As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)
When Lucy and I were in Jerusalem a few years ago, we visited the Church of The Holy Sepulcher several times. Pilgrims have been going there since the 4th century because it has been identified with both the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus.
As we were walking out of the church on our last day, a man approached us and asked if we would be willing to be part of a documentary on what it was like to be there. Of course, we said yes.
When it was our turn before the camera, the interviewer asked if we were troubled about all the disagreements about where the Stations of the Cross had actually happened. The Stations of the Cross is a devotional service that commemorates 14 stations or spots along Jesus’s path to Calvary.
I said, “It doesn’t trouble me that we don’t exactly know where or when Jesus fell; nor does it trouble me when or who came to him.”
The producer said, “Why doesn’t it bother you?”
I said, “It doesn’t matter if we know the exact places where all that happened. What matters is that Jesus did walk the way of the cross long ago. What also matters is that when we fall, He picks us up. When we lose our way, He finds us. When we’re broken, He mends us. It doesn’t matter who came to Him along his final walk; what matters is that He comes to us.
”The producer said, “What gives you such confidence?”
I said, “The resurrection of Jesus. I think about all the times when Jesus helps us as the Stations of the Resurrection.”
Although that interview ended on that note, the discussion doesn’t. I encourage us to think and pray about what the Stations of the Resurrection have looked like in our life—these are the times when we’ve known that Jesus has been there for us.
By tradition, there are only 14 Stations of the Cross. From our experience, there are more Stations of the Resurrection than we can count.
- What have been the Stations of the Resurrection in your own life? That is, when has the Resurrected Jesus lifted you up, mended you, healed you, forgiven you?
- Has Jesus ever worked through you to do His resurrecting mission for someone else? If so, who were they, and what did you do?
- Has Jesus ever worked through someone else to do His resurrecting mission for you? If so, who were they, and what did they do?