The history of the Holy Land is rich with moments of the life of Jesus Christ. It is the place of His birth, upbringing, where He performed His first miracle and suffered for our sins. The Holy Land is the location of Christ’s death and His glorious resurrection. The focus is heavy on these life milestones of Christ in Christian teachings, but what was His day-to-day life like? A new exhibit at the Terra Sancta Museum in Jerusalem opts to answer that exact question.
The Terra Sancta Museum’s mission is to make the importance of a Christian presence in the Holy Land apparent to the world. It does this through modern displays of Franciscan art and archaeological objects. While the museum has not always been open to the public or especially tourist friendly, a recent remodel has allowed the museum to provide unique insights to visitors more easily. One of the newest exhibits opened at the museum in 2018, is entitled “Daily Life at the Time of Jesus.” While the Holy Sites visited during journeys of faith focus on grand and miraculous acts with spectacular views and design, this exhibit paints a much more subdued picture of what Jesus’ life was like.
Some of the items featured in the exhibit include hairpins, hygiene products, cooking utensils, money and tombs. All of the items featured were recovered by the careful work of Franciscan Friars. The objects are not extraordinary in nature, but help visitors experience what Jesus’ life was like each day. Displays are accompanied by a Bible story when appropriate, connecting the use of the objects featured with the teachings of the Lord. For example, fishing net weights are on display that were discovered at Peter’s house in Capernaum.
The exhibit helps visitors learn not only of Christ’s life, but of the Holy Land’s past. It is the hope that an understanding of the past can help better the present and future of the Holy Land.
Image: ©Neva Gasparo