Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 16:24-25) Let us follow the Passion of Jesus through the Stations of the Cross that hang in St Luke’s church:Jesus, Lord, condemned, defiled,May we too be meek and mildAs we tread your holy Way.May we feel no bitter hatred,When we too are persecuted
First Station - Jesus condemned to death
When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor. Pilate said to them, "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" All of them said, "Let him be crucified!" So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves." After flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27:1-2,22,24,26b)PrayerAlmighty God, your Son was rejected and condemned to die by your own people. Grant that we may never reject his word of truth and salvation, but follow him all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Second Station - Jesus carries his cross
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking him on the face. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. (John 19:1-2,16b-17) PrayerHeavenly Father, your Son laid aside all power in order to take up the cross and show us the depths of your love for us. Increase our willingness to bear our own cross, for love of him and for love of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Now the cross as Jesus bore it, Has become for us who share it, The great cross of victory.
Third Station - Jesus falls the first time
Justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us; we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We stumble at noon as in the twilight, among the vigorous as though we were dead. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm brought him victory, and his righteousness upheld him. (Isaiah 59:9,10b,15b-16) PrayerLord God, your Son chose to be weak before the powers of this world, and you worked your power through him. In our time of weakness, help us to turn to you, that your power may work in us also; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Weakened, prodded, cursed, and fallen, His whole body bruised and swollen,
Jesus tripped and lay in pain.
Fourth Station - Jesus meets his mother
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:26-27)PrayerFather of mercies, a sword of grief pierced deep into the heart of Mary as she witnessed her Son's passion. As we share in her sorrow by walking the way of sorrows, may we also share in the joy that is to come, the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen
Jesus met his grieving Mother, She who made the Lord our Brother;
Now the sword her heart has pierced.
Fifth Station - Simon helps Jesus carry his cross
As the soldiers led Jesus away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)PrayerLoving Father, you have called us into fellowship under the cross of your Son that we might bear your love to all in the world. Help us to be as willing as Simon to bear the burdens of those in need, that all may be called out of the darkness into the light of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Simon stopped in hesitation, not foreseeing his proud station, called to bear the cross of Christ.
Sixth Station - A woman offers comfort to Jesus
Before the betrayal, a woman came to Jesus with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, "Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor." But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial." (Matthew 26:7-9,10,12) PrayerO God, your Son's passion shows us that loving others holds great risks that make us tremble and reluctant to act. Strengthen us in our faith and our resolve to take those risks and to see your Son in our needy brothers and sisters; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Brave but trembling came the woman, none but she would flaunt the Roman,
moved by love beyond her fear.
Seventh Station - Jesus falls a second time
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6) PrayerGracious Lord, as we walk the way of sorrows, it pains us to know that it is our fallenness in sin that crushes Christ under his cross. Yet by his suffering, we are raised up and made whole. Strengthen us in our baptismal vows and forgive us always for the sins that make us fall, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Prostrate on the dust he crumbled, flogged in body, he resembled all our people poor and scorned.
Eighth Station - Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." (Luke 23:27-28) PrayerGod and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are but mortal flesh, and the span of our lives is very brief. Help us to see our frailty and affliction as a sharing in Christ's frailty and affliction, and through them, the path to life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
May our sympathy for Jesus turn to those who here now need us,
May we see Christ bruised in them.
Ninth Station - Jesus falls a third time
I cry to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. I lie down among lions that greedily devour human prey; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongues sharp swords. They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my path, but they have fallen into it themselves. My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. (Psalm 57:2,4,6-7a) PrayerAlmighty God, there are times when life's burdens weigh down upon us, and our faith is so drained that we feel forsaken and abandoned by you. Yet you never forsake those who are your own. As you raised your Son from death to life, from despair to joy, so be present in our lives and raise us to hope in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Jesus fell again in weakness, stumbling as we do, to lead us through our sorrow and our pain.
Tenth Station - Jesus is stripped of his clothes
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it." (John 19:23-24a) PrayerLord God, your Son endured humiliations and indignities beyond compare, yet without complaint. Keep us humble in our work and daily lives with a willingness to put others before ourselves as Jesus put us before himself; through Christ our Lord. Amen
Stripped and jeered by his own nation, Jesus stood in desolation, giving all he had to give.
Eleventh Station - Jesus is nailed to the cross
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with Jesus. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:32-34a) PrayerHeavenly Father, despite his wounds, Jesus showed his love throughout his passion: for his mother, for the women of Jerusalem, for the good thief, even for those who nailed him to the cross. Bind us ever to that love, and help us to look beyond ourselves and our sufferings in order to share that love with others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Pierced the hands that blessed and cured us; pierced the feet that walked to free us,
walked the hill of Calvary.
Twelfth Station - Jesus dies on the cross
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46) PrayerWho would have believed it, O God? Who would have thought that the Savior would die? Yet in the world's darkest hour, you snatched him out of the jaws of death, crushing sin and death underfoot. Keep us ever close to his cross and death, now and at the hour of our death; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Life eternal, death defiant, bowed his head -- the world was silent,
through his death came life anew.
Thirteenth Station - Jesus is taken down from the cross
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, Pilate granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth. (Mark 15:42-43,45-46a) PrayerGracious Lord and Consoler of all who mourn, comfort us in all our partings. Turn the darkness of death into the brightness of day for those we love. Help us always to put out faith in you and entrust our loved ones into your infinite care; through Christ our Lord. Amen
Stunned and stricken, Mary, Mother, in your arms was placed our Brother,
"Full of grace" not filled with grief.
Fourteenth Station - Jesus is laid in the tomb
Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. He and Joseph took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:39-42)PrayerGod of hope, you have promised that if we are buried with Christ in the waters of Baptism, then we too will rise with him to new life. Make us ever mindful of our baptism and remove all stain of sin from us through repentance, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Jesus, Lord, your gift accepted, in three days you resurrected; you did first what we shall do.