Friday, April 4, 2014

Station 14 - Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Station 14 - Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. (Luke 23:53-56 NLT)
So they take his lifeless body down and lay it in a borrowed tomb. He is gone. In fact they take the limp 33 year old body and wrap it in haste. The Sabbath is fast approaching so they only take time to partially embalm it. They'll come back on Sunday morning to finish the job. He's not going anywhere. Sadness descends.
So Lord Jesus - even though we know this is not really the end of your story - we will leave you here for now. Humanly speaking we would like to rush on to the events of Sunday morning but just for now - we'll wait. We choose to feel the searing pain and loss - the sting of death. For all you did for all of us - we give you glory and honor and praise - now and forever. "We adore you Lord Jesus and we bless you, for by your very cross you have redeemed the world." Amen.

Station 13 - Jesus Dies

Station 13 - Jesus Dies
By this time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” (Luke 23:44-47 NLT)
It had been almost six hours now. Jesus has been hanging in the searing afternoon sun long enough for the cross to do its horrific work. The hour has come. The prisoner has no strength left. None. His legs and arms are now useless and there is no way he can no longer catch oven - one - more - breath. So with one last gasp he tells his Father he is coming. He gasps and breathes his last and his head drops and his life is gone…
Lord Jesus - my Savior - who by your sacrifice provided the one full perfect payment for the sins of the world - I am in awe of the price you paid for my sins. I will never be able to repay you. Except with my love. When I see the cross I cannot help but love you back! "We adore you Lord Jesus and we bless you, for by your very cross you have redeemed the world." Amen.

Station 12 - Jesus Cares for His Mother Mary

Station 12 - Jesus Cares for His Mother Mary -
Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:25-27 NLT)
It is amazing really. This moment on the cross when wracked in agony of body and mind Jesus stops to talk to his Mom. Clearly he has enough time and energy left to be a good son. With these simpe words he provides for the care of his only earthly parent before his last breath. The people on and near the cross are all real human beings. We are watching a family take care of business as Jesus passes the care of his Mom to his best friend John. Here near the end, Jesus is making sure the one who nursed and nurtured him and stayed nearby when virtually everyone else hid - was properly cared for. What a good son.
Lord Jesus we remember that not only were you the Son of God, but you were also the son of Mary. She loved her boy and she was loved in return. May we show our love for You, in the way we love the family with whom you have blessed us. "We adore you Lord Jesus and we bless you, for by your very cross you have redeemed the world." In your name Amen.

Station 11 - Jesus offers Paradise to the Crucified Thief

Station 11 - Jesus Promises Paradise to the Penitent Thief
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43 NLT)
There are three crosses on the hill that day. One condemned criminal taunts Jesus with his dying breath, the other speaks in his defense and simply asks that the Lord will remember him. Not much of a sinner's prayer really. Barely a gasp of hope. But it is enough for Jesus. "Sure. You can come with me today to Paradise." What a promise - to a desperate criminal who only had a few hours of life left in him. This man has no time to pay Jesus back or to live a life of noble service as restitution for his crimes. But still his desperate cry was good enough for Jesus.
So we thank you Lord that you offer eternal life to all who ask humbly in faith no matter how far gone we are. Heaven is for broken repentant people like me. So we pray once more "We adore you Lord Jesus and we bless you, for by your very cross you have redeemed the world." In the name of the name that is above all other names we pray. AMEN

Station 10 Jesus is Crucified

Station 10 - Jesus is Crucified
When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened to the cross above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” (Luke 23:33-38 NLT)
The cross is now laid on the ground and prisoner is lashed to it. Huge sharp spikes are hammered through his hands and feet. Shockwaves rack his body and the cross is slowly lifted upright and then suddenly dropped into place. Pushing down on his feet and pulling up with his arms the crucified one gasps for air. Until he has no more strength. Jesus - I cannot ever say thank you enough for all you endured for me. So I pray once more "We adore you Lord Jesus and we bless you, for by your very cross you have redeemed the world." In your holy name I pray - Amen

Station 9 - Jesus Speaks to the Weeping Women

Station 9 - Jesus Meets the Weeping Women of Jerusalem
A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:27-31 NLT)
I’m not sure how I missed this one. But Luke didn’t. He had a knack for pointing out the foreigners and the children and the women Jesus touched. Despite the culture of the day that didn’t see women as equals, Jesus did. Right up to the hour of his death he took time to listen to and speak with the weeping women. Amazing.
Lord Jesus though your word to the weeping women was a warning - may it remind me today that to you - everyone matters. May everyone matter to me too. So I pray "We adore you Lord Jesus and we bless you, for by your very cross you have redeemed the world." Amen.