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What are you thinking?

Cross 2What are you thinking as Jesus walks to the Cross?

As an amplification of the Passion Narrative, and for those who may wish for Stations of the Cross meditations for Holy Week observance:  The following uses stations derived from the gospels that were chosen by John Paul 2 in 1991 as an alternate to the traditional 14 stations.  

 We will use this liturgy in my parish this year for our annual ecumenical “Walk of the Cross”.  On Good Friday people from the four churches in town will carry a cross through the town stopping every several blocks to read and reflect on the implications of Jesus journey to the cross.   

For this years reflection at each station, I chose verses of related scripture plus verses of the words of Jesus.  I discovered that the threads of this narrative are formed in the Old Testament and pass through the loom of Jesus’ Passion to weave the tapestry of New Testament theology in the Epistles. 

Walk of the Cross

 1)      First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

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.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:36-41)  

The Scriptures say:  (Hebrews 2:10NIV ) In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.  
Jesus Said :  “I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him Who sent Me.” (John 6, 38)

PRAYER:  Lord, give us endurance to watch and pray and wait with our friends who are in distress,  Lord, give us courage so that even in the midst of our sorrow we can, like Jesus choose the will of God.   
All:   Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.  

2)      Second Station: Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested

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 him and arrested him.  Mark 14: 43-46

The Scriptures say:  By a perversion of justice he was taken away. (Isaiah 53:8)  Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9)

Jesus said : (Mark 14:18-19) “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”  They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?”

PRAYER:  Lord, give us wisdom, loyalty and courage, so we may never betray you or one another,    
All:  Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

3)      Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.” Luke 22: 66-71  

The Scriptures say  We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4, 15) 
Jesus Said:  (Mark 10:33 -34)   “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death;

PRAYER:  Lord, How often do we fail to recognize you in our lives or in the lives of others ?  Lord, give us discernment to always recognize you.
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

4)      Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by St. Peter

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 the Nazorean.” 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

The Scriptures say: (Isaiah 53:3) He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.   Jesus Said:   (Matthew 10:32-33)  “Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven;  but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

PRAYER:  Lord, grant us gifts of honesty and courage that we may not fear to speak the truth and confess that we belong to you even when it seems dangerous. 
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

5)      Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pontius Pilate

The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed…. Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas and handed Jesus over to be crucified. (Mark 15: 1-5, 15)

The Scriptures say: (Isaiah 53:7)  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Jesus said : (John 10:25-27)  “I have told you, and you do not believe.  The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me;  but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.”

PRAYER:  Lord, like Pilate we often to wish to satisfy the crowd, but give us grace to hear your voice and be your sheep.

All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

6)      Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged & Crowned with Thorns

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)

The Scriptures say:  (Isaiah 53:5)  But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.  
Jesus Said:  “They will hand [the Son of Man] over to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him. (Mark 10:33 -34)

PRAYER:  Lord give us wisdom and kindness so we may never mock what we don’t understand.
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

7)      Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross

When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” … They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”  Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.  So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (John 19:6, 15-17)

The Scriptures say:  It was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings that He endured. He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins. (Isaiah 53, 4.6)
Jesus Said :   “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9, 23)

PRAYER:  Lord, Even when justice fails, help us not forget that you are our true King
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

8)      Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. Mark 15: 21 

The Scriptures say:  Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6: 2)
Jesus Said :   “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy, and My burden light.” (Matthew 11, 28-29)

PRAYER:  Lord give us compassion to bear one another’s burdens
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

9)      Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

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, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time, people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23: 27-31

The Scriptures say:   (Isaiah 10:1-3NLT) What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land? To whom will you turn for help?  Where will your treasures be safe?  
Jesus said :  (Luke 12:49-51)  “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  [… ] Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!  

PRAYER:  Lord, Even as we lament the suffering of others, prepare us all for your approaching judgment.  
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

10)  Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified (Luke 23: 33-34)

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left.  Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

The Scriptures say:  He poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors;  yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)
Jesus Said:
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.” (John 12, 32)
The Scriptures say:  Did not the Christ have to suffer those things before entering into His glory? (Luke 24, 26)  God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1st John 4.9-10) 

PRAYER:  Lord, May we have among ourselves the same attitude that is in Christ Jesus.  He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave. He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2.5-7)
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

11)  Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises Paradise to the Repentant  Criminal  

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

The Scriptures say: (Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
Jesus Said:  (Luke 19:10)  For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”  (John 6:37)  Anyone who comes to me I will never drive away;

PRAYER:  Lord,  We thank you that Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God  (1 Peter 3:18)
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

12)   Twelfth Station: Jesus” Speaks to His Mother and the Beloved Disciple

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

The Scriptures say:  (1 Timothy 5:8)  And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (Galatians 6:10  10) So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.  
Jesus Said:  (Matthew 12:48-50)  “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”   

PRAYER:  Lord, Thank you, for putting us in families of origin, families of nurture and families of faith. 
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

13)  Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

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)

The Scriptures say:  (Hebrews 2:9-10) But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 
Jesus Said: (
Mark 10:45)  “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

PRAYER:  Lord, may our spirits also be commended to your care now and at the hour of our death.
All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.

14)  Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. Matthew 27: 57-60

The Scriptures say:  (Isaiah 53:9)  They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Jesus said :  “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.” (John 12, 24-25)

PRAYER:  All: Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your steps.  



The Scriptures say: (Hebrews 9:26-28)  [Christ] has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.   And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment,  so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.  (Acts 3:18-19)  In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.   Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped away ….   


About Dell Bornowsky

I have been a farm boy, woodworker, and building maintenance consultant. Prior to Anglican, my formation was in Roman Catholic, Jesus People, Baptist and Pentecostal tribes. I am interested in cultures, philosophy, mysticism, and wilderness travel. I am a husband and father. I believe creation is good, that God acts in material history, and that ancient wisdom may be more relevant than we realize. Presently Rector of St Philip in Regina.
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