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Travelujah_ / Geography / Good Friday Draws the Faithful in Jerusalem
Good Friday Draws the Faithful in Jerusalem
“Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” John 19:17-19
Through occasional rain drops and thick clouds, thousands of Christian pilgrims carrying wooden crosses made their way along the slick stones of the Via Dolorosa to retrace the steps of Jesus as he carried his cross to Gologotha and was crucified on Good Friday in Jerusalem.
The Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Suffering, is marked by 14 Stations of the Cross, where Jesus is believed to have stopped on his way to Golgotha. The final four stations are in side the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Some 100,000 Christian pilgrims from Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Russia, Armenia, France, the United States and many other nations, are visiting the Holy Land for Easter Week. Hundreds were crowded into the courtyard of the Holy Sepulchre this morning awaiting their turn inside the church that most Orthodox and Catholic Christians contain the original crucifixion and burial site.
Jesus was sentenced and crucified on Good Friday, and rose from the dead three days later.
“It is awesome, how can I explain?” said Meaza Yohannes, an Ethiopian pilgrim who was in Israel for the first time. “Especially for me being a Bible teacher. Everything that is in the Bible I am seeing with my own eyes. The Bible is coming alive.”
An Italian tourist, Mirella from Florence, said that every stone in the Old City was special.
Local Christians were busy preparing for the holiday, the highlight of the Christian calendar for the community here. Candles were being sold in anticipation of the Saturday of Light, the climax of festivities for Orthodox Christians.
On Good Friday, each church held its own procession from its Old City headquarters to the Holy Sepulchre to hold mass there. Some churches hold a burial service in the afternoon as well and then prayer vigils in dark churches throughout the night.
By Nicole Jansezian, Travelujah
Nicole Jansezian writes for www.travelujah.com, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. Travelujah is a vibrant online community offering high quality Christian content, user and expert blogs, travel tours and planning services for people interested in connecting with or traveling to the Holy Land.
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