Walking with Jesus in Jerusalem

Once again we begin our walk through the great Three Days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. 

This year has seen many oft-postponed groups of pilgrims from Arizona (and elsewhere) visit the Holy Land, where they have walked in the steps of Jesus, along with countless other pilgrims for nearly two thousand years. I encourage anyone who is able to make the trip to do so—it will change and deepen your faith. 

On my trip to Jerusalem in 2017, it struck me how small the distances were between Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the tomb. In my mind, picturing the “ hill far away without a city wall” I had imagined a great, long, journey with the cross, and another long journey to Jesus’ tomb. 

But it’s all quite compact. 

For me, that sense of scale reoriented my vision of the crowds and their encounter of Jesus. It is more intimate than I’d imagined; soldiers, bystanders, Jesus, and disciples are all gathered together in a crush of alleyways and buildings. They hear one another’s words; look in one another’s eyes. Blood and sweat and tears are visible. Groans and prayers can be heard by all. 

And then, on the first day of the week… the stone is rolled away, and amidst much running to and fro the risen Jesus appears. And the rumor—the story—the hope—of his resurrection passes from person to person like fire. 

He has been raised. 

May we hear, feel, and believe these stories this week.