Jesus Christ was carrying His cross
from the place where Pontius Pilate condemned Him to death by crucifixion
–that Scripture "Isaiah 53" would be
fulfilled– by request of the Sanhedrin,
and during the way through the streets of Jerusalem, until the mount known
as "Golgotha" or "Calvary" (mount of the Skull, for its shape of skull), a
story was being written that the fist Christians would begin to remember
every year, once it became possible to return to the city, after its
destruction in the 70A.D. by the roman general Titus and his troops
–also to fulfil Scripture "Matthew 24".
Christianity, in its different
denominations, from the more traditional, has been practicing the Way twenty
centuries, not only in their own churches, with representing images and
in many occasions with fanatic idolatry– but in
the city of Jerusalem itself. Many carry crosses, some are slaughtered or
tortured in different ways to come close "emotionally" to the experience of
Our Lord. However Our Lord would, instead, prefer that the sacrifice that we
would do would be the fruit of our lips ...praise to God, Hebrews
13:15. Which ever way every Christian must remember the Passion of Christ,
His Via Crucis and His final victory in resurrection.
stations of a Via Crucis –Latin way translated and known as Way of the
Cross, but also known as Via Dolorosa, referring to the suffering of Christ
during the Way to Calvary– may have remembrance in a Biblical way, to remember
and thank the Lord for His great love for us, but we do not need to fall in
idolatry or fanaticism. In any congregation it can be read according to the
Bible in a historic and spiritual way. We will compare the stations of The
Bible with the traditional Via Crucis, and the meaning of the stations of
the true story of Jesus, and how to apply them to our lives.
will remember what are know as the "Last Seven Words of Jesus" while on the
Cross and we will finish our short journey with a practical and spiritual
STATIONS OF THE WAY OF THE CROSS
of the Gospels tell the Way of the Cross. It all began after the Holy
Supper, and it describes the key moments of the Lord giving Himself for us,
beginning in the orchard of Gethsemane when He prays to the Father accepting
His will to be done, but asking, if it were possible to pass that cup from
Him "that He had to drink" –the one of my sins and of those who receive Him
as Saviour. And the story of Our Lord continues.
prays in the Mount of Olives, Luke 22:39-46. Being in Gethsemane, Jesus asks the
Father, if is was possible, that, that hour would pass from Him. But He knew
he had come to the world to die for the Church and accepted the will of the
Father. However, knowing that all is possible for God, He leaves it in His
hands. This first station shows us the humanity of the Son of God. Jesus
Christ was God and Man at the same time. In our lives it applies to us in
that we shall accept God's will and that we must fulfil our Christian
commission, both spiritual as well as human.
betrayed by Judas and arrested, Luke 22:47-48. The soldiers of the chief
priest and of the Pharisees take Him to the Sanhedrin. The best friend who
knew the place, betrays the Lord. An act that would take –he who was thought
to be a true disciple– to betray the Lord even being next to Him
amongst His intimate. The consequences we all know. In our lives we will
know the true brethren by their fruits, because a truly converted heart to
Christ, by the Holy Spirit is always faithful to Christ and to the brothers.
is condemned by the Sanhedrin, Luke 22:66-71. Personally it reminds me of
the courts of the Inquisition condemning every true Christian to be burned
and tortured. No matter what church or religion. When the leaders do not
doubt in destroying those believers that see what they cannot see, as long
as they can keep their status and power, they do not represent God, but the
enemy and themselves, in their sin. The Gospel wins the souls through the
Word, not by force nor by imposition. Jesus is, spiritually and in power,
superior to all those false religion leaders.
denied by Peter, Luke 22:54-62. Is there a Christian who has never failed to
the Lord? He who is without sin among you... John 8:7. We know the story of
Peter, one of the three intimates of Jesus and to whom He taught the meaning
of the rock of faith, and to whom He taught, in John 21, to pastor his
sheep, who walked on the waters, in all, a model of apostle. Many have discussed
that he was not born again, until after the resurrection and ascension of
Jesus. Nevertheless nothing better than failing to the Lord to learn our
humility and dependence of Him. No doubt Peter repented as far as to give
his life for his Master. If we fail and fall, let us get up and fulfil the
Great Commission. Lets imitate him!
