The Via Dolorosa—and the True Way of Suffering

Looking Beyond Tradition to the Historical Path Jesus Walked

It happens most times I’m in Jerusalem. I hear the question. “You’re telling me this isn’t the true Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Suffering” Jesus walked with His cross from Pilate’s Praetorium to Calvary? Then where is it?” 

The Via Dolorosa—and the True Way of Suffering Jesus Walked

(Photo: The Ecce Homo arch spans the Via Dolorosa. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Via Dolorosa of today marks an exercise in faith more than fact, and its stops or “stations” reflect Catholic tradition more than history. Popularized by Sandi Patti’s hit song in 1991, the Via Dolorosa also attracts the veneration of Protestant pilgrims who journey to Jerusalem.

There’s just one problem. The true path to the cross was in a completely different place.

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Your Christian Life is a Daily Two-Step

How success boils down to 2 decisions you make every day.

How can you do what you should do when you’d rather do anything else? We know this marks the difference between success and failure. We struggle with the how.

Your Christian Life is a Daily Two-Step

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Long before Jesus lugged His cross down the Via Dolorosa, He had issued a command to all who would follow Him:

If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. —Mark 8:34

The Christian life follows the life of Christ. And Jesus’ life ended literally carrying a cross all the way to His death.

We all have our own Via Dolorosa. We walk it two steps at a time.

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