Jesus appears in local woman's photo of Holy Land site

6:59 AM, Dec 8, 2009   |    comments
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It was Judy Mayes' first trip to the holy land.

"I took a lot of pictures, probably all together about 2,000 pictures."

She took snapshots of sacred places that she had read about  in her Bible. Her pastor, Dean Haun of First Baptist Church in Morristown, takes a group to Israel every year.

"I call it a mission trip for yourself, because nothing causes your Bible to come alive more than a trip to Israel," Haun says. "You begin to walk where Paul walked, and where Jesus walked, and the disciples walked, and so it's an awesome thing."

One of the sites the group always visits is the Western Wall, the place where Jews pray today. That wall runs 25 feet down into a tunnel, which leads to the northern end.

"Every time I go, I always take groups through the tunnel, because it's the site that gets you the nearest to where the Jews believe the Holy of Holies was in the first and second temple."

To mark the holy spot, Pastor Haun led the group into a special song "Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place," followed by the scripture Psalm 93. It was a special moment, one that Judy wanted to remember.

So she snapped a picture of the tunnel.

"I didn't see anything," she says.  

But when she returned to her hotel room later that afternoon, she noticed something about that picture she had taken in the tunnel.

"I was just paging through my pictures, and I saw that picture and I said, 'Sue come and look at this picture.'"

"She said, 'Wow. I believe it's Jesus.'"

"I was absolutely blown away when Judy showed it to me," Pastor Haun says. "The first thing I thought was 'Well, I think she's captured an angel.'"

But the closer Haun looked at the photo, he began to see images that were not just angelic.

"The seamless white robe, what appears to be blood on the side of the face coming down onto the robe, what appears to be a crown of thorns on the head of this figure," Haun said. "The only conclusion I can come up with is the Lord honored us by allowing us to see a glimpse of His presence."  

Word of Judy's picture spread throughout the town of Jerusalem.

"People even came on our bus. They wanted to see the picture."  

Avi, the group's Jewish tour guide, was amazed.

"When he saw the picture, he actually grabbed Judy's camera. I didn't think he was going to give it back," Haun says. "He grabbed the camera and was showing it to everyone and every place we went after that. He would come up and grab her camera and show the picture to people."

Avi was so moved by the picture that he went back to Jerusalem to visit the tunnel, after the picture was taken. He searched to make sure there was nothing in the tunnel that could have been confused as being an image of Jesus. Haun reports Avi says he found nothing.

"The Lord wanted us to know, to show that He was real, that He's coming back to me," Judy says. "I just want to show the picture to everybody."

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