We have created seven stations for you to experience some of the events surrounding Jesus's death and resurrection. This guided prayer experience takes approximately 30-45 minute. It is designed for you to go through by yourself or with your friends and family. All the supplies you need are on the tables at each station.
If you are going through this Good Friday experience with a group, pass the items around the group, take turns reading and leading exercises and work together.
Before you start, watch this video.
Experience1: Washing Feet
John 13:4-5 (ESV)
Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Consider all the ways Jesus served those around him. Why did he live this way? How can we follow Jesus’ example?
God created each and every one of us uniquely with special personalities, gifts, resources, and skills so we might be able to make an impact for God’s kingdom.
Are you using the gifts and talents God is giving you? Who is someone you need to serve?
Brainstorm ways you can follow Jesus’s example and serve others. Be specific.
Once you have identified a way you can serve others, place a pair of footprints on the floor. Stand on the footprints and pray, committing to use your unique personalities, gifts, resources, and skills to serve others.
Experience 2: The Holy Spirit
John 14:15-17 (ESV)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
Jesus comforted his followers by telling them that God’s Spirit would be with them and would be a helper, comforter, and advocate for them.
What areas of your life do you need God’s Spirit to help you?
Put the dirt into the cup and plant a seed in it. As you plant the seed, ask God’s Spirit to help you experience new, fresh life.
Take the planted seed with you, and water the soil every day or two, keeping the dirt moist. When the plant begins to sprout, transfer it to a larger container, or plant it outside.
Experience 3: The Weight of the Cross
John 19:16-17a (ESV)
So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross.
One of the most grueling aspects of the crucifixion was the weight of the cross. The person being executed would often be required to carry the crossbeam of their own cross. These crossbeams could weigh as much as 100 lbs. The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus set out carrying his own cross, and the other Gospels let us know that along the way Simon of Cyrene was grabbed from the crowd and forced to carry Jesus’s cross.
Take time to lift the different weights of wood. Focus on the weight of the cross. How does it make you feel to know Jesus needed help carrying the cross? Imagine all Jesus went through on his way to his death.
In addition to the literal weight of the cross, Jesus faced the spiritual and emotional weight of the cross. What are some ways you have contributed to the weight of the cross? How have your choices, actions and attitudes added to what Jesus took upon himself?
Think of one word that represents what you added to Jesus’s cross and say it quietly as a prayer.
Experience 4: The Pain of Death
John 19:17-18 (ESV)
He went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross.
Look at some of the items which would have inflicted pain on Jesus. Jesus was flogged with a whip. Jesus had a crown of thorns placed on his head as he was mocked. Jesus was nailed to a cross.
In front of you is a pile of nails. Pick up a nail and hold it in your hand. As you do, consider what pain you’ve experienced in life. How does it make you feel knowing that Jesus completely understands the pain of human suffering?
As you hold the nail in your hand, thank Jesus for his willingness to suffer on our behalf. After you pray, return the nail to the pile.
Experience 5: The Burial
John 19:39-40 (ESV)
Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
As his family, friends and followers mourned Jesus’s death, his body was prepared and buried in a process which included applying spices and ointments and wrapping the body. Try to imagine the fear and anxiety they felt as they faced an uncertain future.
Think about a time you were unsure about what the future held for you. What areas in your life are you waiting on God? What areas of your life bring you the most anxiety?
On the table are spices, ointments and strips of linen. Pick up a piece of linen and think about the area of your life with the most uncertainty. Write a one word prayer on the linen, then ask God to guide and direct you in this area of your life as you dip the linen in the ointment and lay it on the rocks.
Experience 6: The Empty Tomb
John 20:1 (ESV)
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
When Mary first arrived at the empty tomb, she likely had more questions than answers. How would you have responded to the empty tomb? Would you have assumed that someone stole the body? At this moment, Jesus’s followers were only beginning to understand what God was doing. The discovery of an empty tomb provided a glimmer of hope, an expectation that God was doing something amazing.
As we reflect on the hope Jesus’s resurrection gives us, we invite you to take the Lord’s Supper. This practice has been part of Christianity since the very beginning. After Jesus’s death and resurrection, the early church would take time out of their week to share food together and remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. Pray and, when you’re ready, eat the bread and drink the cup.
Experience 7: The Announcement
John 20:14-18 (ESV)
Mary turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Once Mary encountered the resurrected Jesus, she had to share the good news. Jesus conquered death and offers new life to each and every one of us. This is amazing news! Who will you share the good news with?
Think of someone you would like to share the good news of new life with and who you want to invite to experience God for themselves. Take time to ask God for opportunities to love and serve them. Ask God to give you wisdom and grace in how you interact with them.
In front of you are markers and boards to write on. When you are ready, write the first name or initials of someone you would like to share the good news of Jesus with.