Welcome - A Statement from the Artist
The Stations of the Cross began as a remembrance that pilgrims had when they were retracing Jesus’ finals steps in Jerusalem up to the hill where He was crucified. Wanting to share that practice and experience with people who couldn’t make the trip to Jerusalem, they created local stations of meditation that became in itself a tradition. You can find this tradition on the inside of many churches still today.
This journey to the cross is not only a meditation of Jesus accomplishing what He came to do – the redemption of humanity through His own willful sacrifice – but it’s also a contemplation of Jesus silently participating in some of the worst aspects of being human. We see Him being tempted to give up. Being betrayed by a friend. Being convicted in an unjust political system. Physical pain. Mockery. Public humiliation. Broken family relationships. And one of our greatest fears… having to die. These are all aspects of human life that He was not insulated from. In fact on the cross He quotes King David saying “My God My God, Why have you forsaken me?”… as if to say ”Why is it like this?” He was one who was not separate from our own suffering.
Many of us feel the weight of anxiety and fear as we journey through the current world. We are told many narratives of how it is and what is to come. During this season of Lent, we as a community look to the life and teachings of Jesus. We think that One who was in the midst of such political and empirical turmoil, who spoke the words of “Be not afraid”… and “Come to me all you are weary and carrying a heavy load, for I will give you rest”… is someone who can illuminate our desperate viewpoint.
These stations are a cross-section of elements, ideas, and objects from Jesus’ journey to the cross. As you work through these stations, may you see that we are not troubled guests in this world… that we are not forsaken… and that the good news of this season was expressed best by Jesus when He said… “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” #stationsinthestreet scottericksonart.com
Station 1 - Jesus is Tempted
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” …He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Observation: When Jesus is met with temptation his reaction is to pray, seeking the Father to impart His will and for the courage it takes to walk the path laid before him..
Invitation: Is there a time you found yourself in a situation that was unavoidable and undesirable? What was your reaction? What is the grace you need to react as Jesus did and pray “ Not as I will, but as you will.”
Father, With your grace, bring me your strength and wisdom by seeking you first in all things before me. Help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 2 - Jesus Is Betrayed
“The son of man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him and after three days he will rise.” Mark 9:31
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. Matthew 26:47-50
At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Matthew 26:55-56
Observation: When Jesus is betrayed by his close friend, his reaction is to remain calm. He encourages Judas to “…do what you came for” fully knowing the outcome and holding the deep sting of betrayal with an overflow of peace.
Invitation: Can you remember ever feeling deceived by someone close to you? How does your body and spirit react to the sharp cut of betrayal? Invite Jesus, who knows the sting of betrayal, to sit with you in these places of deep hurt. Ask for the grace you need to remain calm and civil even when intense emotions stir .
Lord in your mercy, fill me with the grace to have courage of my convictions, that my life may faithfully overflow with the truth, peace and love you bring. Help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 3 - Jesus Is Condemned
“But this is your hour – when darkness reigns.” Luke 22:53
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.“If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.”
Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” Luke 22:52-54, 66-71
Observation: When Jesus stands before the Elders and officers who condemned him without just argument, his response was to remain confident and resolute. He holds a mirror up to their questions, and without vanity embraces his identity with his heavenly Father.
Invitation: Have you ever been wrongfully accused, perhaps known or witnessed someone who has been victimized or unjustly charged in wrongdoing, or even faced penalty for doing the right thing? Consider a way you might advocate for those who have been wrongfully condemned even if there may be risk to you.
Jesus , Fill me with the grace to remain steadfast in your righteousness that I may always have the courage to advocate for the justice and shalom of the kingdom that you promised. Help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 4 - Jesus Is Mocked
“But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” John 18:23
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Matthew 27: 27-37
Observation: When Jesus is scourged and mocked, his response is to abide in the Father as he is painfully broken in body and spirit. Even while he was beaten and thrashed, Jesus never lifted a fist against his attackers. He bore all of the pain and punishment without attempting to inflict any back upon them.
Invitation: Can you ever remember being mocked or bullied, or are you close to someone who has? How did you feel in those moments? What was your response or what did you wish was your response? Consider how you might return good to those who have intended evil towards you.
Lord, Give me the grace to remain patient in your presence through times of suffering. Remind me of your compassion so I would return anger with kindness and violence with mercy that I may offer my life as a sacrifice of praise to You. Jesus, help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 5 - Jesus is Given His Cross
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. Then they led him away to crucify him. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull, which is called Golgotha.
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” John 19: 14-17, 19-22
Observation: Knowing what is to come along with all he has been through, when given his cross, Jesus’ quietly endures. Tested and tortured in mind, body and spirit Jesus is sure of his true identity in his heavenly Father who offered him strength to endure even while his body is pushed beyond its limits.
Invitation: Have you ever “hit the wall”?… It happens even and often on the path that God set before us. What does it do to you to hear “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”? Breathe deeply and receive Jesus’ love that is so deep he would give his life for you.
