The first day of our intrepid Cathedral Pilgrims included stops in Jerusalem (Mount of Olives, the garden of Gethsemane, the Via Dolorosa) and Bethlehem...
The pilgrims in Jerusalem and Bethlehem: Our first day
"We started walking through the drama of the last days of Jesus’ life. We began on the top of the Mount of Olives, which gave us a panoramic view of the whole city.
Here we all are:
We remembered that Mark wrote, at the end of his description of the Last Supper: “when they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." (Mark 14:26)
We walked down the Mount of Olives to the garden of Gethsemane.
“They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said his disciples, “sit here while I pray." (Mark 14:32)
Then we walked across the Kidron Valley to the old city of Jerusalem to walk the Via Dolorosa, the way of sorrows, or the way of the cross. Pilgrims have walked this way for hundreds of years, and for the last 500 marking the stations of the cross. These begin with the condemnation of Jesus, and his taking up of the cross, follow him through as he falls, and ends up at Calvary for his crucifixion, death and burial. The last stations are at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a huge and ancient church that covers both Jesus’ place of crucifixion and the place of his burial."
“They shouted all the more ‘Crucify him’! So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.”
“They compelled a passerby, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, The father of Alexander and Rufus.”
“And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what it should take.”
“Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last."
“Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.”