|Eastern gates into the Temple Mount|
|Looking into the Garden of Gethsemane|
|The Via Dolorosa|
I think the most eye-opening experience for me was walking down the Via Dolorosa. The Via Dolorosa is not a calm, country road. It was crowded with thousands of people. This is the road where Jesus, the King of Kings, walked carrying the cross as He was beaten, mocked, and spit on in complete humiliation by the same people He was willing to die for. We had the opportunity to walk on a section of the original Via Dolorosa. It may just be a 2,000 year old road, but what that road represents is so much more. As soon as my feet touched the path where Jesus's blood literally poured out for me, my heart was forever changed. I have never felt more love for Jesus than that day that I felt His abundant, sacrificial love for me.
|Jesus's real tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher|
We concluded our experience in Jerusalem with visiting The Garden Tomb. The feeling of hopelessness turned into victory because Jesus DEFEATED that cross and death itself through His resurrection. As I walked into that empty tomb I had a sense of how Mary Magdalene must have felt as she wept outside and then looked up and saw Jesus, filled with an overwhelming hope because He lives. Today I am filled with that same awe and hope because I know He is STILL alive and that same power which raised Him from the dead two thousand years ago resides within me! (Romans 8:11)
This Easter, I implore you to live in that full hope of His resurrection. There is no need to be filled with sadness and despair any longer. Christ died so we may live and live life abundantly. Because of His sacrifice on the cross, He gave us the wonderful gift of salvation that we may experience our own resurrection. We must first die to our old self by recognizing our selfish ways and start living for Him and because of the power of His resurrection and His unending love and grace for us, then we become resurrected as a new creation. The old life is gone, a new life has begun! (2 Corinth 5:17)
Thank you Jesus for the Easter season. What an awesome time to reflect and remember your sacrifice for us. Thank you for enduring the pain on the cross, the pain which lead to your death, so that I may live! Thank you for the power of Your resurrection that dwells within me today and makes it possible to live each and every day for you and with you!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living,
just because He lives