Heavenly Father, give me the grace to endure when I am empty so that I may hear you calling me Your beloved and to accept it is true. Forgive me when I forget and doubt. Jesus, help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 6 - Jesus Falls
“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and just as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:3-7
Observation: Jesus, facing certain death and unimaginable physical and emotional pain presses forward towards the end. He deliberately, calmly, and gracefully took each step in obedience to his calling; his life and body and offering to the Almighty for the sake of others.
Invitation: Try to imagine a time you felt God calling you into something that you were unsure or fearful of, not able to see the possible outcome or benefits, or might bring physical pain or danger? How did you react? What do you say to God?
Lord, help me to lose my life for your sake. Cover me with the grace I need to trust the slow and hidden work you are doing in and through me for the sake of Your kingdom and to gracefully obey your Spirit guiding each step. Jesus, help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 7 - Simon Carries Jesus' Cross
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8:34,35
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.
For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23: 26-31
Observation: When Simon is ordered to pick up the cross, Jesus accepts his help, demonstrating the very thing he has asked to allow Him to do for you. The grace of His awareness to those around Him is a reminder that serving another may sometimes be allowing another to serve you.
Invitation: Has there been a time when you felt called to lift another’s burden but were not allowed? Or perhaps you’ve had someone unexpectedly take a heavy load from you? How do you feel in those moments? What does it really mean to both to serve and be served?
Lord, God, give me the grace I need to walk at Your side as your servant and friend. In doing so, to not only see others the way you see them but to join You in carrying their burdens while You call others to help carry mine. Living and serving as the body of Christ, guide me to walk in your steps for your glory and name. – Amen
Station 8 - Jesus is Stripped
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34a
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”
So this is what the soldiers did. John 19:23, 24
Observation: When Jesus was stripped of his garments, his response was to stand undefended and vulnerable. The shame of being laid bare grows pale when faced with Jesus’ true identity as God’s beloved son. Jesus knows deeply both the healing love of the Father and how important his role is.
Invitation: Have you ever felt called out, in a position of weakness, or perhaps in a situation where your well-being and safety was at the will of others? Have you ever mis-stepped and felt ashamed, or were caught or coerced into a situation out of your control? Where do you find your identity in that space of raw vulnerability?
Jesus, what is the grace I need to unhook my false identity from situations I am in. Show me how to truly be made whole in God’s love as you did. Give me the grace to see you seeing me as I am… raw, vulnerable, undefended and broken. Heal my shame with your abiding Love so I may walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 9 - Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross
“When you have lifted up the Son of Man then you will know that I am the one I claim to be….” John 8:28
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23: 33-43
Observation: Even hung on the cross, Jesus continues to be mocked, tempted and tortured but his response is to forgive and remain present in the pain. Jesus, as a human, was not a stranger to the physical and emotional pain we often endure, yet he chose not to bypass his experiences and instead feel it’s full sting while remaining compassionate and intentional to those near him.
Invitation: What does it look like to forgive someone who has caused you intense pain, or remain compassionate, with loving intention towards someone who has done wrong? What does it take for you to remain in the intensity and emotions of physical and spiritual turmoil long enough to know the kind of love God has for you and for others through you?
Lord, Give me the grace I need to meet others with a merciful heart, that I would bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to those around me. Show me where I may have broken relationships to repair and with your courage and kindness, help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 10 - Jesus Dies
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him” and when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
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!” John 18:28-37
Observation: Jesus endured unimaginable circumstances on His journey to the cross and remained quiet, kind, strong and confident. At this moment he cries out to God with a final surge of emotional release. He knows what has been done, what he is doing, and what is coming. His burden is the weight of all of the sin, brokenness, evil and death in the world and He carries for us unimaginably more than anyone could know or see.
Invitation: Have you ever felt alone, or forgotten by someone who said they would be there for you? Imagine what it felt like to be left carrying a burden, a secret, or responsibility with no help. God has promised to never leave you. He will never forsake you and His love for you will remain unwavering even in moments when you may not be able to see, hear or feel his presence.
Father, show me the grace and courage I need to trust that You are at work in the darkest places where I cannot see, the darkest places I have chosen not to look and the darkest places I have grown accustomed to in my life. Lord, do not leave me alone, but help me to walk in your steps. – Amen
Station 11 - Jesus Is Buried
“When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.” Matthew 26:12
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. Luke 23:50-56
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. Matthew 27:62-66
Observation: Jesus remained faithful even unto death. He poured his life into his disciples and into you and me. His body lay lifeless and beaten but there is still more to come. His responses did not cease with his human life. No, instead he continues to love, and to love in ways that are extravagant, reckless, boundless, endless.
Invitation: Throughout Jesus’ life he beckoned to others “Come with me.” He showed us how to live and how to love without reserve, to give, serve and lead others. What does it look like for you to pour life into someone the way Jesus poured life into you? To whom might He be calling you?
Lord Jesus, Give me the grace I need to see others just as you see me, that I would freely give from the abundance of your love to those who you bring before me so they would know the wholeness of life and the hope and freedom that is in You. Help me to walk in your steps – Amen
Station 12 - Jesus Rises
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! Revelation 1:17b-18a
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” John 20:1-18a