July 1, 2016
Online Journal - Three Mountains, but only one choice! Adam's Peak, the Dome of the Rock, or the Mount of Olives
June L. D. Fiorito, Chair School of Education, Burman University, Lacombe, AB

On the island of Sri Lanka, there is a mountain called Adam’s Peak.  Adam’s peak is a tall conical mountain with an elevation of 2243 meters.  Near the summit of the mountain, there is a 1.8 meter rock formation.  A climber would take about 5200 steps from the landing to get to the top of the mountain.  From up there, the climber would see beautiful scenery and forested hills.  At the bottom of the mountain, one would find precious stone such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.  At the bottom of the mountain, a climber would see a wildlife reserve with animals from elephants to leopards.
 
Strange as it may sound, the four main religions in Sri Lanka, Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim (Mohammedanism), and Christianity lay claims to this mountain as being sacred to them.  There is a large, cemented, footprint on this mountain that attracts many worshippers and visitors alike.  Buddhists call the mountain “Sri Pada”—the footprint of the Lord Buddha; Hindus call it “Sivanolipatham”—the footprint of Siva; while Muslims and Christians claim that it is Adam’s footprint.
 
Year after year, large numbers of pilgrims faithfully climb this mountain to see the footprint: some to worship at that location, others to view the footprint. Some pilgrims make it a point to climb this mountain at least once in their lifetime.  I climbed this mountain along with friends, not to worship there but to see the footprint for myself!                                       
 
In another part of the world, in the Old City of Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, stands the Dome of the Rock. This location is of great significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike.  
 
There is much history that tells us about the desire of many to lay claim to this site. Christians believe that at this site Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  Just at the right moment, a voice stopped Abraham saying that he should hold back his hand from killing his son.  In the thicket nearby, Abraham found a ram entangled in the bush and sacrificed it instead. The animal represented the sacrificial lamb – Jesus.
 
Muslims’ claim to this event is similar to that of the Jews.  However, they claim that it was Ishmael, and not Isaac, that Abraham was called upon to sacrifice.  It is also claimed by adherents of Islam that it is from this place that prophet Muhammad (Mohamed) was taken to heaven.  
 
History tells us that King David is believed to have built his first temple on this mount.  The second temple was built by Solomon, David’s son, on the same location.  Many wars, invasions, destruction, and rebuilding of the temple have occurred over the centuries.  However, the site still remains to remind us of biblical occurrences.
 
I had an opportunity to visit the Holy Land, to climb up on the rock, and to view the surroundings of the Dome of the Rock.  Words cannot express my delight that I was able to stand on a site so historical, biblical, and so revered by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike.
 
The significance of Adam’s Peak and The Temple Mount pales in the presence of prophecies that foretell of Jesus’ ascension into heaven and of his Second Coming (Matt. 24-25).  In Acts 1: 9 – 12, Luke tells us that Jesus ascended into heaven from this very Mount of Olives.  Zechariah 14: 1-4 announces the location for the Second Coming of Jesus.  He also said that the place from where Jesus ascended into heaven’ will be the place of His second coming.  Zechariah the prophet says that at the Second Coming of Christ, His “feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zech. 14:1-4, 9).
 
It is believed that on this Mount of Olives the Triumphal Entry of Jesus took place.  Jesus was greeted by the multitudes with palm branches in their hands. The crowds went ahead of Jesus calling aloud, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:9.
 
I visited the Mount of Olives.  The large, gnarled olive trees are very, very old! You could imagine Jesus, our Saviour, praying under one of those trees for you, for me!
 
Three mountains, one choice!  Which mountain would you choose?  Adam’s Peak, The Temple Mount, or the Mount of Olives?  WHY?
 
References:
 
The Holy Bible, different versions used.
 
Google searches – biblia.com (References have been paraphrased to suit this article)