A Prayer Walk Through the Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

Bible Readings

Welcome!

We invite you to walk the last 24 hours of Jesus’s life on earth marked by the events written in the Bible. Traditionally called Stations of the Cross, each station is an opportunity for reflection and repentance to remember Christ’s passion for you as he endured intense suffering for the joy of restoring you to the Father. He took our place on this journey to the cross for our wrongdoings in order that we might receive the fullness of life in Him forever. We added a final station marking His rising from the grave, in which He demonstrated His power over death and the power of eternal life for all those who believe in Him. Our prayer is that this prayer walk draws you close to Jesus and that you experience His love and power in a greater way this Easter season.

If you have 10 minutes, read each event and pause for a few seconds to picture Jesus at each event motivated by His great love for you.

If you have 20 minutes, read each event and the scripture taking a few moments to reflect and pray.

If you have 40 minutes, take time to read each event, the scripture, and reflection for each marker.

Please return the booklet to the box for others to enjoy.

Station 1: Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane
Scripture: Luke 22:39-46

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him. On reaching the place, He said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When He rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, He found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Reflection

Jesus is deeply troubled as His passion begins. He needs to go to His usual spot to meet His Father and pray, and He needs His friends desperately to watch with Him. But they give into an exhaustion born of sorrow. Jesus finds them and asks, “Why are you sleeping?”

Jesus bids us to come with Him and watch as He begins to bear the sins of the world. Are we sleeping? Are we too busy to come alongside of Jesus? He lovingly prods us awake with His questions and encourages us to get up and pray. This Lenten season could you give up one-half hour of sleep to watch with Jesus?

Station 2: Jesus is Betrayed by Judas and Arrested
Scripture: Mark 14:43-46

Just as He was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest Him and lead Him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him. The men seized Jesus and arrested Him.

Reflection

Judas was beloved by Jesus. In fact, he was one of his best friends. They had walked together for 3 and 1/2 years. Jesus had washed his feet earlier that evening, and they had shared an intimate supper together. But then Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss.
If you have ever known betrayal, then you know the gut-wrenching pain and shock of this act. Jesus tastes betrayal first hand. He understands our betrayals in life. He knows our pain. The real question is our own faithfulness to Jesus, and our refusal to betray Him by giving into the many temptations of life. Reaffirm your faithfulness to Jesus.

Station 3: Jesus is Accused and Sentenced by the Sanhedrin (Jewish Council)
Scripture: Matthew 26:59-67

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put Him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to Him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You say that I am,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. Then they spit in His face and struck Him with their fists.

Reflection

Jesus is on trial for His life. He testifies to the truth that He is the son of god. He says, “you SAY THAT I am.” I am is the Name of God. Jesus is innocent, and He is condemned for proclaiming the truth of who we are…because all who are His, stand trial before the world court of opinion. Will we boldly testify to the truth of who Jesus is, and that we are His? As opportunities arise, we must be willing to proclaim Jesus, as the great I am, the Son of God

Station 4: Peter Denies Jesus
Scripture: Luke 22:54-62

And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with Him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know Him,” he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Reflection

Peter loved Jesus. He vowed to die with Him. He followed Jesus after His arrest, one of only two disciples who did. Yet, Peter came up against his own character flaw and weakness. He denied Jesus three times. He was afraid for his own life and sought to save it. He had not yet learned Jesus’ teaching that “whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life will gain it.”
As the rooster crows, Jesus looks deeply into Peter’s eyes with compassion. Peter has failed, but Jesus will restore him. Where have you failed? Let Jesus look deeply into your eyes and restore you.

Station 5: Jesus is Judged by Pilate
Scripture: Luke 23:13-24

Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; as you can see, He has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish Him and then release Him.” But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” For the third time, he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in Him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have Him punished and then release Him.” But with loud shouts, they insistently demanded that He be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.

Reflection

Jesus is now on trial by the ultimate authority of the region who can free Him or condemn Him to death. Pilate gives in to the crowds demands. Jesus is turned to over flogging and crucifixion.
The astounding thing about this is Jesus’s unwavering surrender to His fate. For this is God’s will, and Jesus set a course to fulfill Father God’s will for Him.
What about us? Where is the Father calling us to sacrificial obedience? Will we walk with Jesus and obey? Jesus’ total obedience was for our salvation. Who knows what your obedience will accomplish?

Station 6: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Scripture: Mark 15:16-20

The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on Him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him. And they began to call out to Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Again and again, they struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him.

Reflection

Jesus is mocked as a King and tortured. Jesus is fulfilling what it means to be the Messiah. He is a Servant King, one who came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many . (Mark 10: 45)
If our King takes this road of servanthood and suffering, then what about us? Do we enter a room seeking to be served or to serve others? Will we share in Jesus sufferings in this world as Paul admonishes us. Following Jesus means the cross and sacrifice our lives for others as Jesus did.

Station 7: Jesus Bears the Cross
Scripture: John 19:16-17

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).

