Journey to the Cross

On this page is a virtual journey through something called the stages of the cross.  Stages of the cross will take you through from the creation to the resurrection of Jesus.  This will take you anywhere from 20-40 minutes.  Spend a few minutes in silence before you begin and invite God to both challenge and encourage you.  Please take your time as you work through these stages.

Station 1: The Beginning
Play the video on the right.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us...” (Genesis 1:26, NLT)
Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:25, NLT)


Place yourself in the garden knowing that it is there that you have complete security and significance.  Imagine the freedom of feeling no shame.

Take a few moments and write down some of the amazing things that God has done in the world then place them on the globe or map.

Light the candle.

Station 2: The Fall

Play the video on the right.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6, NLT)


How do you see the impacts of your own sin and sin in general on the world?  

Pick up the stone and hold it in your hand as you journey through the rest of the stations.  The stone represents your sin.

Station 3: The Garden


Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”” (Luke 22:39–46, NLT)

Spend sometime in silence listening to the sounds of the garden and thinking on Jesus' words.

“What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22, NLT)

What areas of your life do you think you need to show love and sacrifice?  What do you keep from God or others? Spend time confessing these areas to God and thank him for his forgiveness.

Station 4: The Betrayal

It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” (Psalm 55:12–14, NLT)


Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.” (Matthew 26:14–16, NLT)

Jesus shared communion with the man who would betray him.  Judas was one of the twelve...one of Jesus' close friends.  Imagine the pain of that betrayal.  

How much would you say your integrity is worth?  What would it cost for you to betray a close friend?  Why do you think we compromise our values so quickly?

Take the 30 pieces and pour them out.

Station 5: "The Trial"

The Jewish leaders were allowed to punish their own people, but they couldn't impose a death sentence. Only the Romans could sentence someone to die. That's why Jesus was taken to the local Roman authority to see if they could get Him put to death.


Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” (James 4:17, NLT)

Go to the sink or basin and wash your hands.  What have you washed your hands of in life that you should have confronted?

Station 6: The Denial

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyles… that is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.  (Brennan Manning)


Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.” But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said. A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.” (Matthew 26:69–75, NLT)

Write down on a piece of paper, "I do not know him" as a reminder of the times that you have denied knowing Christ whether in word or action.

Station 7: The Scourging

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NLT)


Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.” (John 19:1–3, NLT)

With the red felt marker strike the white cloth.

What thoughts entre your mind as you do this?

Station 8: The Long Walk

 


As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 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 23:26–31, NLT)

How does this event change your understanding of Jesus' call to take up our cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24-26)?

Station 9: The Crucifixion

“The cross is the suffering love of God bearing the guilt of man’s sin, which alone is able to melt the sinner’s heart and bring him to repentance for salvation.”  (Billy Graham)


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 above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” 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 23:33–43, NLT)

Take a nail and drive it into the wood.  How can you increase in gratitude for what Christ endured for you?

Station 10: It is Finished

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” (1 Peter 2:24, NLT)


Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:28–30, NLT)

Imagine you are standing there with the other disciples.  Devastated at the loss of your Lord.  Scared about the future.  Wondering what now? 

Blow out the candle.

Station 11: 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. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.” (Luke 23:50–56, NLT)

Imagine you are one of the disciples as you read through this poem.
Poem by Cheryl Laurie
John 16:7. “But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone I will send the Spirit to you.”

You think this is what’s best for us?
They humiliated you on a cross.
And we’re humiliated too, because we put our trust in you.
No wonder Peter denied you.
Maybe it wasn’t out of fear, but out of sheer, bloody rage
that this is how the dream ended.

How can you think this is what’s best for us?
We put everything we had into you.
Our trust.
Our belief that you were the one who could save us.
You offered us a taste of welcome,
a hint of grace,
a touch of freedom.
For a moment we glimpsed a new world,
and you promised an eternity of that.
And we trusted you.
We’re left wondering which is worse
– that it ended like this
or that you knew it would end like this
and you took us with you anyway.

Station 12: The Resurrection

“No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary. No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or pain you face, no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the Resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good.”  (Josh McDowell)


And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Romans 6:8–14, NLT)

Drop the rock into the bucket of water as a symbol of your sin being buried with Christ and having new life in Christ.

Communion

Take the bread and cup remembering all that God has accomplished through Christ's life death and resurrection.

For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Take the bread and eat it.

In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. (1 Corinthians 13)

Take the cup and drink.