The Stations of the Cross
The First Station: Jesus is condemned to death.
The people kept shouting as loud as they could for Jesus to be put to death. Finally, Pilate gave in. Pilate handed Jesus over for them to do what they wanted with him. (Luke 23: 23-25)
God s servant said to himself: "I let them beat my back and pull my beard. I didn't turn aside when they insulted me and spit in my face. I refuse to give up, because I know God will never let me down." (Isaiah 50:6-7)
God our Father, give us the courage Jesus had when he faced death and refused to give up.
The Second Station: Jesus accepts his cross.
Jesus was taken away and he carried his cross to a place known as the Skull. (John 18:16-17)
God s servant said to himself: "I am completely worn out; my time has been wasted. But I did it for the Lord God, and he will reward me." (Isaiah 49:4)
Father in heaven, give us the energy and will to do your will like Jesus even when we are completely worn out.
The Third Station: Jesus falls the first time.
Jesus fell under the weight of the cross. God said: "Look! I am placing in Zion a stone to make people stumble and fall. But those who have faith in Jesus will never be disappointed." (Romans 9:33)
Now the Lord said to his servant: "It isn t enough for you to merely be my servant. I have placed you as a light. You must take my saving power to everyone on earth." (Isaiah 49:6)
God, even under the cross, Jesus was our light. Help us to be light for others, even in times of trial.
The Fourth Station: Jesus meets his Mother.
In the middle of the soldiers and the mob, Jesus meets Mary, his mother. They share a brief moment of love. Then, the soldiers push Jesus along the way. And Mary follows Jesus to his crucifixion.
Has anyone believed us or seen the mighty power of the Lord in action? Like a young plant or root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the Lord. (Isaiah 53:1-2a)
Father, help us to obey you and be loyal to your friends.
The Fifth Station: Simon helps Jesus carry his cross.
As Jesus was being led away, some soldiers grabbed hold of a man from Cyrene named Simeon. He was coming in from the fields, but they put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)
The servant was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, "He is a nobody." (Isaiah 53:3)
God our Father, help others through us, like you helped your Son through Simeon.
The Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
A young lady named Veronica wiped the face of Jesus on a towel. The image of Jesus face was left on the towel, just as Jesus was the image of God the Father on earth. The author of Hebrews wrote: God's Son has the brightness of God s own glory and is like him in every way. (Hebrews 1:3)
Many were horrified at what happened to him. But everyone who saw him was even more horrified because he suffered until he no longer looked human. (Isaiah 52:14)
Father of glory, help us to see beyond people s looks and see the goodness of their hearts.
The Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time.
Jesus fell a second time under the wood of the cross. But he would pick it up again. Jesus told his followers: "Unless you are willing to take up your cross and follow me, you are not fit to be my disciples." (Matthew 10:38)
He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was from God. He was wounded and crushed because of our sins. (Isaiah 53:4-5a)
Father, send us your Spirit, so we can persevere like Jesus.
The Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
A large crowd was following Jesus, and in the crowd a lot of women were crying and weeping for him. Jesus realized that Jerusalem itself would be destroyed by the Romans. So he turned to the women and said:
Women of Jerusalem, don t cry for me! Cry for yourselves and for your children. Someday people will say, "Women who never had children are really fortunate." (Luke 23:27-29)
Abba, Father, help us to see your truth in others hearts and in their lives.
The Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time.
Jesus falls under the great weight of the cross for the last time. But the weight of the cross did not stop his mission. St. Paul wrote: "Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross." (Philippians 2:8)
By taking our punishment, he made us completely well. We had each gone our own way, but the Lord gave him the punishment we deserved. (Isaiah 53:5b-6)
Father, thank you for the gift of Jesus, our savior. Help us to be like him in all things.
The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes.
The soldiers stripped the clothes from Jesus. Then they divided his clothes into four parts, one for each of them. But his outer garment was made from a single piece of cloth, and it did not have any seams. Instead of tearing it, the soldiers gambled for the garment. This happened so that the Scripture would come true: "They divided up my clothes and gambled for my garments." (John 19:23-24)
He was painfully abused but he did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off. (Isaiah 53:7)
God our Father, help us to be patient like Jesus when others hurt us.
The Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross.
When the soldiers came to the place called the "Skull," the they nailed Jesus to a cross. Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people! They don t know what they re doing." But the leaders insulted him and the soldiers made fun of him. (Luke 23:33a, 34-35)
My protector is nearby; no one can stand here and accuse me of wrong. The Lord God will help me and prove I am innocent. (Isaiah 50:8-9)
God in heaven, help us to see good in others, even when they make fun of us.
The Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross.
Around noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until the middle of the afternoon. The sun stopped shining. Jesus shouted: "Father, I put myself into your hands!" Then he died. When a Roman soldier saw what had happened, he praised God and said: "Jesus must have been a good man!" (Luke 23:44-47)
He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to him? His life was taken away because of the sinful things people have done. (Isaiah 53:4)
God, give us hope even when things are at their darkest.
The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross.
There was a man named Joseph from Arimathea. Joseph was a good and honest man. He was eager for God s kingdom to come. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus body. He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in fine cloth. (Luke 23:50-53a)
God s servant wasn't dishonest or violent, but he was buried in the tomb of rich people. (Isaiah 53:9)
Father in heaven, give us the strength to help others, even when no one else wants to help us.
The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is buried.
Joseph of Arimathea put Jesus body in a tomb that had been cut out of solid rock and had never been used. It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and watched how Jesus body was placed in the tomb. Then they went to prepare some sweet-smelling spices for his burial. But on the Sabbath they rested, as the Law of Moses commands. (Luke 23:53b-56)
By suffering, God s servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the Lord. Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty. The Lord will reward him with honor and power for sacrificing his life. Others thought he was a sinner, but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us. (Isaiah 53:11-12)
Father of Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Son. May your love give us strength and your power give us inspiration to serve others. Amen.