Stations of the Cross
As first showcased in March 24th's Lament Together, join The Many on a journey with Jesus to the cross. Built around striking iconic images created by painter, Scott Erickson, as well as music, prayer, and poetry from The Many. As we walk this ancient path in the middle of our own world, we remember how Jesus walks right into the pain and suffering of us all, and walks through it all with us...with us through our pain and fear...with us in our loss and uncertainty.
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus is tempted. As he prays in the garden, he's tempted to give up, just walk away.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.” Then he fell on his face and prayed, “God if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me.
God, hear our prayers, hear us as we pray for things to simply be easier. For ourselves, and for so many who are hurting and scared and facing hard things. Help us in our temptation to look the other way, to just go numb, to turn to easy answers, to pretend we feel nothing.
Jesus is Betrayed
MARK 14: 43-46
Judas, one of the twelve, arrived in the place where Jesus was. And with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. He came up to Jesus, said, “Rabbi” and kissed him. Then they grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
God, we know what it’s like to feel betrayed. We know what it’s like to have the rug pulled out from under our lives; to not be loved and cared for in the ways we need. We know what it’s like to fail others and to be failed; to feel deeply betrayed by our friends, our leaders, by our churches, even by you God. God hear our prayers.
Jesus is betrayed. By someone he was close to. By strangers. By the authorities. By a kiss.
Jesus is Condemned
Jesus is condemned to die. Even though he did nothing wrong. Without a reason. Without a fair trial. Without a chance.
Mark 14:55-64 and Luke 23:13-25
Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. Still, all of them condemned him. They kept shouting, “Crucify him. Crucify him.” Pilate asked, “Why, what wrong has he done?” But they were adamant. And their voices won out.
a poem by Lenora Rand
The stations of the cross as we know them today developed gradually through the years. But in 1731 Pope Clement XII ordered the number of stations set at 14. Some of them were based on specific scriptures. Some were not. Among those 14 were three stations about Jesus falling. Jesus falls the first time, the second time, the third time. Again and again...Jesus falls. Why were these stations included? Perhaps so we could see Jesus like us... falling so often. Hurt and needy on the ground. We like to think of God as all powerful. But God in Christ also comes to us vulnerable. Breakable.
Jesus falls. Hits the ground. Hard. Not just once. Three times.
Jesus Is Stripped
Jesus is stripped of his clothes. His dignity. His rights. But somehow, not of his compassion for all of us.
A READING BASED ON JOHN 19:23-24
And then Jesus is stripped...and his clothes are divided up by casting lots. Jesus is stripped of his clothes and his dignity and his rights, maybe even stripped of hope... but not stripped of everything. Not stripped of his compassion. Because he prays out loud, calls out to God, “Forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.”
a song by The Many
Jesus Is Nailed
A READING BASED ON MATTHEW 27:46
And then Jesus is nailed to a cross, tortured and publicly executed. And he cries out from the cross, “My God My God, why have you forsaken me?” We hear echoes of that cry every day. We hear it everywhere. Sometimes we even hear it from someplace deep inside.
a song by The Many
Jesus is nailed to the cross. It was an execution. A lynching. And he cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus dies. Like so many died before him. After him.
And are dying still.
Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
a song by The Many
About the artist
Special thanks to Scott Erickson for permission to use these striking iconic images from his “Stations in the Street” downloadable art show. The full collection includes 12 images and is meant to serve all kinds of folks during Lent. You can learn more about it and how you can bring it to your community here.
Scott is a touring painter, performance speaker, and creative curate who mixes autobiography, mythology, and aesthetics to create art and moments that speak to our deepest experiences. You can learn more about him at scottericksonart.com