Would you walk the Via Dolorosa?
After the trial comes crucifixion, and our Coffee Break group is following the road. In a world of present trials and tribulations, it seems a good road to follow - a good Savior to follow
(107) The Road to the Cross
We all know the next part of the story, but we know in pieces that we put together in our minds. Visitors to the Holy Land follow the Via Dolorosa to the church of the Holy Sepuchre – it’s equivalent to the first 9 stations in the “traditional” Catholic list (14 stations – we’ll look at a newer list later). So, let’s join that journey, the Via Dolorosa.
1. Jesus’s trial by Pilate, and Jesus is scourged: We read this last week. What stands out most to you?
2. Ecce Homo: This is where Pilate says “Behold the man” – John 19:5 –again, from last week. How often do we stop to “behold” Him in everyday life?
3. Jesus falls the first time: Read John 19:16-17 The Gospels don’t tell us that Jesus fell, but we know Simon of Cyrene will end up carrying that cross for him. So...
a. Why might some Christians prefer to think Jesus never fell?
b. What might Jesus falling under the weight of the cross and your sins mean to you?
c. Do we fall? Who picks us up?
4. Jesus meets his mother: Read John 19:25 The Gospels don’t tell us that Jesus met his mother while he was carrying his cross. But…
a. What might Jesus' seeing his mother’s face in the crowd mean to you?
b. Why might we need to be reminded that Jesus was human as well as divine?
5. Simon carries the cross: Read Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26.
a. Why does Jesus need help carrying the cross? After all, he carries all our sins…
b. Read Romans 16:13, Acts 11:20. How might helping Jesus have affected Simon?
c. How might coming close to Jesus affect people we know? And how is praying for them like helping to carry the cross?
6. Jesus meets Veronica: This isn’t in the Bible, but it’s in the apocrypha (The Epistles of Jesus Christ and Abgarus King of Edessa, and the Acts of Pilate, for example) and ancient documents (as far back 705AD)…
a. Read Matthew 27:32-33, Mark 15:21-22 The first two descriptions of Jesus carrying the cross are very brief. Why might Matthew and Mark not have bothered including any detail? And why might later Christians have wished for more detail?
b. Does something not being in the Bible stop it being something we can think and pray about?
c. What might one person choosing to ease Jesus’ pain mean to you?
7. Jesus falls a second time, but Simon is carrying the cross by now.
a. Why might Jesus fall again?
b. What would this tell us about how his body has been hurt… for us?
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem. Luke is the one who gives more detail. Read Luke 11:27-28, 23:27-31
a. Why might Luke be the only writer to tell us this story?
b. What days were coming to Jerusalem?
c. Is the “wood” still drying? What days are coming to us?
9. Jesus falls the third time:
a. Why would three be a significant number for this tradition?
b. Why might people want to walk the Via Dolorosa?