Israel 2014 IFL 295Well into our tour of the Holy Land, the temptation is to say, “Once you have seen some ancient ruins, you have seen enough ancient ruins.” never seemed to bother very many at all.  Here in the Land what occurred at these sites was far more important than the site itself.

History was the feature of these gathering points.  The events of yesteryear gave great meaning to our lives today.  Few sites were as meaningful as the walk through the Via Dolorosa.

Here the possibility of following the last steps of Christ when He was brought to His place of Israel 2014 IFL 301crucifixion was sobering.  We looked on the old stone road that still had the old Roman games etched in the rock.  Perhaps the very soldiers who escorted Jesus from His flogging to the place of the skull gambled on this very site.

Today the stones shine like polished furniture from the millions of shoes that have walked over them.  But, in His day, Jesus stumbled on these rocks, dripped His sweat and blood from His brutal beating.  While we trudged among fast-moving shop keepers selling their wares, we thought deeply as the images of our suffering Savior filled our minds.

Israel 2014 IFL 302There are traditional stops along the way that commemorate some Biblical events and some extra Biblical stories.  Sorting out the real from the legends is not as important as concentrating on the real events that all agree are part of the events of the most important historic event in human history.  This pathway was the route that made it all happen.

The sellers of trinkets were trying to make money off of the scores of pilgrims.  To these merchants, it was common to come here each day and make a living.  But, for us pilgrims it was a sacred journey.

Israel 2014 IFL 303Our fine pilgrims were gracious and polite.  There was no ugly American among our group.  They kept the balance, worshiped quietly and took in the tourist options as well.

Our small group of 40 turned the corner of a narrow street and a courtyard broadened out to welcome us.  It was a very holy site.  Inside this door was the traditional site where the cross was placed on a rock.  Below is the site of the burial of Jesus.

Pilgrims from all around the world came here and crowded in to climax their journey.  It was loud.  This was a very crowded place.

Seekers and worshipers alike milled about.  Truth and legend were separate yet together. Sincere lives were wanting a moment for their souls.

photo credit: brucefong photography