On Jesus' way to the cross on Good Friday, there were some definite places of significance along the way. Fourteen of those spots are called Stations of the cross. Those who have visited Jerusalem probably went on a tour of what is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked on his way to the cross. That path is called the Via Dolorosa. Today, Christians walk that path as a way of relating to Jesus.

Stations of the cross

During Holy Week, some churches arrange for the congregation to travel along a path representing that same path. The stations are arranged in the proper order with images, small plaques, paintings or objects representing that spot.

People walk along the path, and they stop briefly at each station. They can read a scripture, pray or just stand and meditate. This can be done individually or in a group with others. Many churches choose to walk this path on Good Friday because that is the actual day that Jesus walked that route.

Journey begins

Luke 22 records what happened at the first five stations. At the first station, Jesus leaves Mount Olives and is arrested at the second station. His trial begins at the third station where he is condemned by the Sanhedrin council. He was denied by Peter at the fourth station and judged by Pilate at the fifth station. After being scourged and crowned with thorns at the sixth station, he begins his journey along the path.

Jesus gets help

Luke 23 indicates what happened at the next three stations. Jesus takes up his cross at the seventh station. Jesus falls for the first of three times along the path. He is then helped by Simon of Cyrene at the eighth station. Jesus meets some of the women of Jerusalem. He falls two more times before reaching the ninth station.

Between the ninth and tenth stations, he is stripped of his garments and is nailed to the cross.

Words on cross

According to Luke 23, the crucifixion begins at the tenth station. While on the cross, he speaks the seven last words which includes saving one of the thieves hanging beside him at the eleventh station. He also tells John, his beloved disciple, to take care of his mother at the twelfth station (John 19:25-27).

After death

Luke 23 records what happened at the last two stations. Jesus dies at the thirteenth station, is taken down from the cross, and laid in the tomb at the fourteenth station. This is not the end of the Easter story, but this is the end of the stations.