Local Via Dolorosa

For my confreres, parishioners, and friends to use as you see fit.

The Via Dolorosa is a traditional route of pilgrimage through Jerusalem. The route commemorates Jesus’ final hours from arrest to the crucifixion.

This simplified local route is approximately the same length as that which Jesus took in Jerusalem from the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest, and to the cross, about 1.1 miles. Of course, the actual events took place over several hours and your walk will simply be a representation of that time. The Scriptures listed here are by no means comprehensive and you may wish to take your Bible along to read more. One tip for a meaningful walk: Wherever you might take this walk, give yourself a little extra distance at the end for “walking home” as a citizen of Jerusalem.

Begin at any outdoor starting point. You are at the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Goes to The Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane: Luke 22:39–42 (NRSV)

39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” 41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.

Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested:Matthew 26:47–50 (NRSV)

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.

Jesus is taken to the High Priest

Walk 0.7 miles, about 14 minutes. This route is the approximate distance from the Garden of Gethsemane to the trial.

Matthew 26:57 (NRSV)

57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered.

Matthew 27:2 (NRSV)

2 They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

Matthew 27:22 (NRSV)

22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!”

Matthew 27:27–31 (NRSV)

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

Walk 500 yards, about 6 minutes, you are on the way to Golgotha. Read along the way.

Luke 23:26–32 (NRSV)

26 As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28 But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.

At the end of your walk you are at Golgotha.

Matthew 27:45–46 (NRSV)

45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Mark 15:37–39 (NRSV)

37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

Walk a distance of your choosing to return to your Jerusalem home.

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