A brief look at the Stations of the Cross

Scuttlebut surrounding the Son of God movie is overwhelmingly positive in my area. I have spoken with several people who have seen it themselves and recommend it to others. The buzz made me decide to create time to hit the theaters.

There are always parts of any movie that you will like or disagree with. Overall, I think that Son of God does a pretty good job of interpreting the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus. The overarching meaning behind the movie is John 3:16 linked here.

Son of God seems to be based heavily upon the Stations of the Cross. Protestants who do not understand the stations may miss out on deeper meaning of several scenes from Son of  God.  For this reason, we are going to take a look at the Stations of the Cross this morning.

Each station is a snapshot of Jesus' journey along the route to the cross. The stations were developed as a way for non-reading Christians to better understand the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. This understanding also informs our understanding of John 3:16.

We need to keep in mind that not all of the Stations of the Cross come directly from scripture. Some, such as Veronica wiping Jesus's Face, comes out of the tradition of the Roman Catholic church.

Don't let this throw you. Tradition is an important part of church worship for many denominations. John Wesley, founder of United Methodism is famous for his quadrilateral. He maintained that reason, tradition and experience informs our understanding of scripture.

It seems that similar thinking went into the development of the Stations of the Cross.  Let us look at delve briefly into each one.

1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus carries his cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets his mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

The resurrection wasn't included in the stations because it proclaims Easter, not Lent. Understanding the Stations of the Cross gives a way to more fully understand the meaning behind John 3:16 and thus, enhances how we relate to God's only begotten son.

Let us pray.