage it, even if the Churches are in charge of sharing this task.
Is it a paradox? Does it make sense or not? Who will understand the thoughts of the Lord? Times and delays, customs and habits, traditions? Right now, as Daesh puts the Middle-East on fire, the nearby Hezbollah, Al-Qaida, why people, faithful or not cannot try to come closer to this reality that the Church has been placed under the protection, control, and rules of the Muslim Umma from the very early times of Islam, on the 15th year of the Hegire… by the Decree given to Patriarch Sophronios of Jerusalem on behalf of all the Christian jurisdictions that were present at that time in the Holy Sepulcher and at Bethlehem. The same Churches except that the Latins showed after by the time of the Crusaders.
Here look, the “password”, a piece of metal, given to both the Orthodox and Catholics (another piece) and the Light will burn out from the very heart of the Site of the Tomb (Taphos/Ταφος). Look also that while the European languages speak of “claves, Schüssel, ключи, κλειδι, the Semitic tongues consider the same tool to “open” and not to close, to release and not to fence: “mafteach/מפתח” in Hebrew (مفتاح in Arabic cmp. with the prologue of the Quran “Fati’ha”).
How do the present-day Churches, all throughout the world, could consider the fact of the validity of Omar Ibn al Khattab and the Achtiname Decree and finally understand that it is indeed still in force and they prefer to blur this, blurred in blindness – are we “men or humans of little faith”? He is risen.
(c) Ioannis, Holylandphoto.