9th Station of the Cross

9th Station of the Cross: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31).
When Jesus encountered the weeping women and some of His disciples on His way to crucifixion, He cautioned them that they should not weep for Him, but that their concerns should be for themselves and the lives of their children considering the rising evil throughout Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31). Even while suffering great pain and personal humiliation, Jesus’ concern was not for Himself, but for the lives and souls of those who faced the danger of eternal damnation because of the sin in their lives. The same caution is relevant for Christians today that we should be careful not to allow our concerns for this world to come before our devotion and obedience to God. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), and as citizens of heaven, our focus and attention should be there.
 

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7th Station of the cross

7th Station of the Cross: Jesus takes up His cross (John 19:17).
When Jesus took up His cross, He was carrying more than wood. Unknown to the many spectators that day, Jesus was carrying the sins of mankind, facing the punishment those sins deserved, which He was about to suffer on man’s behalf. Jesus exhorts us in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” He also reveals that this is not an option: “…and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38). Taking up our cross, an instrument of death, means dying to self in order to live as completely new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17
) in service and obedience to Christ. This means surrendering to God our will, our affections, our ambitions, and our desires. We are not to seek our own happiness as the supreme object, but be willing to renounce all and lay down our lives also, if required.
 

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6th Station of the cross

6th Station of the Cross: Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns (Luke 22:63-65).
The healing referred to in this passage is spiritual healing, or healing from sin. Pardon of sin, and restoration to the favor of God, are frequently represented as an act of healing. Over five hundred years before Mary gave birth to Jesus, Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be wounded for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:3-6
) and bruised for our inequities and that by His stripes we would be healed.
 
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5th Station of the cross

5th Station of the Cross: Jesus is judged by Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:13-25).
By today’s legal standards, it is unlikely that Jesus would have been convicted in any court, especially since no real evidence against Him could be produced. Pontius Pilate could find no fault in anything Jesus had done and wanted to release Him (Luke 23:13-24), but the Sanhedrin demanded that Pilate order His execution. The Sanhedrin, who ruled according to strict Mosaic Law and tradition, considered Jesus a major threat to their ruling authority over the Jews. Jesus taught the people that salvation was by the grace of God and not by adherence to the many precepts set forth by the Sanhedrin, and such teaching not only undermined the authority of the religious leaders, but it also posed a serious threat to the livelihood that they enjoyed as a result of their control over the Jewish people. Even today, the message of salvation by the power and choice of God, not by our own efforts, is unpopular. Human beings in their fallen nature always want to achieve their own salvation, or at least have a part in it, so we can claim at least a part of the glory. But salvation is of the Lord, who shares His glory with no one (Isaiah 42:8).
 

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4th Station of the cross

4th Station of the Cross: Peter denies Jesus (Luke 22:54-62).
When Jesus was arrested, a number of those present at the time accused Peter of being one of Jesus’ followers (Luke 22:54-62). As previously predicted by Jesus, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Peter was Jesus’ beloved and trusted disciple who witnessed many miracles firsthand, even walking on water with Jesus (Matthew 14:29-31). Even so, Peter demonstrated the weakness of humanity by denying Jesus for fear of also being arrested. Christians all over the world still face persecution and humiliation by the non-believing in society, from verbal abuse to beatings and death. People might self-righteously judge Peter for his denial of Jesus and his fear of what the Romans would do to him if they discovered his relationship with Jesus, but how many Bible-believing Christians can say they have never remained silent about their faith in the face of discrimination, public or private? Such a silence demonstrates the imperfect frailty of humanity. Peter’s faith was an imperfect faith, primarily because he was not indwelt by the Holy Spirit at that time. After the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost to live in the hearts of believers (Acts 2
), Peter was a valiant lion of faith, never again fearing to proclaim His Lord.
 
