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Summary: This is a dramatic Service based upon some of the “Stations of the Cross.” Partially adapted from a Service originally developed by Richard J. & Charlene E. Fairchild, Version 2. (A large PowerPoint file is available - #400.)

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MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

THE WAY OF THE CROSS - An Easter Season - "Good Friday" Service

(The PowerPoints used with this presentation are available at no charge by emailing me at mnewland@sstelco.com and requesting #400. Because these are photos this is a large file.)

(The original concept and some of the wording were adapted from a longer and more detailed dramatic presentation developed by Richard J. & Charlene E. Fairchild. Version 2, 2001-2004 of their presentation can be found on various websites.)

(The photographs used in the presentation came from slide programs available from Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org at www.freebibleimages.com which they will permit you to use as long as you make no charge for their use. They are a good source for Christian pictures!)

MUSICAL PRELUDE & WORDS OF WELCOME:

INTRO: The service tonight is based upon what is popularly called the “Stations of the Cross.” The story behind the development of the “Stations of the Cross” goes back to the Middle Ages when common people had almost no access to a Bible. And the few Bibles that were available were hand-copied manuscripts carefully guarded in churches & monasteries.

Most people had very little knowledge of the Bible other than what they were told by their priests. And most of that was simply church rules, practices & doctrines. Actual Bible knowledge was primarily passed on by storytellers, or in what came to be known as ”Passion plays” – dramatic presentations of various Bible stories often acted out by street players, much like the “Punch & Judy” presentations of later years.

It was during this time that the Franciscan monks sought to teach the people about the suffering of Jesus by dramatically portraying the events of His betrayal, trials, & crucifixion. The portrayals or paintings of these events came to be known as “Steps” or “Stations” on the way to His crucifixion.

Tonight, instead of paintings or enactments we will display Powerpoint pictures on the video screens. As each picture is being shown _________________ will explain what is happening & what message that picture is seeking to impart.

Then I will seek to present some thoughts concerning what the Centurion who was carrying out the command to crucify Jesus might have been feeling or thinking as the events of that day occurred. Let’s pray.

STATION 1: Jesus is Condemned to Death by Pilate (Show PowerPoint of Caiaphas, the High Priest)

NARRATOR: It is early in the morning. After a night of illegal trials according to Jewish law, the Sanhedrin has finally fashioned trumped-up charges of treason & sedition against Jesus and He is taken by Caiaphas, the High Priest, to the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate.

(Show PowerPoint of Pilate on the Judgment seat)

When Pilate questions Jesus & realizes that he has done nothing wrong, he attempts to release him. But the chief priests respond angrily & begin to stir up the crowd that had come with them. Then Pilate is told that Jesus is from Galilee, so he tries to avoid any further responsibility by sending Jesus to Herod Agrippa, who rules over Galilee.

(Show PowerPoint of King Agrippa questioning Jesus)

This is the same King Agrippa who imprisoned & beheaded John the Baptist. Agrippa tries to get Jesus to perform some miracle in his presence, but Jesus refuses even to speak to him. So Agrippa mocks him & sends him back to Pilate.

(Show PowerPoint of Pilate standing)

Again Pilate tries to release Jesus, even giving the crowd a choice between freeing Jesus or the notorious criminal Barabbas. But the crowd, stirred up by the Chief Priests, cries to release Barabbas & crucify Jesus. Finally, Pilate attempts to wash his hands of the whole matter & orders the crucifixion of Jesus.

CENTURION: What hypocrites! What hypocrites they ALL are. The chief priests, religious leaders, holy men! And they want Jesus dead. Just look at their faces.

And King Agrippa – trying to look so regal, so royal. He wanted Jesus to perform a magic trick for him. And when Jesus wouldn’t do it, he showed his real character – cruel, sadistic, mocking. I think Agrippa really enjoyed sending Jesus back to Pilate. Let Pilate handle this situation, if he dares.

And Pilate! Poor Pilate – I think he wanted to set Jesus free, but those priests really knew how to manipulate him. “Shall I crucify your King?” he asked, & they answered, “We have no King but Caesar.” And when Pilate appealed to the crowd they shouted "Crucify him! Crucify him!" And their cries still ring in my ears!

"Were You There?"

Were you there when they judged the Son of God?

Were you there when they judged the Son of God?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they judged the Son of God?

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