Experience the Stations of the Cross

Good Friday is a time for remembering the experience of Jesus’s last hours.  As you “walk” Jesus’s Via Dolorosa, we invite you to open yourself to what he may have been feeling at each step.

In Isaiah 52:5, we can read: “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.” (See the whole section of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 for context.)

The Via Dolorosa (Latin for Way of Grief or Way of Suffering) is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, held to be the path that Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is today marked by nine Stations of the Cross with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The route has become a place of Christian pilgrimage.

You may make your “pilgrimage in spirit” to the places where Jesus suffered on the way to his crucifixion by “stopping” at each station below, listening to Trish describe each picture, and reflecting on its meaning in your life today.

At each station, you can click the arrowhead on the audio bar to hear the description and reflection.

The Opening Prayer centers us to focus on this experience:


Station 1First station:  Jesus is condemned to die.

“Pilate wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.” Mark 15:15

Reflection: When do I judge others? Ask God to help you change this behavior in you.


Station 2Second station:  Jesus takes up his cross.

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself/herself and take up his/her cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Reflection: When have you denied yourself in order to help someone else?



Station 3Third station:  Jesus falls the first time.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”  John 12:24

Reflection:    How can I support those who have fallen under life’s pressures?  Who do you know that needs your support, compassion, comfort and kindness?  Pray for that person now and let them know you care about them.


Station 4Fourth station:  Jesus meets his mother.

“Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce)’.” Luke 2:34-35

Reflection:  Can you imagine how Mary, Jesus’ mother, felt to see her child being lead away to be executed.   What times in your own life have you felt your heart pieced and broken?  Who was there for you and loved you?  Now think of someone who may need you to be there for them and love them.


Station 5Fifth station:  Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus.

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

Reflection:  When have you served others reluctantly rather than graciously?  What can you do to make a difference for someone who is carrying a heavy burden right now?


Station 6Sixth station:  Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

“There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him.”  Isaiah 53:2

Reflection:  When has a stranger’s small act of compassion touched your life? Pass on an act of compassion or kindness to a stranger this week.


Station 7Seventh station:  Jesus falls the second time.

“I am very near to falling; my pain is with me always.”  Psalm 38:18

Reflection:  We all need support in times of repeated failure, troubles, or difficult times?  Who is your support group?  Recall their support and offer God a prayer of great gratitude for each of them in your life.


Station 8Eighth station:  Jesus speaks to 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’.”  Luke 23:27-28

Reflection:  Take this moment and reflect on all that is happening in our world today; what causes you the most sadness?  What do you weep over about the world today?  Ask God’s Spirit to move into those places of suffering and pain in the world.


Station 9Ninth station:  Jesus falls the third time.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves.”  Matthew 11:28-29

Reflection:  God invites you to come and find rest for yourself.  What do you do to take time to be with God each day.  What will you start doing to make the time to find rest for yourself?


Station 10Tenth station:  Jesus is stripped of his garments.

“They divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take.” Mark 15:24

Reflection: When have you felt “stripped” of your dignity and had someone disrespect you? In what ways do you “strip” others of their dignity, been disrespectful, insensitive or prejudice? Ask God to forgive your trespasses toward others and to help you forgive those who trespass against you.



Station 11Eleventh station:  Jesus is nailed to the cross.

“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.”  Luke 23:33

Reflection:  When you look at the cross, what do you see?



Station 12Twelfth station:  Jesus dies on the cross.

“At noon darkness came over the whole land until three o’clock in the afternoon.  And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”  which is translated, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”… then Jesus cried “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” and breathed his last.”  Mark 15:33-34, 37

Reflection:  Sometimes all we can do is trust God.  What parts of your life do you most need to trust God?


Station 13Thirteenth station:  Jesus is taken down from the cross.

“Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews…and Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night…took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom.”  John 19:38-40

Reflection:  Like Joseph of Arimathea, what can you step forward and secretly do in the name of Jesus for another person?  “Remember when you do it to the least of these,” Jesus said, “you have done it for me.”


Station 14Fourteenth station:  Jesus is laid in the tomb.

“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 27:59-60

Reflection:  What needs to buried in your life?  What do you need to let go of and release to the transformative and resurrecting power of God?



Final PrayerFinal Prayer, Benediction, and Blessing

“Gracious and most merciful Christ, I adore you and bless you, knowing that because of your suffering and death on the cross you have redeemed, not only me, but also the whole world.  Amen.”


And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord’s face shine upon you;
And be most gracious to you.
May the Lord’s countenance be upon you
And give you peace today and forever more.  Amen


“Were You There” played by Kaleb Brasee, permission granted to include in this presentation.  You can listen to his beautiful rendition in his video, here. 

All other text on this page The United Methodist Church of Morgan Hill

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