Thanks for joining me for this exciting journey. I’ve been able to relive so much of our pilgrimage. I appreciate you choosing to join me, too. The Via Dolorosa (in Latin: the way of grief or the way of the cross) in the Old City of Jerusalem commemorates the path Jesus walked from the Place of Judgement (Praetorium) to Calvary. Every Friday, Franciscan monks retrace these steps, leading Christian pilgrims visiting from around the world, starting at the Church of Flagellation and ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There are fourteen stations along this most sacred route, each spot marking an event that took place on the way to the Crucifixion. Nine of these points are actually along the Via Dolorosa, and five are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The Garden of Gethsemane is located east of the Temple Mount and east of the Kidron Valley on the lower portion of the western slope of the Mount of Olives. After his final meal with his disciples, Jesus retired to this garden to pray (Matthew 26:30–56, Mark 14:26–52, John 18:1–12) It was here the disciples slept while Jesus prayed. It was here that Jesus was captured and led away to be crucified.
Gethsemane was one of the two Biblical gardens of prominent importance in the Bible. The first garden: Eden, where Adam, the first man, lost everything. The second garden, Gethsemane, where Jesus, the second Adam, came to restore everything that was lost. Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray, as was his habit. He prayed alone, yet he asked the disciples to accompany him to pray alongside him. In Luke 22:39, he pleaded, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus understood the suffering God’s will and plan prepared ahead of him; like any of us, He would have liked to avoid it. Yet, Jesus was willing to submit to God’s will. Jesus was honest with His father with his feelings on the future; although he didn’t like what was planned, he received it in the name of the Heavenly Father. Jesus’ example shows us that submission, trust, and obedience result in faith.
Oswald Chambers says, “Prayer does not equip us for the greater works, prayer is the greater work. In the teachings of Jesus Christ, prayer is the working of the miracle of redemption in me, which produces the miracle of redemption in others, through the power of God. The way fruit remains firm is through prayer, but remember that it is prayer based on the agony of Christ in redemption, not on my own agony.”
Praise the Lord for His suffering, agony, love, and resurrection life!
Don’t miss out on Monday’s stop: Jesus’ birthplace, Bethlehem.