Taking a cab up to the second highest spot in Jerusalem, we got coffee and sat for a spell on the Mount of Olives. This is a pano of Jerusalem from up there.
During Passion Week / Holy Week (you choose) Jesus spent a lot of time up here. And it was from here that tradition tell us he ascended. With that in mind we went to the spot that is revered for that event. But Luke names Bethany as the spot, so we hunted for a view eastward.
We began our trek this afternoon by going down to the the Garden of Gethsemane.
It was meaningful to pray in proximity to where our Lord prayed “thy will”.
Our intent today was to experience the journey from the garden up into the city…
The Roman fort was likely positioned nearby – at the northern end of the Temple. We walked down the Via Delarosa.
The other end of the Via Delarosa is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where Golgotha and the tomb are memorialized.
It is a working Church and beautiful liturgy was ongoing.
At the end, we had walked thousands of steps, a lot of which was uphill. But the Via Delarosa is, at most, a quarter of all the steps he took that night.
That night Jesus experienced multiple hearings before two groups of Jews, Pilate, and Herod. Crossing this extremely hilly city was strenuous enough, but weakened and bloodied as Jesus was from the numerous whippings and beatings would have made it so much harder. It gives deeper meaning to Isaiah 53: “with his wounds we are healed.”
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.” Isaiah 43:1-3a ESV