Welcome to the Apr 2019 Prayer Vigil!
In the Old City of Jerusalem there is a pedestrian passageway called the Via Dolorosa which means the “Way of Grief”, “Way of Sorrow” or “Way of Suffering”. This processional route, visited frequently by Christian pilgrims and tourists, stretches from the location of the Fortress of Antonia, which existed in Roman times but is now occupied by a school, to the present day Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is believed, according to tradition, to be the route along which Jesus was taken, after he was handed over by Pontius Pilate to be crucified, to eventually arrive at the place outside the ancient City of Jerusalem called Golgotha where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre now stands.
There are 14 “stations” or locations along the Via Dolorosa, each spot being where a memorable event occurred as Jesus proceeded to Golgotha. Eight of these events are described in the Bible and six of them were passed down to us as traditions.
Station 1 is where the Roman Fortress of Antonia is believed to have been located, overlooking the Temple of Jerusalem. Here Jesus was tried and condemned to be crucified after the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate succumbed to the demands of the Jewish leaders and the crowd. (See Luke 23: 13 – 25).
Station 2 is where Jesus was given his cross to carry after he was flogged. This is where the Roman Catholic Church of the Flagellation now stands. (See John 19: 1 – 3; 16 – 17).
Station 3 is where Jesus fell for the first time according to tradition.
Station 4 is where, according to tradition, Jesus met his mother Mary.
Station 5 is where, it is believed, Simon of Cyrene was forced by the Roman soldiers to carry the cross for Jesus. (See Matt. 27: 32). Christ must have been utterly exhausted at that time from the stress and torture that he suffered.
Station 6 is where tradition tells us, a woman named Veronica wiped the face of Jesus with a cloth.
Station 7 is where tradition tells us that Jesus fell for a second time.
Station 8 is where, in the Bible, Jesus turned to the women following him and prophesied the impending disaster that will come upon Jerusalem. (See Luke 23: 27 – 31).
Station 9 is where tradition tells us that Jesus fell for a third time.
Station 10 to Station 14 is where Golgotha (or Calvary) and the tomb of Jesus are believed to be located and is covered today by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Station 10 is where Christ was stripped of his garments which were divided amongst the Roman soldiers. (See John 19: 23, 24).
Station 11 is where Jesus was nailed to the cross.
Station 12 is where Christ was lifted up on the cross and where the cross was fixed. Here in the 6th hour (noon) darkness came over the land and in the ninth hour (3pm) Jesus laid down his life which coincided with the time when the Passover lamb (John 1: 29; 1 Cor. 5: 7) was traditionally slaughtered. (See Luke 23: 44 – 46; Matt. 27: 45 – 50).
Station 13 is said to be the stone on which Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus prepared Jesus’ body for burial after taking him down from the cross. (See John 19: 38 – 40).
Station 14 is where Jesus was laid in the new tomb near his place of crucifixion (See John 19: 41, 42) and where his resurrection took place.
Down the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem that day; The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street; But the crowd pressed into see, A man condemned to die on Calvary.
He was bleeding from a beating - there were stripes upon His back; And He wore a crown of thorns upon his head; And He bore with every step, The scorn of those who cried out for his death.
Down the Via Dolorosa called the way of suffering; Like a lamb came the Messiah Christ the King; But He chose to walk that road out of His love for you and me;
Down the Via Dolorosa all the way to Calvary. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7asEdmZsSPo) Link for above lyrics sung by Sandy Patti.
Pray – Holy Father I thank you for your great love for me which is revealed by the events written in the Bible and which Christians commemorate at the time of Easter. Thank you for Jesus’ obedience to your will, and how he went through the horrific pain, suffering and disgrace that he did for my salvation. Roman flogging and execution by crucifixion in public are some of the cruelest punishments that the world has ever known. Not only that, Jesus experienced hell, because while he should be one with you, yet he suffered your wrath, separation from you (see Matt. 27: 46) and the darkness of hell, for the sins of this world and my sins, so that I may have a restored relationship with you through repentance and faith in Jesus. I am grateful for your mercy and the eternal life that you have given me because eternal separation from you with the absence of your love, light, righteousness and provisions for life is hell. Father help me to know and understand the truths in the Bible so that I can tell others about the reality of the coming judgment, the reality of hell and the meaning of all that Jesus did for their sake that they may see the reality of their sins and come to you in repentance. Thank you Father for the hope that is in me because of Jesus’ resurrection and the many witnesses who attested to that miraculous event. For if the resurrection were not real then Christianity and my faith, and life as a Christian, is futile and meaningless (1 Cor. 15: 14 – 19).
Continue to lift up in prayer –
• Loved ones, colleagues, friends and neighbours who do not know Jesus Christ.
• Missionaries among us and others you know; may the Lord protect and provide for them and enable them so that they may be fruitful in God’s kingdom. Pray for Tavita and his family; Leo and Hannah; Pastor K and his family; Kaushic and his family in the Philippines; Tabitha in South Korea; May Wong.
• The prisoners in Pik Uk Prison; the inmates at the Ling Oi Drug Rehab Centre; those in the Mui Wo Elderly Home; the elderly in Wah Fu Estate; the women seeking protection in the Care and Share Homely Shelter; the homeless in Shamshuipo; May the gospel of salvation touch their hearts and turn them to Jesus Christ.
• The mission organizations and churches we partner with – WEC; Hong Kong Christian Kun Sun Association; Kolkata Christian Fellowship; Wah Fu Swatow Church; Home of Loving Faithfulness.
• Those who are facing challenging health conditions – Beatrice, Y.M. Chen, James Paul, Harold Lau, Uncle Ip, Samad, Sylvia Teh (awaiting diagnosis and treatment for cancer in England).
• Those who are grieving over loss – Scott Sapp’s mother Shirley, brother Jeff, sister Cindy and other family members as they continue to mourn over Scott’s death.
• Those you know who need to make decisions for their life, their work, or the future of their children and loved ones.
• IBC’s plan to have elders in the church leadership to assist the pastor and care for the congregation’s spiritual health.
• IBC to be a church abiding in Christ, fervent in prayer, actively reaching out with the gospel and fruitful in its ministries.
[This prayer guide was prepared by Charles Ip]