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14 Stations of the Cross: Jesus' Path to His Death on Good Friday

Updated on April 19, 2019
revmjm profile image

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa | Source

Most disciples of Christ know that Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday. However, they might not know much more about what happened as Jesus made His way to the cross.

There were some definite places worth knowing about along the path that Jesus took as he journeyed to His death. There are 14 distinct spots along the way. They are called stations of the cross.

Those who have been to Jerusalem might have been on a tour where they followed the route Jesus took. That route is known by several names.

  • The Via Dolorosa
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Way of the Cross
  • Way of Sorrows
  • Via Crucis

Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross | Source

Many churches give their congregation the chance to walk along a similar path without going to Jerusalem. They do so by using images, symbols, plaques, paintings or other objects to represent each one of the spots along the way. Some churches that can do so, play soft music as people travel along the path.

The tour is scheduled for any day of Holy Week even though most churches prefer doing it on Good Friday which was the actual day that Jesus walked the path to His death.

Some of the people stop for a short time at each of the fourteen stations to meditate, read a scripture, pray or just stand and be silent. Some people prefer being alone to think about what Jesus went through. Others like to experience each station with their family and friends.

It doesn't matter how the tour is conducted. What is important is that people get to see and connect with what Jesus suffered on the way to His own death.

Stations of the Cross

Station
What Happened
Scripture
1
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
John 18:1–18:28
2
Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested
Matthew 26:15
3
Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
John 19:8-16
4
Jesus is denied by Peter
Matthew 26:57–26:75
5
Jesus is judged by Pontius Pilate
John 19:16
6
Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
John 19:1-3
7
Jesus takes up his cross
Mathew 16:24
8
Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross
Luke 23:26
9
Jesus tells the women not to weep for Him but for themselves and their own families
Luke 23:27-28
10
Jesus is hung on the cross.
John 19:19-22
11
Jesus promises his kingdom to the repentant thief
Luke 23:43
12
Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other.
John 19:25-27
13
Jesus dies on the cross.
Luke 23:44-46
14
Jesus is laid in the tomb
Luke 23:50-56
Artwork of Simon of Cyrene Carrying the heavy cross for Jesus
Artwork of Simon of Cyrene Carrying the heavy cross for Jesus

Observations

Notice that all the gospels are listed except the Gospel of Mark. Also, notice that only 14 stations are included even though there could have been more. For instance, Jesus spoke seven statements from the cross. However, only two of them are listed.

All recordings of the stations of the cross do not match. Some of them show Jesus tripping and falling three times. The chart above doesn't show any of the fallings. A recording shows when the clothes of Jesus are removed. However, that scene is not listed on the chart above. Some recordings go outside of scriptures and include legends. The chart above includes only what is recording in the gospels.

Notice that a crowd walked along with Jesus and many others followed Him. Those who were noticeably absent from the crowd were His own disciples. One list shows that Peter denied Jesus once, but he denied Jesus three times. Besides, the denials were not on the path. Peter denied Jesus outside the court, but he was not in close proximity to Jesus.

Notice that the stations only show Jesus' journey to the cross and what happened on the cross. That is the end of His journey on Good Friday. Disciples of Christ know very well that was not the end of the story. Christians know that they are not saved just because Jesus died on the cross, but that they are saved because Jesus rose from the dead three days later just like He said He would.

Read the Gospels

In order to get the most out of what Jesus endured as He traveled the path to the cross, read all four gospel recordings. Doing so will also help you understand the path better whether you travel the actual Via Dolorosa path in Jerusalem or in a symbolic one in your own church or community.

Comments

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      5 weeks ago from Richmond, VA

      Yes, Louise. Many Christians go on the tour on Good Friday to reflect on the path Jesus took the day He died.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      5 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      I have heard of these stations before, but it was interesting reading this and learning about it. Thankyou. =)

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