Stations of the Cross is an ancient devotional ritual consisting of a series of images depicting Jesus’ journey to the cross with accompanying prayers. The Stations are modeled after the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, a pathway that allows believers to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
You don’t need to travel to Jerusalem to be blessed by the devotional invitation offered by the Via Dolorosa. We can take this spiritual journey through the words of the Gospels, walking with our Lord through His betrayal, arrest, trial, sufferings and death. Before we rejoice in His resurrection (Easter is April 1st), we should allow our souls to enter those dark moments that Jesus endured on our behalf.
Below is a series of readings from Matthew and short prayers to help us walk along this devotional pathway. You might want to read these all in one sitting during Holy Week, or you may choose to read one at a time.
1. Jesus knew what was coming. Matthew 20:17-19 – Thank you, Jesus, for choosing the way of the cross. Help me to take up my cross and follow where You lead.
2. Hosanna! Matthew 21:6-9 – Jesus, You are my King and my Savior! Teach me to honor You each day.
3. He was betrayed. Matthew 26:14-16 – Forgive me for betraying the name of Jesus as I sin. Show me the way of righteousness.
4. His body and blood. Matthew 26:26-28 – Thank you for pouring out Your grace over my life. Teach me to remember Jesus’ death and celebrate the new life I find in Him.
5. Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36-39 – Father in Heaven, it was Your will for Jesus to die on my behalf. Help me to accept Your will, even when it’s hard.
6. Jesus the Messiah. Matthew 26:62-64 – Give me strength to speak truth, and use me to show others who Jesus truly is.
7. Three denials. Matthew 26:69-75 – Forgive me when my faith falters and my courage wanes. Give me strength to speak Your name publicly with joy and gratitude.
8. Crucify! Matthew 27:20-23 – Father, Your heart must have broken when they called for Your Son to die. Help me to resist the pressures of the crowd and stand up for Your truth.
9. Mocked and beaten. Matthew 27:27-31 – Thank you, Jesus, for suffering in my place. Teach me to love even those who hate.
10. Forsaken. Matthew 27:45-46 – God of Glory, You looked away from Jesus as He was covered by the shameful stain of my sin. Thank you for the overflowing grace that washes me clean.
11. Death. Matthew 27:50-51 – Jesus, You walked all the way to death for me. Help me to walk with You wherever You lead.
12. Burial. Matthew 27:57-61 – Father, how hard it must have been to watch Your Son’s lifeless body placed in a dark tomb. Help me to die to sin and live for Christ.
Resurrection! Matthew 28:1-10 – I rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection! Fill me with the hope of everlasting life in His name.