Sunday, September 9, 2012

Down the Via Delarosa....

 A couple days ago, 2 of the new students, Jeremy and Faith, wanted to go down the Via Delarosa to see all the 14 different stations of the cross. I decided to go with them, so I could tell you what it is like. The Via Delarosa or "Way of Sorrow", winds along the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, and is the 'tradtional' route Jesus followed bearing His cross from Pilate's Judgement Hall in the Antonia to Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion. It is highly unlikely this is the actual route He took, but as I told the students, even if it's not exactly the place, it's close enough for me to remember what He did for me!  This first picture is of the door to the Church of the Flagellation, where they remember the whippings. You are not allowed to take photos inside. This church and the one just below are Station 2 (sorry I am out of order:)
 This is the inside of the Church of the Condemnation, also part of Station 2. Across the street is the "Antonia Fortress" which supposedly was the site of the Roman Fortress where Jesus was condemned...that is Station 1. and I didn't get a pic of it.
 Walking down the Via Delarosa, looking for station 3.
 Well, I found station 4 (see the Roman numeral on the round sign?) Station 4 is where Jesus met his mother as he was carrying the cross.
 Whoops back up, I almost missed it. This is station 3, right next to it, where Jesus fell for the first time.
 This is inside the church that commemorates where Jesus met his mother.  In Israel, they build a church or memorial over every little thing they believed happened. Most times there's no way to know if it's really the exact site, but again, it doesn't matter too much - cause we're in Jerusalem which I KNOW is the right city:)
 The entrance to the church above, see the carving of Jesus meeting His mother.
 Station 5 remembers where Simon the Cyrene is forced to carry the cross.
 Entrace to the chapel about Simon and Jesus.
 Kid playing on the Via Delarosa with a chair:)
 Okay, here's station number 6. This was where "Veronica" (who's Veronica??) wipes the sweat from Jesus' face.
 I guess this is the chapel/church that commemorates her wiping His face (?)
 This must be station 7 (do you know your Roman numerals?)  This is where Jesus fell for the 2nd time.  Inside was too dark and too many people to get a picture. Wait a minute - about the door it says station 8!  I guess it must be both. Station 8 is where Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem (Luke 23:28)
Well, here we are continuing along the Via Delarosa, looking for station 9. Funny thing is we never found it. Station 9 is supposed to be where Jesus falls for the third time, somewhere near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which we see next.  Sorry - I tried to find it! I need a tour guide...
 So here we are at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The last five stations of the Cross are all here. 
Station 10 is where Jesus was stripped of His garments.  You can hardly see it because of the shadow, but there are stairs on the right side of the courtyard, that lead up to the little chapel with the domed roof..that's the Chapel of the Stripping of Jesus' Garments. We couldn't go up there, at least I don't think we were supposed to.
 Just inside the church, you take an immediate right up some steep stone stairs, climbing up Golgatha's hill. You can see the rock of the mountain through this glass encasement, which is right next to where it is thought the cross was placed.
 These are the decorations just above the hole carved in the rock where the cross was lifted and placed into.  Station 11 is where Jesus was nailed to the cross. Station 12 is Jesus dying on the cross.
 This is dark, because it's a small enclosure that you have to kneel down to get into. Look at the circle on the floor...that's the hole where the cross was placed. People take turns, one by one, kneeling inside this box to see the hole. You can extend your arm down into the rock, about elbow's length. When I did that, all I could say was "Thank you Lord Jesus, for what you bore for me."
 Again a dark picture, but you can see Faith putting her left arm down into the hole in the rock.
 The rock mountain under glass on the other side of the site of the cross.
 From up where the site of the cross is, you can look down below to the 13th station, which is where Jesus' body was laid after being taking down from the cross.
 Here's the same stone, I have heard this called the stone of 'Unction'.
 The 14th, and last station is the site of the tomb. The tomb, of course was originally a carved out place in the side of a hill. Hundreds of years ago, the hill was take away around the tomb, and just the tomb preserved.  This is the entrace to it. The line was very long to get in there, only a couple people at a time can fit. There's one way in and the same way out.   There is a good deal of historic evidence that this may truly be the place of His death, burial and resurrection.   Just amazing to be here.
 Standing right in front of the Tomb, if you look up - you see this beautiful cuppola over the tomb.
I took this picture last semester inside the tomb. It's small in there...basically you see a rock slab, with alot of decoration around it.
Well, after all that heavy discussion...I took this picture of this very interesting vehicle as I was walking back to school. I have no idea who owns this, or what they were doing there (the car was empty). But they way it looked made me want to jump inside it and take a spin somewhere:)  Hope you enjoyed going down the Via Delarosa with me!!

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