The Third Station of the Cross
Did Jesus Fall a First Time Under the Cross on This Spot?
This is another stop for our Octagon Tour groups.
Location – The Via Dolorosa
Map Coordinates - 31.7799333, 35.232067
The Third Station of the Cross is a chapel that commemorates the first time that Jesus fell under the weight of the cross.
Even though the Bible doesn’t say anywhere that Jesus fell as He was carrying His cross down the Via Dolorosa, it’s very likely that He did, probably more than once, and that the report of His falling was triggered by eyewitnesses.
If Jesus had not fallen, then why would Simon the Cyrene be enlisted to help Jesus carry His cross (The Merged GospelsTM, story 278)? Remember that Jesus had just been beaten by the Roman soldiers. And so, it is likely that the crowds witnessed Jesus falling under the weight of His cross on this very spot.
The Third Station of the Cross is a small chapel that was originally built in the 15th century. What you see here is the result of its second renovation, which was constructed by Polish soldiers after World War II. In the front of the apse of this chapel there is a statue of Christ falling under the weight of the cross, with a myriad of angels praying above Him.
The dome on the inside the Third Station of the Cross has the Latin inscription “Don’t Cry. He will rise.” Lillies are sprouting from this crown, demonstrating that new life comes from this crown of persecution.
One of the things that people love most about this chapel is the painting above the door through which visitors enter. It shows the spirit of Christ carrying His cross, while leaving bloody footprints on the beach. He is being followed by a multitude of nameless evangelists, who, throughout the centuries, bore their own cross, destined to take the message of Christ to lands across the horizon, and forsaking everything for nothing more than the privilege of bringing the Gospels to the world.
You may click this picture to get a larger view.