Friday, March 23, 2012

Biblical Stations of the Cross

First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane 
The Agony in the Garden by Filippo Lauri
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:36-39
Prayer: Lord, grant us your strength and wisdom that we may seek to follow your will in all things.

Lead Me to Calvary
May I be willing, Lord, to bear; Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share, Thou hast borne all for me.
Lest I forget Gethsemane; Lest I forget Thine agony,
Lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.


The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio, ca. 1602
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, Is Arrested

Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely." He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on [Jesus] and arrested him.  Mark 14: 43-46

 
Christ Before Caiaphas, Niccolo Frangipane
Third Station: Jesus Is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. …Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”  But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”  “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death.  Mark 14:53-64
 
 
Fourth Station: Jesus Is Denied by Peter
Denial of St. Peter by van Honthorst 
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about!" As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man!" A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away." At that he began to curse and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: "Before the cock crows you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly. Matthew 26: 69-75
Prayer: Lord, we confess our sin when we have denied you in word and deed. Forgive us and draw us nearer to you.

Draw Me Nearer
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith, And be closer drawn to Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To Thy precious, bleeding side.
 
 
Gerrit van HontFifth Station: Jesus Is Condemned to Death by Pilate
Christ before Pilate by Mihály Munkácsy
All the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. … .So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.  Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. … Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?”  But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor….  When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered:

All: “His blood is on us and on our children!”          Matt. 27: 1-2, 11-14, 24-25

Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Flagellation of Christ by Rubens
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him repeatedly.  John 19: 1-3

Lead Me to Calvary
King of my life, I crown Thee now; Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow, Lead me to Calvary.
Lest I forget Gethsemane; Lest I forget Thine agony,
Lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.



Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross
Christ Carrying the Cross by Lorenzo Lotto
[Pilate] delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led him away. And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. John 19:16-17

Prayer: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.



Eighth Station: Jesus Is Helped by Simon the Cyrene
Simon from Cyrene and Christ by Titian

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. Mark 15:21

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ,
 All:  Not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.     



Draw Me Nearer
Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord, By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, And my will be lost in Thine.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

1922, Salamanca
A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children."  Luke 23: 27-29

Prayer: Lord, grant us gentle spirits that we may comfort those who mourn, and weep with those who weep.


Tenth Station: Jesus Is Crucified

Raising the Cross by Charles Le Brun
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).  Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.  It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days come down from the cross and save yourself!”  In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!  Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.  Mark 15:23-32

Prayer: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Were You There?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree? Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Thief

Christ and the Good Thief by Titian
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23: 39-43

Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple


Crucifixion by James Tisssot

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19: 25-27

Prayer: Lord, grant us constancy that we may be willing to stand by those in need.





Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Crucifixion by Nicholas Tournier

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last. Luke 23: 44-46

Prayer: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Holy Communion by Intinction

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died;
My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown.
His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the world, And all the world is dead to me.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.


Fourteenth Station: Jesus’ body is prepared for the Tomb

Descent of the Cross by Rubens
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” … One of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. .. Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. … As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 
Matthew 27:54-60; John 19:31

 
Were You There?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side? Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

 
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?  Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
[Go in silence.]

1 comment:

  1. The Tennebrae service (or darkening service) of the Lutheran church (Missouri synod) is a bit of an abbreviation of the 12 stations, taking place on Good Friday. There, candles are extinguished one by one as the scriptures are read relating to Jesus' death. As all candles go out, only the Christ candle is left. From that the pastor lights his candle and each one passes on this light. Then, the Christ candle leaves the room (symbolizing the entry into the tomb). The pastor slams his Bible shut (sealing the door) and all leave in somber silence awaiting Resurrection Day. How powerful is this service!

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