From the birth to the death & resurrection of Jesus in one day

In Circle of Strength on December 15, 2009 at 23:22

We left early walking through the old city of David to catch a bus to Bethlehem to experience the birthplace of Jesus. The view on the ride to Bethlehem was awe inspiring. The landscape here is amazing and beautiful with hills and mountains each direction you look. We get off the bus in Bethlehem and have a walk to manger square, the center of the town of Bethlehem which is where they believe the actual site of the manger where Mary and Joseph slept and Jesus was born. There is now a very large church built over the spot they believe was the actual manger that is beautiful with the front or alter of the church having three variations a Greek Orthodox alter in the center, Catholic alter on the right and Armenian. When we came in there was a long line with people waiting to go down and narrow stone stairway underground to the manger. There are Palestinian guards with guns guarding the walkway to the manger only allowing a few people in at a time because the underground cave is small. Finally it was our groups turn to go down and we took the long curved narrow stairway down, as we entered it full of people taking pictures, some kneeling and praying and a very high energy. I was able to lay my hands on the spot that is believed to be where the birth of Jesus happened and then a few feet away the spot of his manger or where he was laid. We then headed back to Jerusalem to join the rest of our group on a walking tour of the Via Dolorosa, The Road of Sorrows and the Stations of the Cross to trace Jesus last steps.

The fifth station is where Simon of Cyrene takes Jesus' cross and carries it for him.

A life of 33 years from birth to death and to life again or resurrection. Hannah our wonderful guide walked us step by step explaining each station of the cross which means the steps that lead Jesus to the crucifix and burial. From the place where Jesus was arrested, the where Pilot asked the crowd what to do with Jesus, the crowd wanted him put to death so Pilot washed his hands of it and said so be it. We were standing in front of the ledge where Pilot and Jesus stood when that happened. We proceeded to walk up the Via Dolorosa which is now mainly a market place where one can buy souvenirs, fruit, nuts and other such things. Hanna began to explain each station from the place that the crown of thorns was put in the head of Jesus, where he was beaten, his clothes stripped of and then sold and so on. Walking down the stone streets, remembering the story of Jesus and what was going on as he made that walk verses the tourist and market happening today is quite to the contrast. Our group is pretty loud and fun-loving usually with the sound of laughter ringing out. The mood was quiet, and respectful. Not everyone in our group is a Christian but when you walk these grounds most people sense it is a sacred space. We then made it to the Large church where there is a large piece of stone from the hill of Galgatha which is where Jesus was hung on the cross. Most of the rock Is covered by glass but there is a spot with an alter built around it now that you can kneel, and stick your hand down a hole in the glass to touch the rock. Most of us did this and all that did felt an amazing energy. There church that is now built around this sacred place is very ornamental with mosaics everywhere you look that are intricate and beautiful. In the room with the rock from Galgatha there are mosaics running up the walls and over the ceiling of the stations of the cross it is amazingly beautiful. Then we made our way to the Stone which Jesus was laid on to be prepared for burial was moved to this church 1880. The stone is on the ground with hanging lamps over it. Many people as some of us did kneel at this stone, touch, lay their head on it and pray and rub things on it that they want to be blessed like rosary beads. There are many people waiting to move into a spot to touch the stone. You can feel the anticipation and excitement of the people as they wait to move into a spot to get to touch the stone. After the stone we made our way to the place in the same church that he was buried. We made our way from a long line into the tomb.

Sherry in the tomb where Jesus was buried.

Each small group is given a very short amount of time to be in the tomb to keep the long lines moving. Many of us as martial arts teachers on this trip work with Chi/Ki or energy. We all felt the amazing power of energy at these historic locations. No matter what you believe Jesus was the son of God or a great teacher, his life of 33 years and the energy he spread on our small planet has had an amazing impact on the world and now a more personal impact on all of us. Jesus came as a light to the world, for Hanukah they light candles which signifies God’s light and we are each here to spread a light of empowerment, peace and respect through martial arts training.

-Big Mac


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