Celebrate Lent

As we celebrate Lent, the 40 day season of preparation and repentance during which we anticipate the death of Jesus on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter, our desire is for the gospel to reach deeper in our lives. Through fasting, prayer, scripture reading, meditation, and reflection of the gospel, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus becomes more personally significant.

Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross began as a remembrance that people used to retrace Jesus' final steps in Jerusalem up to the hill where he was crucified. Wanting to share the practice of reflection with those who could not make the journey to Jerusalem, the early church created 12 stations of meditation depicting Jesus, being truly God, identify with us in his humanity through temptation, betrayal, injustice, physical pain, humiliation, broken relationships, and even death.  The collection of art by Scott Erikson (@ScottThePainter), represents the 12 stations and is on display here and at the RCC Building both inside and out.

Jesus is Tempted

Matthew 26:36–46
As Jesus prepared to face the Cross where he would pay the ultimate penalty for sinners, he was driven to pray fervently to God, His Father. Consider the love of Jesus for you that drove Him to such desperate prayer.

Jesus is Betrayed

Matthew 26:14–16, 26:47–50; Mark 9:31
Jesus, the sinless Son of God, was betrayed by one of his closest friends for just 30 pieces of silver. As Jesus experienced this painful betrayal, he showed that he will never betray those he loves.

Jesus is Condemned

John 19:15; Luke 22:66–71
Though he was condemned unjustly, Jesus willfully submitted himself to the authorities. Jesus, the Innocent One, allowed himself to be condemned so that guilty sinners could be forgiven.

Jesus is Mocked

Matthew 20:18–19, 27:28–31
Jesus, the sinless Son of God, was beaten and mocked. Imagine the great love of Jesus for humanity that would cause him to endure such disrespect.

Jesus is Given His Cross

John 3: 14–15, 19:16–17
Jesus was not only condemned to die, but he was specifically ordered to die on a cross. His death included public humiliation. Consider the physical and emotional toll on Jesus as he was given his cross to carry to his public death.

Jesus Falls

John 12:24
This station, although not specifically found in the Passion narrative, is traditionally in three stations. It symbolizes his humanity and his ever decreasing strength as he moves towards his public death. Imagine Jesus experiencing weakness and distress in a public setting with nowhere to hide. Imagine the exhaustion of this 24 hours.

Simon Carries Jesus' Cross

Luke 23:26; Matthew 16:24
Can you imagine what it would have been like to be pulled from the crowd to carry this man's device of death? What would it have been like to walk alongside Jesus as he walked to his execution?

Jesus is Stripped

Luke 23:24
It was the practice of Romans to crucify criminals naked. Consider the shame involved with public nakedness thinking all the way back to the shame of nakedness in the Garden of Eden. Can you imagine the shame and despair involved in this moment?

Jesus is Nailed

Matthew 27:32–54
On the cross, Jesus endured great physical pain as well as unthinkable spiritual turmoil while he paid the penalty for sinners. This pain was excruciating (the word excruciating is derived from crucifixion).

Jesus Dies

Isaiah 53:7; John 15:13, 19:30; Luke 23:46
After being tortured, Jesus died. Not only did he die, but he did so publicly as many of his friends looked on and his enemies rejoiced. For many of us, death is our greatest fear. Jesus embraced death willingly out of his great love for us.

Jesus is Buried

Luke 23:50–56
If you have ever had to bury a loved one, you know how difficult and painful burial can be. Imagine the despair and confusion that Jesus' friends felt during this dark time as they buried the man who they expected to bring ultimate justice and healing to the world.

Jesus Rises

Matthew 28:1–10; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4, 15:20–22; Romans 10:9
Jesus died but he did not stay dead! The Good News is Jesus rose from the grave showing his power over sin and death. The resurrection gives us great hope. If we confess Jesus as our Lord and believe in our
heart that he rose from the dead, we are welcomed into the family of