• Robert J. LaCosta

Accepting Your Station In Life

EDITOR’S NOTE: While you may or may not be familiar with “The Stations of The Cross,” it might be the perfect timing to “walk” with Christ through his passions as many people have time on their hands during the corona-crisis.

The Stations of The Cross are paintings, icons or statuettes that detail fourteen images or “steps” of Jesus from His condemnation before Pilate to His burial. In no way does this leave Jesus in the tomb. It’s a Lenten preparation for the miracle of Easter. But suffering is the route to resurrection and during this route you can’t help but become engrossed with the humanity of Christ and the depth of his pain on our behalf...unless you have ice in your veins. In a Catholic church, you will notice them on the sides of the church and can easily walk them yourself or go through them with a group leader – usually at specific times. Some churches and retreat centers have Stations of the Cross outside. Biblically, a few of the stations are not buttressed by scripture, although they are plausible and of value to meditate on them. For example, tradition has it that Jesus fell three times (i.e.Trinitarian symbolism, three days in tomb) and that a woman named Veronica wiped his brow and his suffering face was imaged on her cloth. If you were there, would you offer Jesus a cloth? No pun intended, it’s immaterial in the sense that it is something to examine in our own hearts. The fourteen stations are:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death

  2. Jesus carries His cross

  3. Jesus falls for the first time (tradition)

  4. Jesus meets his mother

  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus (tradition)

  7. Jesus falls the second time (tradition)

  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

  9. Jesus falls a third time (tradition)

  10. Jesus’ clothes are taken away

  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross

  12. Jesus dies on the cross

  13. The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

First Station: Jesus is Condemned If you were standing before the first station, it would be hard to miss the identification we have with Christ and He with us. The Apostle Paul repeatedly reminds us that conversion requires that our self-life be condemned. While there is only one Messiah who is condemned as our sacrificial lamb, we identify with the world’s disdain for this "death to self." We are figuratively flogged even as we allow for the daily conviction of the Holy Spirit to put our self-life to death again and again. But the beautiful thing about imagery and meditation is that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind your identification with Christ at each of these stations. As we deeply reflect upon the artistic representation of each station, it is hard not to more personally and radically sense the personal love of our Savior in this humiliation of being condemned by those He created. PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Identification with Christ grows with spiritual maturity which inadvertently leads to the cross. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, we have been united with him in a death…So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:5-8,11 NIV,ESV Comments: norepcom@gmail.com



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