Reflection

Jesus now takes up His cross. He doesn’t resist it. He willingly takes it for the love of us. Yes, love compelled Jesus to take up His cross. Your name was on His lips. He endured the cross for the joy set before Him as Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us. With resistance to this cross, you and I are left eternally dead in our sins. But Jesus taking the cross means our salvation, and we become brothers and sisters to our elder brother, Jesus. Quietly watch Jesus take His cross in your mind’s eye. What do you want to say to Him?

Station 8: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
Scripture: Luke 23:26

As the soldiers led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and they put the cross on Him and made him carry it behind Jesus.

Reflection

Jesus can no longer go on. He is too weak from torture to carry His own cross. Someone must carry it for Him. Enter Simon of Cyrene. He bears the weight of Jesus’s cross as Jesus walks toward His execution.
Jesus received help. Though God in human flesh, He received help from His own creation. If we are to be like Jesus, we must humbly drop our pride and receive help from another.
Is there someone in your life who needs help bearing their cross? Do you need help carrying yours in some area of your life? Are you willing to receive as Jesus did?

Station 9: Jesus Comforts the Women of Jerusalem
Scripture: Luke 23:27-31

A great number of the 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?”

Reflection

Luke tells us in Chapter 8:1-3 of his gospel that a group of women followed Jesus and supported Him out of their own means. Here at the crucifixion and later and the resurrection, it was women at center stage. Jesus’s male disciples had deserted Him while his female disciples remained faithful. They are front and center in the salvation story, ministering to Jesus in life and death. Jesus elevated women. They were not afterthoughts, but disciples on the same level as the men.
May we follow the example of these women and be faithful to Jesus in His suffering today in the faces of the poor, the least, the disabled, and many others in need of comfort.

Station 10: Jesus is Crucified
Scriptures: Luke 23:33-34

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.”

Reflection

Jesus is crucified. Jesus takes on our sins upon His body. He is the Lamb of God who was slain. As He is crucified, He speaks out. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” This is a prayer for every age of history, for every human being. The sinless Lamb becomes sin, and in exchange we become holy.

Look at your Savior on the cross. Hear Him utter your name in His request for forgiveness from the cross. Can you do anything but worship Him?

(If you wish, you may take a piece of paper to symbolize your sin and nail it to the cross or tree. Feel free to write your sin on the paper or leave it blank.)

Station 11: Jesus Promised Paradise to a Thief
Scripture: Luke 23:39-43

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.”

Reflection

The innocent Lamb of God hangs between two thieves. One rails on Jesus, mocking Him with venom. But the other thief has watched Jesus and is cut to the heart. The Light of the sinless Jesus has penetrated his darkness, and he asks Jesus to remember him when Jesus enters His Kingdom, and Jesus grants his request.
This is pure grace. The thief had done nothing to deserve this, and we are that thief deserving punishment, but receiving mercy from Jesus out of sheer grace. We bring nothing to the table except our sin, and Jesus’ response should lead us into a lifelong state of humility, gratitude, and worship.

Station 12: Jesus Cares for His Mother
Scriptures: John 19:25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”

Reflection

An amazing look into the heart of Jesus! In His agony and pain, He thinks of others. His concern is for His beloved mother that she will be taken care of after His death. He gives John to His mother as a son to assuage her grief.
This reminds us that possibly the most important thing we can do in our pain is to care for others. It releases us from the trap of self-pity.
In the midst of your pain who is Jesus giving to you to care about?

Station 13: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Scripture: Luke 23:44-46

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands; I commit my spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed His last.

Reflection

Jesus dies on the cross at the moment the Temple curtain is torn in two. Now men and women will have full access to God. The chasm has been bridged. God receives us freely because of the sacrifice of His Son. Not just the High Priest once a year but all of us at any time.
We can end up taking this access for granted. Give God thanks from the depth of your heart for this eternal access to Him through Jesus.

Station 14: Jesus is Placed in a Tomb
Scripture: Mark 15:42-47

It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where He was laid.

Reflection

Jesus has drunk the full cup from His Father. He has become one with us in all respects even death. He is buried like all of us will be, and in this, there is profound grief through the holy weekend.

We do well to remember that Jesus is one with us in suffering, death, and burial. He knows what this is like. We have a High Priest who can sympathize with us in all things.
Let us draw near to Him in suffering and death as well as life.

Station 15: Jesus Rises from the Grave! He is Alive!
Scriptures: Luke 24:1-6 and Luke 24:13-27, 30-34

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright, the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” Jesus asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him, but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel.

And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find His body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said He was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself…

When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”

Reflection

Jesus has risen! He has conquered death. But these two disciples walking on the Emmaus Road don’t know it. Jesus interrupts their grief and leads them in a Bible Study. Then at a meal, they recognize Him. Was it His nail-scarred hands? He disappears, and they run back to Jerusalem saying, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He opened the scriptures to us?
What about you? Can the risen Jesus interrupt your grief and walk with you? Do you recognize Him on your road as you walk? The risen Christ keeps putting Himself in our path. Let your heart burn within you!

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After you complete Station 15, continue up the stairs back to the beginning. Know that God goes with you on your journey and may you go telling others of this Good News!