7 Places Stations: An experiential Holy Week experience

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by Deech Kirk

Create a worship experience that your students will not forget.  Jesus bled from seven places when he gave his life for our sins.  He bled from both hands, both feet, his head, his back, and his side.  Each of these places remind us of all the ways Christ wholly forgives our sins.

Set up five prayer stations that provide students space to pray and reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and their own lives.

You will need:

After setting a mood of worship, allow students to experience each station in any order.  Play appropriate reflective music in the background.  Give students plenty of time to visit each station.  Let the experience speak for itself.  Allow the Holy Spirit freedom to work.  Be prepared to pray with students who need support.

Jesus bled from his hands

So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he [Thomas] said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” (John 20:25-27)

Jesus was nailed to the cross for our sins. We use our hands to do so many things…some good and some bad…Christ bled from his hands and that blood cleanses us so that we might serve him.

Take a nail in your hands and take time to reflect on these questions:

Read these Scriptures of hope and promise:

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. (Psalm 24:3-4)

Go to the altar and symbolically wash your hands in the water as a sign of being cleansed of your sins.  As you wash your hands, imagine Jesus washing your hands for you, offering you forgiveness.

Blood poured from Jesus’ side

Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (John 19:34)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:25-28)

We all have things deep inside us that we try to hid from God and even from ourselves, sins that we are ashamed of or that we might even think are unforgivable. Jesus bled from his side and blood rushed from deep inside him to wash away every sin that is buried deep inside you.

Take time to look at the spear and reflect on these questions:

Scriptures of hope and promise:

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Say a prayer thanking God for sending Christ to die for our sins.  Ask Jesus to cover you with his blood and wash away all your sins so that you might be white as snow.  Remember to tell him how much you love him.

Jesus bled from his head

They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. (Matthew 27:28-29)

We all struggle with unclean thoughts. We lust after others and things.  We think things that we shouldn’t, but Christ’s blood covers those sins and washes them away.

Take time and think about these questions.

Read the following Scriptures of hope and promise:

…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God! (Hebrews 9:14)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Say a prayer asking God to forgive you and heal you of unclean thoughts. As a part of your prayer you might even imagine Jesus’ blood covering your head cleansing it.

Jesus bled from his feet

Jesus bled from his feet.  They nailed his feet to the cross to keep him from falling from the cross.  The same feet that walked on water, the feet that came to earth to walk the roads we walk, bled for our sins.

Our feet take us everywhere we go.  Sometimes, we walk the path that God has laid out for us; but sometimes, we stray from the path.  We trespass where we should not go knowing that we are not where we should be.

Take off your shoes and look at your feet.

Read these Scriptures of hope and promise:

For you have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of life. (Psalm 56:13)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end…Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. (John 13: 1,5)

Imagine Jesus washing your feet.  Now, walk through the sand or grass and pray that you will learn to walk in God’s path.

Jesus bled from his back

So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:15)

Peter denies knowing Jesus—Mark 14:69-71: And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.”

Judas agrees to betray Jesus—Matthew 26:14-16: Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him

Take time to think about how Christ forgives us knowing that we would betray him.  Remember that Jesus would forgive Peter’s denial and he will forgive you.

Read these Scriptures of hope and promise:

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11)

But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

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