All of us spend a Friday in Jerusalem even if we never set foot in the Holy Land. The Via Dolorosa is a journey that we all experience in some way. At least once in a lifetime. And some go through it several times in a single lifetime.
A Tourist Friday in Jerusalem
In the spring of 2015 I had the opportunity to travel to Israel. I enjoyed a 10-day tour with a group of 22 people. Describing the impact of that journey in a simple blog post can’t really do it justice. It is difficult to summarize it in a few words.
The trip was orchestrated by Twin Tours. The guide was Andre Moubarak.
On that occasion my Friday in Jerusalem was nothing more than a transformative touristic experience.
However, that was not the only time I experienced a Friday in Jerusalem.
A Figurative Friday in Jerusalem
Friday in Jerusalem will always represent a moment of deep brokenness. It represents living your own crucifixion (Luke 9:23). It is seeing things in you die.
My Friday in Jerusalem experience came several years after visiting Israel. 2017 was a year of many losses and total isolation for me. Everything that comforted my security was shaken. I didn’t have a “job.” I did not have finances because I had to spend it all (all my bank accounts were closed due to lack of funds). My family was going through very difficult times, including a depression crisis and even a suicide attempt.
Still, the most difficult thing about experiencing a Friday in Jerusalem will always be the witnesses. Yes! The witnesses. They are those people who watch you die little by little but cannot do anything about it. In the case of my immediate family, I saw how the witnesses were aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Some judged my family’s situation. Others blamed without compassion. But none helped. However I don’t blame them. I think that was how God designed the process.
And what about you? What is your figurative Friday in Jerusalem experience?
Hope for your Friday in Jerusalem
If you stop and think, you have some figurative Fridays in Jerusalem. Maybe you are going through your worst crucifixion Friday in the present. I don’t know… But..
As you endure your Friday allow me to encourage you. I know that if you are patient, you will live a resurrection Sunday… You just have to endure the Friday of crucifixion and endure the Saturday of death. It will not be easy. It never is. But if you do, the glory will outshine the hurt and the pain.
Sharing a Friday in Jerusalem
I am encouraged to share a little about my Friday in Jerusalem, because there was another person who encouraged me when he shared the story of his Friday in Jerusalem. The stories of others have the power to lift our spirits.
Andre Moubarak, the Holy Land guide, he wrote a book titled One Friday in Jerusalem. I had the privilege of helping with the Spanish translation in the middle of going through my figurative Friday in Jerusalem. I bear witness that thanks to the book I was able to overcome my figurative Friday in Jerusalem.
I wrote one of my favorite passages from the book in one of my journals on October 5, 2017:
The more crushing we endure in our life and ministry, the more anointed we will become. […]
Do not run away when you are crushed. God knows what kind of pressure and how much is right for you. Commit yourself to Him and wait. Wait just a little longer. Crushing is the divine pro-cess that can, if you will let it, allow the Holy Spirit to instill His presence powerfully in your life and release you to your destinySource: “One Friday in Jerusalem” by Andre Moubarak, p.29
Those words were my rescue many times. They encouraged me. And that’s what I would like to share with you today.
Don’t run away.
Your crucifixion Friday is producing something in you.
You may not be able to travel to the Holy Land just yet. But give yourself the opportunity to read about the footsteps of Jesus while you discover a real experience of the Via Dolorosa. Get the book: “One Friday in Jerusalem.”
I wish you a blessed Good Friday.