The Via Delarosa, Yagah, And Easter Sunday

The Via Delarosa, Yagah, And Easter Sunday March 31, 2024

This week has been a difficult week for people around the world. The news has been full of stories about suffering. Many Gazans are starving to death. Here at home, a tragic bridge collapse not only killed six people, the area is struggling to deal with travel without the iconic bridge.

My family is originally from the area and my uncle lives 20 miles from the bridge he once traveled every day to work at the Naval Academy. He shared with me how the locals are not only shocked by the loss of the landmark; many are struggling to deal with the detours. The irony is these tragic events have occurred during Holy Week, a week of remembering the suffering of Jesus and how it affects our faith.

  • Humility
  • Disappointment
  • Suffering
The Via Delorosa
Image by Pixabay

Over 2000 years ago, when Jesus arrived, He wasn’t what the Disciples and God’s people expected. He wasn’t a mighty military leader, He didn’t restore Israel to greatness, yet; and He suffered and died a criminal’s death.

As we celebrate Lent and Easter, we  remember the way Jesus lived and suffered in this life up to His death after walking The Via Delarosa; the path of suffering Jesus walked to His brutal crucifixion (Mark 15:16-21.)


Suffering is a relative concept. It is not the same for everyone. Pain and suffering are experienced differently for everyone.

Twenty-seven years ago today I was in a tragic car accident that left me legally blind and partially paralyzed. My experience and recovery are different than others who have been overwhelmed by the pain of living with a brain injury.

Martin's brain injury
Image by Martin Thomas Johnson

Likewise, people around the world suffer today in different ways. The church in America isn’t persecuted like our brothers and other churches that are burned or beheaded for owning Bibles or calling Jesus Lord.

Even the first century church experienced immense persecution for the faith and most of the Disciples were martyred. Jesus Himself suffered tremendously while on earth. Lent is supposed to remind us of the pain He endured, a lot more than just fasting for a few days or hours.

Jesus said His followers would suffer in this life (John 16:33, Acts 14:22, Romans 8:36.) Suffering has always been common for God’s people.


Israel has experienced its share of suffering over the centuries. Traditional Jewish view of suffering is as a punishment for sin or as a refining process for God’s people (Isaiah 48:10, Malachi 1:25.)

The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament for suffering is Yagah and it can also mean grieving, to cause sorrow or grief, as Jesus experienced during His life.

We also see this suffering in the lives of Job and the prophets. Not even God’s chosen messengers weren’t spared pain or poverty. God’s people were nomads who depended on God to protect and provide for them and deliver them from their enemies. Still, five times Israel was exiled:

  1. Egyptian exile
  2. Babylonian exile
  3. Persian exile
  4. Grecian exile
  5. Roman exile

Jesus arrived during the Roman exile. He suffered a long with the Jews. He fulfilled the prophecy of the suffering Messiah (Isaiah 53:1-12.) Still, even His Disciples expected earthly greatness and Jesus rebuked them for their worldly mindsets (Matthew 20:20-28.)

Jesus' crucifiction
Image by Pixabay

When Peter scoffed at Jesus’ statements about suffering, Jesus rebuked him also (Luke 16:22-23.) Jesus knew the only way to defeat the curse of death was for Him to suffer a sinner’s death on the cross.

The suffering of Jesus purifies us from the consequences of our sinful ways. We celebrate Easter because Jesus conquered death on the cross, and suffered while doing it.


The word Easter is it derived from Eostre, or Eostrae, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. The application for the early church is obvious, new life. Most people celebrate spring with partying; spring break is just around the corner.

We are all ready to celebrate new life that comes with spring. The Apostle Paul reminded the early church that in Christ, the old has passed away and we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:16-17.)

He knew our present sufferings don’t compare to the glory coming because of the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 8:18.) Suffering for our faith brings about good change for us.

  • Humbles us
  • Purifies us
  • Perfects us
  • Strengthens us

Our strength isn’t a worldly power like Israel and the Disciples wanted. Jesus warned His Disciples not to abuse their power (Matthew 20:25-29.) On Easter, Jesus showed us that true power is humility.

The Holy Bible
Image by Pixabay

Some may want to rewrite the Bible to say what they want, but history knows the truth. This week, citizen Trump introduced his version of the Bible.






Unfortunately many conservatives play the victim like citizen Trump, but have no idea what it means to Yagah!




Browse Our Archives