The Stations of the Cross also called the Ways of the Cross, consist of fourteen pictures or engravings depicting Christ in the time of Passion, from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his burial. The devout practice of visiting and praying before the 14 sites and meditating on the Passion of Christ stems from the practice of early Christian pilgrims. Christ’s death showed us the gravity of our sins, but more importantly, it revealed the depth of God’s love for us. Today, let us walk this way of suffering again and feel the sufferings of Jesus for the redemption of the world.
The chief priests held consultations with the elders, scribes, and the full Sanhedrin. They tied Jesus up, took him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Jesus stood alone before Pilate. No one speaks for him, no one helps protect him. Faced with many accusations, Jesus did not answer. Lord Jesus, you were a prisoner unjustly condemned. Help us remember the prisoners of our world who need ministry and those unjustly persecuted who need our voices to speak for them.
John 19:15-17 15 They cried, “Away with him! Go away from him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests replied, “We have no kings, only emperors.” Jesus, when you accepted your cross, you knew you would bear it and die on Calvary. You know it’s not easy, but you accept it and carry it anyway.
Jesus, the cross you bear is very heavy. You get weak, you almost faint, and you collapse. No one seems to want to help you. Soldiers are desperate to go home, so they yell at you to try and get you back up and moving.
Jesus suffered the most and the Virgin Mary the saddest. Jesus, you feel so alone in the face of all those people who are yelling at you. You don’t like what they say to you, and you look for friendly faces in the crowd. You saw your mother. She can’t let the hurt stop, but seeing her on your side, that she suffers with you helps.
Jesus, the soldiers are getting impatient. This is taking longer than they would like. They worry that you won’t be able to reach the hill where you will be crucified. When you were getting weaker and weaker, they grabbed a Simon from Cyrene who came from the country, put the cross on him, and asked him to help you carry your cross.
Jesus, suddenly a woman named Veronica came out of the crowd. You can see how much she cares about you when she grabs a cloth and starts wiping the blood and sweat off your face. She can’t do much, but she will help as much as she can.
This is the second time Jesus stumbled on the road. As the cross gets heavier, it becomes harder and harder to stand up. But you keep struggling and trying until you’re back on your feet and walking. You don’t give up. Isaiah 53:4-6 4 Surely he bore our infirmities and carried our sicknesses; but we considered him punished, smitten and afflicted by God. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; his punishment made us whole, and his wound made us whole.
Jesus, when you carry your cross, you will see a group of women on the road. You will see them sad as you pass by. You stop and spend some time with them and give them some encouragement. Despite the pain of being abandoned by your friends, you stop and try to help them.
The chief priests and scribes teased him in the same way, saying: “He saved others; he could not save himself. Jesus, your journey is long. You stumble again, and you fall under your cross. When the heavy cross takes you a third time When you fell to your knees, you endured all the pain and suffering. You knew your journey was coming to an end. You struggled and struggled. You got up and kept going.
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four. They also took his tunic; now the tunic is seamless, woven from the top into one piece. So they said to each other, “Let us not tear it apart, but cast lots to see who gets it. Your wound has been opened again.
You are exhausted on the cross you bear. When they came to a place called Calvary, they crucified Jesus. Soldiers drive big nails into your hands and feet. You feel abandoned by someone you love deeply. You’ve done nothing but good, and they’ve put nails in your hands and feet.
When Jesus was hung on the cross, he forgave the soldiers who crucified him and prayed for his mother and friends. Jesus wanted us all to live with God forever, so he gave us all that he had.
Jesus, how cruelly you were put to death. How tenderly you were taken from the cross. Your pain and suffering are over and you are placed on your mother’s lap. Dirt and blood were wiped away.
Jesus, your body is ready for burial. Joseph gave you his own grave. He put your body there, rolled a big stone in front of it, and went home. What a sad day for so many people.
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