The procession left the fortress.It passed out of the city gate towards the barren land to the west of the city. It was not easy. The road went downhill towards the Valley of the Tyropeon. Jesus’ feet were unsteady. The soldiers where pushing the condemned. They had to finish their job as soon as possible. See also Via Dolorosa and Second Station.
This is the way how a tour is given! For those, who are interested in a tour (the Way of the Cross), contact Wim. It’s a one-day tour, costing $150 (per group, maximum 30 persons). The content of the tour is here, and the stories behind the Way of the Cross will be much more expanded then it is here presented.
On the wayside the scene started to change. There were many others who had come outside the city gate to see this “procession”. They were mostly women. The men had other things to do. It was the Passover vigil and they had to get the lambs and by three in the afternoon take them to the Temple to be killed. The men of Israel where preparing the lambs to be killed!
The Roman soldiers where leading the “lamb of God” (Jn 1,29.36) to the slaughter: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Is 53,7).
Jesus was exhausted and his feet were trembling under the weight of the cross-beam. He could not take it any longer. With a bang Jesus fell under the cross-beam, face down in the muddy path. He is breathing heavily. His tunic opens again the wounded flesh.
The soldiers come running up to him and without delay pull him up from under the cross-beam.
The pain is unberable. It made him feel like his shoulders were being pulled apart. His arms stretched. There was no kindness in the soldiers’ behaviour. It was only a matter of seconds and Jesus was again brought to his feet.
They were but interminable moments and Jesus prayed aloud “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth” (Ps. 71,1-5)