Close protection for crowd control was provided for the man re-enacting his walk to his crucifixion.
Another man from the Christian ministry from Anaheim, California, "Christ in You" stood next to him taunting him carrying a whip, dressed as a Roman soldier -but the Israeli security was for real.
Thousands packed the narrow cobblestone streets in the Old City to make the pilgrimage on the -Via Dolorosa the Way of Sorrow.Catholic and Orthodox Good Friday converged this year making the scene busier than ever.
Outside the stone walls of the Old City, Orthodox Jews filled Sacher Park for barbeques.
The whole country commemorating Passover has been on holiday this week and will be through Monday evening.
At one point some of the Israeli soldiers chuckled as the crowd bumped up against an Arab bread seller, carrying fresh sesame loaves on a plank above his head and above them- but the smell wafted down filling everyone's nostrils. Kosher rules of Passover are strictly enforced and its only Matzo for most- with bread cleared off shelves and cleaned out of homes- but it's typical in the Old City for religions, customs and traditions to smack right into each other.
It's not often so congenial.
I started my day waking up to the bells from the Church of the Visitation in Ein Kerem, next door to where I live. It's the birthplace of St. John the Baptist and a pilgrimage site because Mary visited his mother when pregnant with Jesus. Tour buses this week let out down the street and hordes of Spanish, Indian, Nigerian and Russian pilgrims flocked past my apartment for the last several spring mornings, visiting one of the top holy sites here.
I'm pretty sure my grandfather George, walked past too, a decade ago - before he died.
He came with a tourist group. My Grandmother Mia stayed behind in New Jersey- not keen on the travel. But she's delighted that his typewriter, an Underwood, sits on a table in my artist like studio with a charming vaulted ceilings and Jerusalem stone details.
It sits next to the window that he most likely walked under, on a Jerusalem pilgrimage he keenly felt as a necessary part of his faith, like so many did today.