WALK THROUGH HOLY WEEK
Prayer Stations Aim:
To enable people to engage with the last week of Jesus’ life on earth in a multi-sensory way
Matthew 6:21, 20:28, 21:8-10, 26:6-7, 26:12, 26:14-16, 26:36-39, 26:57, 26:59-60, 27:15-17,
27:21b, 27:26b-31, 27:32-34, 27:37-38, 27:51-52a, 27:54, 27:57-60, Luke 23:21, Luke 23:34, John
13:1, 13:3-5, 13:14-15, 14:6, 20:1-2, 20:18, 20:19-20, Galatians 5:1, Isaiah 53:5
Outline of Prayer Stations
Station 1: Hosanna to the King
Station 2: Mary and Judas
Station 3: The Servant King
Station 4: Not my will but Yours be done
Station 5: Jesus in Chains
Station 6: Jesus Suffers
Station 7: The Cross
Station 8: Dead and Buried
Station 9: Jesus is Alive
1. Hosanna to the King!
Our journey to the cross begins as Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey.
“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The people hoped that Jesus had come as their conquering king to kick out the occupying Romans. A few days later, because Jesus didn’t fulfil their expectations, the same people shouted: “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
i) Look at the palm leaves on one side of the table and the palm crosseson the other side of the table. As you look at these symbols of love and hate, think about your own relationships. Can you be fickle; loving one moment and not the next?
ii) Jesus, the King, invites each one of us to faithfully follow Him. If you would like to respond to His invitation, take the first letter of your name from the basket, and stick it on the paper as you pray something like:
“Jesus, You are King.
Help me to faithfully follow You. Amen.”
2. Mary and Judas
“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman (Mary) came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.”
Jesus said to those in the room: “When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.” (Matthew 26:12)
“Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on
Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.” (Matthew 26:14-16)
i) Jesus said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Mary and Judas show us how true that is…..one loved Jesus and the other loved money. As you smell the fragrant oil and look at the silver coins ask yourself the question:
“Who or what do I love the most?”
ii) If you would like to, take a heart and on it write a prayer asking Jesusto become your greatest treasure, and then place it in the treasurebox.
The Servant King
“It was just before the Passover Feast……Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:1, 3-5)
Jesus said to His disciples: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:14-15)
i) Jesus’ greatest act of service was to lay down His life so that dirty lives, rather than dirty feet, could be washed clean. As you look at the bread and the wine, symbolic of His body and blood given for you, thank Jesus for the incredible way that He has served you.
ii) Who is Jesus inviting you to serve? Whose “feet” can you wash? Wash your hands in the water as a way of offering your hands in service to Jesus.
Not my will but Yours be done “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little
farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:36-39)
After Jesus had prayed, Judas appeared in the garden with a crowd, armed with swords and clubs, and Jesus was arrested.
i) Jesus was willing to drink the cup of suffering in obedience to His Heavenly Father. Dip your finger into the little cup with wine vinegar and taste it. As you taste its bitterness, think about the agonising decision Jesus had to make in the garden; whether to obey HisHeavenly Father or not.
ii) Do you have any difficult decisions that you need to make? Can you pray, “yet not what I will, but what You will Lord”? Now drop your little cup into the bin provided.
iii) Pray for anyone you know today who has a difficult decision to make.
Jesus in chains “Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders hadassembled................................................................ The
chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence
against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.” (Matthew 26:57, 59-60)
Jesus was then bound and taken to the Roman governor Pilate who questioned Him and also found that that He had done nothing wrong.
“Now it was the governor's custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or
Jesus who is called the Messiah?”............. “Barabbas,” they answered”
(Matthew 27:15-17, 21b)
i) Feel the coldness and the hardness of the large chain and thinkabout how shocking it is that Jesus, God’s Son, was willing to surrender His freedom.
ii) Jesus took Barabbas’ place. He gave up His freedom, and Barabbas was set free. Jesus has taken our place too, giving up His freedom so that we can be set free from the invisible chains of our sins. Take a piece of playdough and mould it into a symbol that expresses freedom. As you lay it on the tray, thank Jesus for the freedom He has givenYou.
6. Jesus suffers
“Pilate had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.”
i) As you look at the crown of thorns, the nails and the scarlet robe, and touch the sharpness of the thorns in the basket, think about the suffering that Jesus was willing to go through for you. Jesus suffered not because of His own sins, but because of your sins.
ii) Even though Jesus suffered so greatly He never stopped loving the people He came to save. As you light a candle thank Jesus that His love for you is so great.
7. The Cross
“As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it…….Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.” (Matthew 27:32-34, 37-38)
After Jesus had hung on the cross for six hours, Jesus gave up his spirit. “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open……
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”” (Matthew 27:51—52a, 54)
i) Jesus died on the cross so that your sins might be forgiven and so that you can have a restored relationship with your holy, Heavenly Father. Take a piece of red wool. Think about the sins that you have committed and now want to turn away from. When you are ready, lay the piece of wool on the cross symbolising the fact that the punishment for your sins has been paid for by Jesus.
ii) Take a piece of white wool from the cross – and receive God’s forgiveness. Hear Jesus say to you: “Your sins are forgiven. Go inpeace”
iii) As Jesus was hanging on the cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Sometimes we need to forgive other people when they have sinned against us. Pick up a tack and as you feel its sharpness, let it remind you of someone who has hurt you and who you need to forgive. As you choose to forgive that person, pray a prayer of forgiveness then lay the tack at the foot of the cross.
Dead and Buried “As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.”
i) It is hard to imagine how devastated Jesus’ disciples were after Jesushad died. Spend a moment thinking how they must have felt, believing that they would never see Jesus again.
ii) If you would like to, sprinkle a few drops of water (containing myrrh) onto the body and smell the “stench of death.” Use the hand-wipes to clean your fingers.
9. Jesus is alive!
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!”” (John 20:1-2)
Peter and John looked inside the tomb and found that Jesus had gone but the strips of linen that had been wrapped around His body were still there. The disciples left but Mary stayed by the tomb weeping. Jesus appeared to Mary and said: “Mary.” After Jesus had spoken with her, Mary went to the disciples and said: “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18)
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood am-ong them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:19-20)
Over 500 people saw the risen Jesus over the next 40 days before He went back to be with His Father in heaven.
i) Death could not hold Jesus. He is alive! Jesus’ resurrection proves that He is who He said He is; the Son of God who came to be our Saviour. Take a chocolate egg and as you eat it, thank your Heavenly Father for His goodness in sending Jesus for you.
ii) Heaven’s door is now unlocked and open wide to all those who believe and trust in Jesus. We are offered the gift of eternal life. Pick up a key and as you hold it, thank Jesus for opening the door to eternal life that begins here and continues when one day He will raise us to be with Him forever.
iii) As you lay your key on the tray, ask Jesus to help you to keep following Him day by day.