Saturday, April 3, 2010
Good Friday Thoughts....on Saturday
I wanted to get this up last night but I fell asleep before I could even get the internet up.
My sister and I went through the interactive Stations of the Cross last night at our church and I must say, my mind was flooded with thoughts about the first Easter. For those of you that don't know what the Stations of the Cross are, I shall try to explain.
The Stations of the Cross, also known as The Way of the Cross, or Via Dolorosa, trace the journey taken by Jesus on the last day of His earthly life. In 14 stations you travel with Jesus from the moment he was condemned to death until his body was laid in the tomb. It is an experience. One that has helped to make Easter, The Cross, and the fact that my Savior is ALIVE more dear to my heart. Along this journey you get to encounter the thoughts and prayers and burdens of others, and you also get to leave some of your own. This is a journey of heavy thoughts, maybe some tears, and much prayer and meditation as you get just a tiny glimpse of what Christ went through. The way you interact with the stations is new every year, though the meaning of each one stays the same, and I think this years made the biggest impact on my heart.
Ok, so as I said there are 14 stations along the way. Each one has something to do, watch, listen to, write, read, (usually some scripture pertaining to that station and some questions for you to think about) and consider. I am going to try to give you an idea of what each station is and what was involved but some are a bit hazy.
Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death.
At this station we were asked to pick up a back pack, after we read several long verses of scripture, *filled* with rocks and carry it with us till we get to the Cross. The heavy load represented the burden Christ now had to carry with His death order. The sins of the world. My sins.
Station 2: Jesus receives His Cross.
At this station we were asked to examine a rather large cross. How heavy was it? How hard would it have been to carry it after being beaten to a pulp. Those kinds of things. Then take a marker and write (your name)'s sins on the cross. Like: Shay's sin. How much heaver would it have been now? Having every sin ever committed and that would ever be on your shoulders.
Station 3: Jesus falls under the weight of the cross for the first time.
This station was one that you just sat down and read some scripture and prayed at. It had a cross that had fallen over and drops of "blood" around it.
Station 4: Jesus meets His mother.
This station is rather hazy. But it was something about what Mary could have been feeling. Seeing her son in such pain. And what Jesus thought when he saw his mother. Something like that. You were supposed to write down one feeling for each.
Station 5: Simon of Cyrene helps carry the Cross.
At this station we watched the video posted below. After we watched it we were asked to write a circumstance where we could have/ should have carried someones cross for them and didn't. BAM! Guilty of that one. Then we were asked to pray and ask the Lord to give us an opportunity to help someone carry their cross.
This station was the one that hit me the hardest. Why? I am not really sure, but I sat there and wept for several minutes. Maybe it was the thoughts of how, if asked to carry the cross for Jesus then and there, I would have run away. Oh how I would have shied away from such a task. Forgive me, Lord!
*sorry for the Spanish subtitles. it was all i could find*
Station 6: The face of Jesus is wiped.
At this station there was a "bloody" rag, and pictures of people who needed to be loved and cared for. Homeless. Hungry. Poor. Sick. Hurt. Abused. Abandoned. We were asked to pick a picture group and pray for them.
Station 7: Jesus falls a second time.
This station is rather hazy too. If I remember correctly it was a picture of Jesus falling but the picture was in pieces.
Station 8: The Women of Jerusalem.
This station had several pages of text to read about Jesus telling the women of Jerusalem not to weep for Him but for their own sons and daughters. We were then asked to write the name of a person we knew that was not saved and write a prayer for that person.
Station 9: Jesus falls a third time.
This station we watched a video clip from The Passion.
Station 10: Jesus is stripped of His garments.
At this station we were asked to think of all the things clothes are to us. Labels, status symbols, ect. But in all honesty they are nothing more then coverings to hide our nakedness. We were asked to stand in front of a full length mirror and imagine being stripped of everything. How humbling. *One year we were asked to leave a piece of clothing. That was a hard thing for me to do. I realized how much harder it would have been to be asked to leave EVERYTHING*
Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the Cross.
We read a poem written by someone from our church and hold a hammer and nails. The poem was awesome and I wish I had a copy to put here!
Station 12: Jesus dies upon the Cross.
This station showed another clip from The Passion. I have yet to watch that movie in full. It was hard to think about that dark moment in time. We were then asked to write a few lines in a journal about our thoughts.
While we were watching the clip (ok, this off topic but funny for all you CP!ers. Every time I have typed out the word C-L-I-P is has ended up clep. Each time. Every time. hehe) there was a preacher speaking about how Christ is the Lord of your life. How he died for EVERYONE that has ever breathed. How great His love for us is. Anyway, that is not even close to what this message was about. It made me want to cry and raise my hands to the King. It was really good and I hope to find out who it was and add it to this post, so be on the look out for said changes.
Station 13: Jesus is taken down from the Cross.
This station was lit only by candles and I could not read it. Sorry.
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb.
This station we went into a incense filled tomb. It was dark with only a few candles lit and flowers and herbs scattered about the very small room. We were asked to sit beside a linen wrapped "body" and think about all the things we just went through. All the things Jesus had gone through and how we can rejoice because this was not the end. That Christ is alive and will return. It was very realistic and powerful to think about.
Then we ate the Lord's Supper and spent some time in prayer. It was once again a very powerful and very thoughtful time. I gained much food for thought for this weekend. Going down Via Dolorosa and experiencing just teeny tiny bit a softened my heart to the Lord's will for my life. If He did that for me, I have a few things He has asked me to do for Him that I have been putting off. So those are the Stations of the Cross. I am so thankful that we go to a church that puts this on every year. It has defiantly strengthened my walk and I am glad.
Happy Easter friends! Christ the LORD has risen! He Lives! Praise HIM forever!