We visited the place where Jesus was taken after the arrest in the Garden. These steps to the house of Caphais would have been steps that Jesus walked. These are the steps he willingly walked up knowing where they would take him. It is fitting that they are mostly blocked off – allowing only a few of the steps to be walked upon.
I am not sure I know what it means to walk these steps.
From here we visited the Antonio Fortress. The place where Jesus was kept by the Romans and the place where the journey with the Cross would begin.
From here we began our walk along the Via Dolorosa – the Walk of Sorrow. We were early, but we were not alone. We were joined on our journey to the cross by a group of Korean Methodists. The sang songs along the way – we knew the tunes and the words, but we listened as they sang in a language unfamiliar to us. We were blessed to share our journey with them.
We arrived at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – the place of Calvary and the Empty Tomb, but it is not what we expected.
This place is ornate and indoors! But it is also a place revered for over two centuries as the place. People from all over the world come to this place and discover the tomb is still empty.
We finished our day in a place that was calm and serene – The Garden Tomb. This is a place that looks more like we want the place of the Empty Tomb to be.
The end results are the same – the tomb is empty. We checked!
We ended our time reflecting on our journey and sharing communion in the garden.
We are preparing to return home, but we are not the same.
And we are not sure how to tell that story, but the words will come … in time.
Tomorrow: a free day to explore the Old City