is tried by Pontius
Pilate, Luke 23:13-25. This is the first station of the traditional Via
Crucis which coincides with the fifth of the Biblical. When some judges
in history, and now, follow political interests they look like Pilate in this
event. The world and its governors rarely receive Jesus. That means for them
to loose their status, their lives. We should be cautious when judging the
brothers, where Christ abides, especially when those who condemn them are
false religious leaders. Let us not do like Pilate.
is scourged and crowned with thorns, and dressed with the purple robe, John
19:1-2. Pilate had sent Jesus to Herod, Luke 23, when he heard
Galilea to try and escape from condemning Him. Herod mocked Him, arrayed
Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. Before Pilate was the
procurator, now was the tetrarch. In both cases violent and murderer men
willing to all to keep their status. Let us not allow our flesh to prevail,
but receive Jesus which ever social level we are in, whether a king,
politician or judge, because He is the King of kings and is over us all as
bears His Cross, Mark 15:20. This is the second traditional. The Lord bears
His Cross because He loves us. Let us bear our cross because we love Him and our
is helped by Simon of
Cyrene to bear the Cross, Luke 23:26. Stations 3 and 4 of the
traditional precede with the first fall of Jesus and Jesus talking to his
mother. This is the fifth in the traditional. How happy we area when a brother
helps us, and also when we help another brother. But we should not do it as
a command but of heart, because despite how hard the way may be, or heavy
the burden, in the power of the brotherly love of Christ all things are
easier to carry. ...For My yoke is easy and My burden is light... Matthew
speaks to the women of Jerusalem, Luke 23:27-31. Once again the traditional
precedes with two stations, the sixth and the seventh, in which Jesus is
supposed to find Veronica who cleans His face, and His second fall. This one
would be the eight in the traditional. The message of Jesus to the women is
of exhortation. We must receive his exhortation and also teach others, who
sometimes do not understand why we have decided to serve the Lord, provide
them with a word of exhortation as we bear our cross.
10.- Jesus is crucified, Luke 23:33-47.
The traditional precedes with two stations, the ninth and the tenth in which
Jesus falls a third time, and His garments are taken off. The eleventh
coincides with the 10 Biblical. The Lord gave Himself until the end, to the
most bitter end, as long as we could be saved in His great love. He gave His
life for us. Let us give our lives for Him.
11.- Jesus promises the criminal who
believes to be in Paradise with Him, Luke 23:43. The recognition of guilt of
the criminal and the recognition of Jesus Christ as The Lord prove the faith
one has. I am a sinner that deserves the cross, but my Lord loved me and
changed my heart for ever. The Paradise of Jesus awaits us for eternity.
12.- Jesus gives John to his mother,
and his mother to John, John 19:25-27. Jesus asks that we may take care of
one another, to mothers that we treat them as ours, to the children as our
brothers, and to the brothers as of the family of Christ, with brotherly
kindness. We must also do like Jesus, to let our beloved be taken care of by
our fellow brothers, that they must be hospitable.
13.- Jesus dies on the Cross, Luke
23:44-46. The traditional finds station twelve in this one. Jesus gives His
life to the Father, nobody takes it but He gives it, for such covenant He
agreed with the Father before the foundation of the world. We shall never
forget the death of the Lord. Taking Holy Supper with our intimate brothers
His death we proclaim. Have we died to ourselves?
14.- Jesus is buried, Luke 23:50-54.
Finally both Via Crucis coincide in the last station
–Ecumenism?... The traditional precedes this
station with thirteenth where Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given
to his mother. The burial is a previous stage to resurrection. Some times
our lives seam buried by some circumstances, but let us trust God,
because He will raise is from
prostration. We must neither remain in the stage of burial when we
loose a loved one, for resurrection is coming. Christ raised and lives
amongst us. Let us await His coming in Glory!
"IT'S FRIDAY; BUT SUNDAY IS
know which I would qualify as one of the best sermons of our time, known as
"It's Friday; but Sunday's coming". It seams that it goes back to the
ministry of the Baptist pastor from California, Dr. S.M. Lockridge. It tells
the Passion of Christ making emphasis in the fact that according to
the story of the Way of the Cross told by the apostles, at the beginning it
may seam that the devil is who is wining the battle when achieving that
Jesus is betrayed, delivered in the hands of His enemies, condemned to death
by crucifixion, once tortured, and rejected by the Jews and the Romans.
