Friday, April 6, 2012

The Via Dolorosa - The Way of Suffering

The Via Dolorosa commemorates the route which Jesus took as He carried the cross to Golgotha. Often referred to as “the Way of Suffering,” the Via Dolorosa has fourteen stations, or stopping points. Each station along the route reminds pilgrims of various aspects of Christ’s suffering.
Even though the current narrow route in the Old City of Jerusalem is thirty feet above the original road, and some of the Stations of the Cross are in different places than the original events, it is still moving to meditate on what that route symbolizes. I confess that I have often taken our Lord’s sacrifice for granted; but when I walked the Via Dolorosa in January 2011, it helped me to refocus, and to contemplate afresh and anew what it cost Jesus to redeem me from my sin.
At one spot along the route, we visited the one-thousand-year-old St. Anne’s Church, which is built over the traditional site of Mary’s parent’s house. The church has amazing acoustics. A person standing in the front, speaking in a quiet voice, could be heard around the room. Choirs that stand in that spot to sing, sound like a multitude of angels singing on high. Though our group was not a choir, we did decide to sing several songs of praise to the Lord Jesus. It sounded so powerful that we could not help but lift our hands toward heaven as we sang of what He had done for us along the Via Dolorosa. One day, multitudes of Christians from around the world will stand before the throne, and we will sing praise to the King of Kings, and it will sound even more amazing than that acoustically perfect church.

For reflection and discussion:
When was the last time we reflected on the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice for us?

Read Luke 23.
Instead of Jesus, whose release did the crowd demand?

What did the crowd cry out that they wanted Pilate to do with Jesus?
Who carried the cross part of the way for Jesus?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for being willing to suffer for me. I know I did not deserve it, and I have often taken Your suffering for granted. Forgive me for this Lord. Help me to pick up Your cross and carry it daily. Lord, bring peace to Jerusalem by helping them understand what the Via Dolorosa is really about. Amen.
The above is an excerpt from Terry's new devotional guide, "Touching the Footprints of Jesus," which is soon to be released.

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