Friday, April 10, 2020
Pause, Ponder, Pray The Way of the Cross for this time of isolation & suffering Compiled by Mary Beth Franklyn, Lent 2020 Edited by Karen Jones
The Stations of the Cross depict the path that Christ walked on the day of his crucifixion. This walk, a journey through passion and prayer, functions as our devotion during Holy Week. The Stations of the Cross experience has great significance for the Lenten and Holy Week season of 2020. Our world faces a pandemic affecting our health and all aspects of daily living. This virtual prayer walk provides an opportunity to pause, ponder, and pray while you reflect on Christ’s journey and your own journey during this time of isolation and suffering. Find a quiet place. Take some time and read this devotion slowly and prayerfully. Truly contemplate the great price that was paid for your forgiveness and wholeness. What wondrous love was this? May God be with you even as we are isolated from one another. Please know we are not isolated in spirit!
Station 1: Jesus Prays Alone | Luke 22:39-44
Jesus left and made his way to the Mount of Olives, as was his custom, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t give in to temptation.” He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed. He said, “Father, if it’s your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, not my will but your will must be done.” Then a heavenly angel appeared to him and strengthened him. He was in anguish and prayed even more earnestly. His sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. In this time of isolation, will you pray? In this time of isolation, where will you pray? What will you pray?
Station 2: Jesus is Arrested | Matthew 26:47-56
While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came. With him was a large crowd carrying swords and clubs. They had been sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. His betrayer had given them a sign: “Arrest the man I kiss.” Just then he came to Jesus and said, “Hello, Rabbi.” Then he kissed him. But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. One of those with Jesus reached for his sword. Striking the high priest’s slave, he cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I’m not able to ask my Father and he will send to me more than twelve battle groups of angels right away? But if I did that, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?” Then Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, like a thief? Day after day, I sat in the temple teaching, but you didn’t arrest me. But all this has happened so that what the prophets said in the scriptures might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Jesus and ran away. In this time of isolation, will you pray for those seeking safety?
Station 3: Sanhedrin tries Jesus | Mark 14:61-64
But Jesus was silent and didn’t answer. Again, the high priest asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed one?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Human One sitting on the right side of the Almighty and coming on the heavenly clouds.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we need any more witnesses? You’ve heard his insult against God. What do you think?” They all condemned him. “He deserves to die!” In this time of isolation, do you wonder, “Where is the Christ?” Do you ask of him, “Are you the Christ?”
Station 4: Pilate tries Jesus | John 18:33-37
Pilate went back into the palace. He summoned Jesus and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others spoken to you about me?” Pilate responded, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your nation and its chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus replied, “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.” “So you are a king?” Pilate said. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.” In this time of isolation, where is your kingdom? In this time of isolation, will you pray, “Bring in your kingdom so that your will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven”?
Station 5: Pilate Sentences Jesus | Mark 15:6-15
During the festival, Pilate released one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. A man named Barabbas was locked up with the rebels who had committed murder during an uprising. The crowd pushed forward and asked Pilate to release someone, as he regularly did. Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” He knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of jealousy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas to them instead. Pilate replied, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done?” They shouted even louder, “Crucify him!” Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd, so he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified. In this time of isolation, do you pray for the crowds who cry, “Crucify him?” In this time of isolation, do you ask, “What crime have we done?”
Station 6: Jesus wears the Crown | John 19:5 When Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here’s the man.” In this time of isolation and suffering, what painful crown do you wear?
Station 7: Jesus carries his Cross | John 10:17-18 “This is why the Father loves me: I give up my life so that I can take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.” John 19: 17 Carrying his cross by himself, he went out to a place called Skull Place (in Aramaic, Golgotha). In this time of isolation, what cross do you carry? How heavy is it? Can you let another help you carry it?
Station 8: Simon carries the Cross | Luke 23:26 As they led Jesus away, they grabbed Simon, a man from Cyrene, who was coming in from the countryside. They put the cross on his back and made him carry it behind Jesus. In this time of isolation and suffering, what cross will you be compelled to carry for each other? In this time of isolation and suffering, what cross will you choose to carry for each other?
Station 9: Jesus Speaks to the Women | Luke 23:27-31 A huge crowd of people followed Jesus, including women, who were mourning and wailing for him. Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Rather, cry for yourselves and your children.” The time will come when they will say, “Happy are those who are unable to become pregnant, the wombs that never gave birth, and the breasts that never nursed a child.” Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us,” and to the hills, “Cover us.” If they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? In this time of isolation and distress, will you pray for the mothers of the world?
Station 10: Jesus is Crucified Luke 23:33-34 | When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. In this time of suffering, can you pray for the forgiveness of yourself and others?
Station 11: Criminals speak to Jesus | Luke 23: 39-43 One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.” In this time of isolation and distress, will you have mercy for others? In this time of isolation and distress, will you accept the mercy of Christ?
Station 12: Jesus speaks to Mary and John | John 19: 25b-27 Jesus’s mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home. In this time of isolation and suffering, will you care for those who cannot care for themselves? Will you accept the care others offer to you?
Station 13: Jesus dies on the cross | John 19: 28-34 After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed.” Bowing his head, he gave up his life. Luke 23:44 It was now about noon, and darkness covered the whole earth until about three o’clock, while the sun stopped shining. Then the curtain in the sanctuary tore down the middle. Crying out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my life.” After he said this, he breathed for the last time. It was the Preparation Day and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath, especially since that Sabbath was an important day. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of those crucified broken and the bodies taken down. Therefore, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who were crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead so they didn’t break his legs. However, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. In this time of isolation, how will you find your faith in the darkness? In this time of isolation, how will you find your Light in the darkness?
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the Tomb | John 19:38-42 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it with the spices in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.