WALKING THE VIA DOLOROSA

by Diana Marie Winkler on March 20, 2016

“IN THE END PILATE HANDED JESUS OVER 
  TO BE CRUCUFIED”. JOHN 19:16 
 
DOWN THE VIA DOLOROSA IN JERUSALEM THAT DAY
AS ONE IN THE CROWD I MOVE ALONG WITH THE OTHERS. I FEEL 
   A SADNESS, BUT YET A STRANGE FEELING OF HOPE AS WELL. 

THE SOLDIERS TRIED TO CLEAR THE NARROW STREETS
THEY ARE POKING AND PRODDING TO KEEP US BACK. 
   WHAT DO THEY THINK WE ARE, ANIMALS? 

BUT THE CROWD PRESSES IN TO SEE
THE AIR AND THE CROWD IS THICK. I LOOK FOR AN 
   OPENING TO FIND MY WAY TO THE FRONT. 

THE MAN CONDEMNED TO DIE ON CALVARY
I HAVE SEEN THIS MAN, I HAVE HEARD HIM IN THE TEMPLE. 
  HE IS NOT A CRIMINAL! 

HE WAS BLEEDING FROM A BEATING
I LOOK AT THE GROUND, HIS FEET LEAVE BLOODIED 
  FOOTPRINTS BEHIND HIM, I GASP AS HE FALLS! 

THERE WERE STRIPES UPON HIS BACK
HIS ROBE SLIPS FROM HIS SHOULDER. IN HORROR I SEE 
   THE EXTENT OF THE EARLIER WHIPPING AND FLOGGING. 

AND HE WORE A CROWN OF THORNS UPON HIS HEAD
I SEE HIS PAIN AND SUFFERING AS HIS BLOOD TRICKLES 
  INTO HIS EYES AND ONTO HIS FACE. THE CROWD  
 CONTINUES TO JEER. 

AND HE BORE WITH EVERY STEP
THE HEAVINESS OF THE CROSS SLOWS HIS WALK. I HEAR HIS  
   LABORED BREATHING. HE STUMBLES AGAIN. WHO IS THAT 
  CALLED INTO SERVICE TO HELP HIM? 

THE SCORN OF THOSE WHO CRIED OUT FOR HIS DEATH
  “CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM! YELLS THE CROWD. 
   I KEEP SILENT. 

DOWN THE VIA DOLOROSA CALLED THE WAY OF SUFFERING
HE HAS WALKED 300 METERS, 300 MORE TO GO. HE LOOKS 
  MY WAY. I HEAR MYSELF SAY, “SHALOM”. HE GIVES A TACIT NOD. 
 
LIKE A LAMB CAME THE MESSIAH, CHRIST THE KING
LIKE AN UNBLEMISHED LAMB THEY ARE USING HIM 
   AS A SACRIFICE FOR ANOTHER’S CRIME. 

BUT HE CHOSE TO WALK THAT ROAD
HE STUMBLES A THIRD TIME. THERE IS AN UNBELIEVABLE  
    SILENCE AS THE CROWD WATCHES HIM GET UP ONCE AGAIN. 

OUT OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU AND ME
WHAT DETERMINATION. HIS EYES FIXED AHEAD AS THOUGH 
   THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL AWAITING HIM. 
 
DOWN THE VIA DOLOROSA ALL THE WAY TO CALVARY
THERE ARE MANY WHO HAVE ALREADY RUN AHEAD TO CALVARY. 
   I CHOOSE TO WALK WITH HIM. 

THE BLOOD THAT WOULD CLEANSE THE SOULS OF ALL MEN
HE IS BATHED IN HIS OWN BLOOD AND SWEAT, 
   BUT HE CONTINUES ON TO REACH HIS DESTINY. 

MADE HIS WAY THROUGH THE HEART OF JERUSALEM
“YES, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY 
   SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM MAY NOT DIE BUT 
   HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” JOHN 3:16 

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