The Seventh Station of the Cross
Did Jesus Carry the Cross Through This Gate?
Location – The Via Dolorosa
Map Coordinates - 31.779345, 35.230732
Here our Octagon Tour groups can see the actual gate that Jesus walked through, as He carried the cross out of the city of Jerusalem.
The Seventh Station of the Cross commemorates a non-Biblical event – the moment that Jesus fell a second time. From the fifth station of the cross Jesus had walked a distance of 500 feet uphill, and in His condition collapsing was probably inevitable.
Jesus falls under the weight of the cross a second time.
The Wall of the City.
The Seventh Station backs up to what was the western-most wall of the city of Jerusalem during Jesus’ day. This is also the location of a place traditionally called The Judgement Gate, through which it is believed that Jesus carried the cross as He walked out of the city of Jerusalem.
The western gate of the first-century walled city of Jerusalem.
Where is that gate today? At this location Jerusalem is about ten feet higher in elevation than it was in the first century. If there ever was a gate here, it must be buried under centuries of construction.
In 2017 the wall that used to separate the two rooms of the Seventh Station was torn down, and what lay behind it was a remarkable surprise. Here the public got its first look at the first-century western wall of the city of Jerusalem. And, as you can see, in this wall there is an arched gate. The question is, is this the gate through which Jesus carried the cross?
There are three reasons why this is plausible.
1. In ancient times, it was believed that Jesus exited the city right here. And there are several very old maps that support this belief.
2. You will notice that the Via Dolorosa leads directly up to the threshold of this gate.
3. From this spot, the 8th and 9th stations of the cross are in a virtual direct line that leads to Calvary.
If all of this is correct, then right here, at the Seventh Station of the Cross we are standing just a few meters above the path on which Jesus carried the cross – a place where it is believed that He fell a second time. Once He was outside the city Jesus saw the hill upon which He would give up His life to save all mankind.