Shalom! Continuing our journey in Israel, if you missed my earlier posts, check out Shalom! Israel.
After our visit to the Garden of Gethsemane, we made our way to the first station of the Via Dolorosa. The name “Via Dolorosa” or “Via Crucis” dates from the 16th century when a name was sought for the stretch of road, between the fortress Antonia (the Place of Judgement, Pilate’s “Praetorium”) and Golgotha (the Hill of Calvary), that Christ walked bowed under the weight of the cross. There are a total of fourteen stations with another one last station at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre – XV The Resurrection: Jesus Rises from the Dead. He lives.
The First Station is near the Monastery of the Flagellation, where Jesus was questioned by Pilate and then condemned.
“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns put it on His head, and arrayed Him in a purple robe; and they began to come up to Him, and say “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him blows in the face.” John 19:1-3
The chapel, built during the 1920s, is now run by the Franciscans. Every Friday at three o’clock in the afternoon, the Franciscan Friars will officially lead this practice of the Way of the Cross. All the Christian pilgrims who are in the Holy City are invited to join them. If you would like to join them, do plan to be there on a Friday at three o’clock in the afternoon (for summer would be an hour later).
In the New Testament, Golgotha, the Calvary, is referred as a hill located near Jerusalem. Bold emphasis of the verses below my own.
“They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF JEWS.” Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it is written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek.” John 19:17-20
According to the Christian tradition, the last five stations are believed to be within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The place that the Church is occupying was once a quarry and the site of executions, situated outside the city walls. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has the features of Crusader architecture and the interior is a sort of mixture between the Norman and Arab.
Altar of the Nails of the Holy Cross, believe to be standing at the place of Golgotha, the Calvary.
“And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.” Luke 23:33, 34
The Chapel of the Crucifixion with the life-size icons.
For more on my Israel trip, check out Shalom! Israel
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