Underground Jerusalem

Seeing the prison where Jesus was held prior to his sentencing by Pontius Pilate was deafening. It was quiet as our small archaeology class of twelve descended the steps into this dark, dreary room. No one spoke. The place, called the Pratorium, is an underground prison carved into the bedrock of Jerusalem. In this dungy, dirty prison which was originally lit by torches without running water or toilet facilities, condemned prisoners were held waiting for their execution. Our professor was demonstrating where chains were bolted into the rock wall that were fastened to the prisoners’ arms by shackles. If you look carefully, you can see a narrow bench carved into the wall where they rested. The prison held no more than six to eight people. It wasn’t necessary to have a larger Roman prison because judgment and execution was swift and fast. The Pratorium would have been shared simultaneously with Barabbas who was released in lieu of Jesus.

This dark cubby hole was where the shame and embarrassment began on His journey to the cross. How grateful I am to stand there and on the inside I’m pondering the price he paid for me. I felt unworthy, yet I didn’t want to leave. Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, was clothed in a purple robe wearing a crown of thorns when Pilate presented Him to the Jews and exclaimed: “Behold the man! See John 19:5. A church now stands over the Pratorium which is named “Ecco Homo” which is Latin for ‘Behold the Man’.

Notice the last photo. This was taken at the spot that some say was the place that soldiers gambled for the Lord’s clothing. The dice game board is carved into the stone floor which dates back to the first century. Whether or not this was the exact game board that the soldiers used to gamble for Jesus’ robe, has yet to be proven; however, it would have been a game similar to this that they used for the wager.

Photo 1: Staircase in church down to lower level where Pratorium is located
Photo 2: Illustration of bench where prisoners sat hooked up to chains awaiting their trial.
Photo 3: Dice game embedded on the floor

Ginger is hosting Spiritual Sunday today. You are invited to visit for special encouragement.


  1. What an amazing experience you had. I would love one day to go also. I think I would need TONS of boxes of Kleenex for that experience

  2. Very interesting. Great information and message.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I've never been able to go, but you took me. Happy Spiritual Sunday.

  4. awe-inspiring post.
    blessings. Dixie

  5. I've never had the priviledge of going there but you took me on a great tour. Thanks for sharing. And thank you for your prayers! Have a wonderful week.


  6. Sitka has an award for you at his blog...go to:

    love and prayers, andrea

  7. I feel so humbled. What a powerful post. As I took the steps through your tour, I was very humbled, weepy. Oh what an awesome Lord we have. Thank you Jesus for the cross. Thank you Jesus for saving all of us.

    I just love you dear friend.

    Many Hugs and Blessings,

  8. Incredible! I loved your post and the pictures of this place of such deep meaning.

  9. What a blessing to be able to be there and have this amazing experience. We went to Jerusalem in 1978. It is so amazing to be there and I have always wanted to go back.
    Thank you for sharing with us today.

  10. My reaction? I gasped. As in, took my breath away. You are wonderful to share this with us. A picture is, indeed, worth a 1000 words. Thank you!

  11. I'm so glad that you posted these pictures today! I have never been but I could somewhat just imagine all the feelings that somebody would have while being there. I guess we should feel those feelings at all times. Thank-you so much for sharing these on our Spiritual Sunday.
    God Bless,

  12. How wonderful that you got to see this place, and what an amazing thing Christ did for us. It's the greatest love story ever told! And I'm so grateful that He loved us enough to give His life that we who believe in Him might live...


    Sheila :-)

  13. Thanks so much for sharing --it helps to reflect on these things...it puts things in perspective when we meditate on all he has done and gone through for us.

  14. How awesome to be there, learning and soaking in the entire experience. I can only imagine how powerful it was to be in the very place where Jesus was. Thanks for sharing. One day I would love to go to Jerusalem.


  15. Thank you so much for this awesome tour! As I have never been there (and probably never will get there)I am grateful that you shared your experience with us. Very humbling.


  16. I've heard from many, and now you, that standing on such holy ground is life-changing. I can only imagine. Thank you for sharing your pics and experience!

    What a beautiful & timely reminder it is, too, during this season of Passover, Redemption & Resurrection.



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