The Way of the Cross
An Introduction by Bill Tubb
We adore you O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
All visits to Jerusalem are incomplete without taking the opportunity to walk the Way of the Cross, the via Dolorosa. Although the route has some physical markers it is not easy to follow as it runs through the centre of the Old Town from the site of the Antonia Fortress to the site of Calvary and Jesus' tomb, now within the Church of the Resurrection or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the form we will be using, there is an earlier section, from the garden of Gethsemane outside the walls of Jerusalem, across the valley and up to the House of the High Priest where Jesus is condemned by the Jewish authorities, prior to being handed over to the Roman government to deal with. The way is rough, and ancient series of streets including steep slopes, uneven cobbles and paths; today it goes from the darkness of the covered markets into shocking sunshine, or cobbles slicked with rain or snow.
Today, the way is thronged with pilgrims of the three Abrahamic faiths as we all try to reach some of our holiest places. Perhaps that can help us to imagine the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem as the Passover approaches and people are eager to get things done before the Festival begins. We can imagine the noise, and the stench of Passover lambs being prepared for slaughter whilst a man is dragged and pushed to his death.
Holy God, holy and strong
Holy and immortal
Have mercy upon us.
Station 5: Jesus judged by Pilate
Station 6: Jesus scourged and crowned with thorns
Station 7: Jesus carries the cross
Station 8: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross
Station 9: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Station 10: Jesus is crucified
Station 11: Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief
Station 12: Jesus on the cross: his mother and his friend
Station 13: Jesus dies on the cross
Station 14: Jesus laid in the tomb