Describing the situation until Calvary, and the crucifixion and death
of the Lord, it all seams lost at first site.
–similar than in the Via Crucis– is initiated with the exclamation "it's
Friday" and it finishes with the other "but Sunday is coming". When
finishing telling the story, the second part of the title of the sermon comes
in making emphasis in "but Sunday's coming", Resurrection Sunday, when the
world changes for ever, when human kind begins to know that from that day
the door to Paradise is open. In a part of the sermon it sais "...do you
realize? they only know that is Friday, in other words, they think they have
won, but they don't know that Sunday is coming" they think that the first
day of the week like any other is coming, but from that first Sunday in
calendar, in history, with regards to what that Resurrection Sunday
means, the one that would change history for ever, it would change it all.
The sermon finishes in a magisterial
way with the exclamation of the roman centurion who was at the foot of the
Cross of Christ: Truly this Man was the Son of God! Mark 15:39. This roman
soldier was experienced in seen men die on crosses and in dealing with
condemned in unmerciful and cruel ways. For him to see a man who could
give his life to God, and die, in a particular moment, after having forgotten
his executioners, was a new situation that caused an impact in him, for
never before, nor after Jesus, nobody would die in that way, demonstrating to have
control over his own life.
Jesus gave His life for us to the
Father and raised. Resurrection is real and awaits us all. Death does no
longer have the power over us, which is only temporary. It is all focused on
the faith, where he who receives it knows that one day will raise and will
find himself next to God, and will live in His kingdom for ever.
7 LAST WORDS
OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS
Heinrich Schutz, German composer of the
XVII century composed a work for organ of the last seven Words of Christ on the
Cross. Also the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn would do likewise, a century
1.- "Father, forgive them, for they do
not know what they do" Luke 23:34.
2.- "Assuredly, I say to you, today you
will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:43.
3.- "Woman, behold your son...
...Behold your mother" John 19:26-27.
4.- "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? ...My
God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Matthew 27:46.
5.- "I thirst" John 19:28.
6.- "It is finished" John 19:30.
7.- "Father, into Your hands I commit
My spirit" Luke 23:46.
These were the Words, and having seen
what he saw, that I remarked before the reaction of the centurion, and no
one better than him, who said: ¡Truly, this Man was the Son of God! Mark
Can or should Biblical Christians,
protestants-evangelicals, even more those not traditional like Catholics or
Orthodox, participate in the Via Crucis - Via Dolorosa or Way of the Cross?
The answer must be focused more to the way and not on the commemoration of
the story itself, no doubt the most relevant for humanity, the one of our
salvation. Therefore it does not mean that we should not commemorate,
organize or practice in some Via Crucis if it is organized to the more
Biblical way possible, devotional and meant, according to The Bible. What
must be avoided is to participate in idolatries, personal sacrifices for
salvation –that come from an heretic Christianity like indulgencies and
papal bulls– on the other hand every Christian must remember the Via Crucis in
Passover Week, even if reading it at home with his family.
The conclusion is that we are before
one of the Biblical prophecies fulfilled that is most relevant for humanity.
As we said at the beginning –that Scripture may be fulfilled "Isaiah 53"–
where we can take verse five: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He
was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
and by His stripes we are healed." No doubt at all prophet Isaiah (758b.C)
received great prophecies and is possibly the most appreciated prophet by
the people of Israel, as by the Church, and therefore chosen to receive
this great prophecy fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.
Yes, He took our sins to that Cross on
Calvary so that we may have the door open to God's Paradise through His
work, by faith. The Via Crucis, as a lived story by our Lord started one day
that only the Father and the Son know, when they made the covenant in the
Spirit, to love us even in our sins, before the foundation of the world,
before Creation. That day culminates with the
resurrection, on the
third day of His crucifixion, that produces our resurrection. At the same
time it makes the Way of the Cross have a meaning, because it is the
achievement of the Via Crucis where the Via Dolorosa is transformed in Via
of Victory and of Glory of Christ. Blessed You, our Saviour and Lord Jesus
Christ, Yahshua! Thank you, our best and eternal Friend! We await to go to
Your Paradise! Come Lord Jesus! Amen.