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3rd Station of the Cross: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin

3rd Station of the Cross: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin (Luke 22:66-71).
The Sanhedrin council, made up of seventy priests and scribes and one high priest, demanded that Pilate execute Jesus. This incident serves as a warning for all Christians to be careful not to exalt ourselves by self-righteously judging others. Biblical knowledge and exalted positions in this world still fall pitifully short of holy perfection, and prideful thinking can easily be the downfall of even the most pious among men. The Bible teaches us to respect positions of authority, but ultimately it is God’s will and God’s Word that should reign supreme in our lives. Christians are gifted with a baptism of God’s Holy Spirit to comfort, teach, and guide them in every situation, allowing them to make every decision according to the perfect will of God, essentially negating an individual’s need for religious rulers like the Sanhedrin. The Jewish people’s entrusting supreme religious authority to the Sanhedrin led to corruption among many of the priests and scribes of the Sanhedrin, and when Jesus began to teach a doctrine that undermined their authority, they plotted against Him, ultimately demanding His crucifixion by the Roman government (Luke 22:66-71
).
 
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2nd Station of the cross

2nd Station of the Cross: Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested (Luke 22:47-48).
Judas not only became one of the most despised characters in history when he betrayed Jesus; he also became a haunting reminder to every Christian that there have been times they have fallen to temptation to sin. For the Christian, stumbling in sin is like betraying the One who gave His life for us. How much greater is that betrayal when the sin is a chosen behavior, deliberately turning away from spiritual conviction (Luke 22:47-48)? Judas lived with Jesus and sat at His feet learning from Him for years. But because his heart was not truly transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, he fell away when tempted by Satan. As believers, we are told to “examine ourselves” to see if we are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
 

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1st Station of the cross

1st Station of the Cross: Jesus on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39-46).
Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives for His Father to take the cup from His hand that meant His death on the cross; it demonstrated the humanity of Jesus (Luke 22:39-46
). It is not difficult to imagine how great His anticipation was concerning the events He was about to face. There comes a time in the life of all Christians when they must also choose between God’s will and their own, and that choice, like Jesus’ choice, displays the level of commitment and obedience to God, as well as the true condition of the heart. Even though Jesus was aware of the fate He was about to face when He prayed on the Mount of Olives for God to alter the events, His prayer was that the Father’s will be done regardless of what the future held for Him. Even nailed to the cross with His life’s breath slipping away, Jesus was still teaching us the importance of obedience to God’s Word and the importance of trusting Him in every situation.

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Stations of the Cross

We, as Christians, are invited to remember what Jesus experience during this Holy Week.  Versions can vary in describing those final hours, one being biblical and the others being more traditional accounts of events in Jesus’ final hours. The traditional form of the Stations of the Cross is as follows:

1. Jesus is condemned to death.
2. Jesus is given His cross.
3. Jesus falls down for the first time.
4. Jesus meets His mother Mary.
5. Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross.
6. Veronica wipes blood off of Jesus’ face.
7. Jesus falls down for the second time.
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
9. Jesus falls down for the third time.
10. Jesus is stripped of His clothing.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross – the Crucifixion.
12. Jesus dies on the cross.
13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross – the Deposition or Lamentation.

14. Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb.
 
Join St Paul’s to experience for yourself this journey.  The church will be open from 9am-6pm, Monday-Wednesday, April 10-12

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St Patrick’s Day

This day is celebrated with a lot of green and green things like fountains, hair, clothing, and excuses for drinking.  As children it was fun to watch for people not wearing green so that they could be pinched.   What do we really know about this saint that we celebrate?  Here is a link to the History Channel page. 


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How do we at St Paul’s Connect?
 
There are always interesting things going on at our church, but do you know about them?  How do you find out about activities?  How do you communicate?  Do you follow posts on email, blogs, and/or newsletters?  Do you use a smartphone or your computer or both?  These are ways of communicating and we need to learn more about them and get better at connecting with our church family.  Maybe this will take off and we can get some good ideas and create a following. Our app works so that you may also follow us that way. 
Blessings!
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