The Via Dolorosa (the painful way) or La Via Cruces (the Way of the Cross). Growing up Catholic, one of the yearly rituals was going to church and visiting each “Station of the Cross” – plaques depicting Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion.
The traditional Stations are:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus is given his cross
- Jesus falls the first time
- Jesus meets His Mother
- Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the second time
- Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls the third time
- Jesus is stripped of His garments
- Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus dies on the cross
- Jesus’ body is removed from the cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.
Again, all four Gospels recount the story:
The highlights are known as the “Seven Last Words of Christ”:
- Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). This is the ultimate forgiveness. Jesus is forgiving the people who betrayed Him, who called Him a liar, who mocked Him, who were killing Him.
- Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43). Here He is telling the two thieves who were being crucified with Him that their sins are forgiven and that they would be with Him in Heaven.
- Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27). He tells the disciple He trusted the most to take care of His mother, Mary.
- Eli Eli lama sabachthani? (“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34) Jesus was human, in pain and here in a moment of extreme suffering, He pleads to His Father.
- I thirst (John 19:28). This again shows that He is human.
- It is finished (John 19:30). The prophecy is fulfilled, His job is done. Legalism is finished.
- Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46). According to Luke, Jesus said this rather than “It is finished.”
If Jesus can forgive those who turned against Him, then you, too, can forgive anyone that hurt or betrayed you.
If Jesus can guarantee that two thieves would be in Heaven with Him, then you, too, can have the same guarantee no matter how bad your sins are.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ~ John 3:16-17
It’s true. It happened. All you have to do is believe and you have a ticket to Heaven.
An hour of quiet meditation, scripture, and prayer will focus our hearts on the cross, its meaning, and the price that was paid by Jesus.
Last of this series: The Greatest Day – Resurrection Sunday!
And the story doesn’t stop there. My next series will be After the Resurrection – a walk through the days after Jesus’ Resurrection to Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Subscribe so you don’t miss one.
Check out these other great blogs:
- Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
- Deo Volente! (God Willing): A look into early Christian history
If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1