Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross contain the biblical witness to the last few days of Jesus' life on earth. There are 14 stations in our video below, each of which takes between 5-10 minutes to view. We invite you to reflect on one station at a time, or as many at once as you like. The individual station numbers and time marker on the video appear underneath the video player. Proceed now to the video, below; or for more about the "who, what, and why" of the Stations, read Cindy Ingle's interesting words, below. (There's even a true story about the artist surviving a plane crash.) As you journey the way of the cross, may you be filled with the Spirit's presence and mindful of Christ's love for you and for the world.
The Stations of the Cross, by Cindy Ingle
Hello. I welcome you to the Springwood Church website version of the Stations of the Cross. Let me start by telling what exactly the Stations are, and why we have them. Not long after Jesus' death and resurrection, people began coming to Jerusalem to walk the path Jesus walked when he carried his cross. They wanted to come close to Jesus and to understand His great sacrifice. However, for many years different groups argued over who had control over the city of Jerusalem. So it was not until the year 1342 that Christians gained control of the parts of the city that were important in the story of Jesus. But in those days it was not easy for people to travel all the way to Jerusalem; so they began to imitate Jesus' walk in their own churches in the early 1600s. Walking a loop around the church sanctuary, or sometimes outdoors, visitors could stop at various points along the way. There would be some art work showing something that happened to Jesus during his last two days. The walkers could pause, meditate, or pray as they wished before they walked to the next stop. Each stop became known as a "station," and all together they called these walks the "Stations of the Cross." One priest put up more than 571 "Stations of the Cross" in churches around Europe.
Today many churches show the Stations all year. Churches like Springwood Presbyterian show them just when Easter is coming, especially from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, the day of Christ's crucifixion.
Every place where the Stations of the Cross are shown, art work is used to illustrate the Bible readings. The sculptures you can see on Springwood's website were created by an American artist named Lynn Kiefer Koblecky.
Many years ago Lynn was not a Christian. She says that she did not know God at all. But when she was in a plane that was about to crash, she prayed anyway. In her prayer she promised God that if she survived the crash, she would let people know about God through her art. God heard Lynn's prayer. She survived the crash. And she kept her promise to God. Ever since then she has used sculpture and the actual words of scripture to let people know "that God didn't send his Son into the world to condemn its people, but to save them." I invite you to read Lynn's story in her own words, which can also be found on our web page as "A Statement from the Artist.”
We invite you now to make your own way through the Stations of the Cross. There are 14 stations. At each station, while you are looking at the art work, you will hear a scripture reading, a short meditation, and a prayer, taking just a few minutes at each station. The Stations cover the events of Jesus' life during his last two days on earth, from the Garden of Gethsemane to his being placed in the tomb. We recommend that you spread your viewing of the Stations out over Holy Week, but try to view Stations 13 and 14 on Friday. The meditations are adapted from those posted by a Presbyterian Minister, the Reverend Mark D. Roberts in 2011 and posted on patheos.com.
Sometimes people ask, why don't the Stations mention the resurrection? Someone answered that question perfectly: it is because we wish "to preserve the journey as a commitment to God in the darkness.” That means we know, of course, that Jesus was resurrected and lived on earth another 50 days, and then went into heaven. But the Stations help us to remember how much Jesus depended on God during his last days of suffering, and how much we can depend on God during our own trials, too. In the Stations we see that we can never feel real hope unless first we realize how hopeless we are without God. When we have walked the Stations during Holy Week, we find Easter morning all the more glorious. Now as we approach the Stations of the Cross, Let us pray:
God of power and mercy, in love you sent your Son that we might learn to follow and live with you forever. Bless us as we reflect on his suffering and death, that we may learn from his example the way of love that is our path. We ask this through that same Christ, our Lord. Amen. May the Stations be a blessing to you this Easter.
Individual Stations can be found on the above video at the following time marker:
Station 1: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane 00:25 Station 8: Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrene 34:26
Station 2: Jesus betrayed by Judas, is arrested 04:41 Station 9: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem 40:09
Station 3: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin 07:41 Station 10: Jesus is crucified 45:13
Station 4: Jesus is denied by Peter 13:03 Station 11: Jesus promises his kingdom to the thief 49:06
Station 5: Jesus is judged by Pilate 19:05 Station 12: Jesus speaks to his mother and disciple 54:04
Station 6: Jesus is scourged/crowned with thorns 27:52 Station 13: Jesus dies on the cross 58:19
Station 7: Jesus bears the cross. 30:49 Station 14: Jesus is placed in the tomb 01:03:16