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Design Elements in Custom Stations

The Lord be with you

If you have been following the custom Stations of the Cross that I’ve been posting, you may have noticed some design themes that appear in each station. The easiest one to understand is the triangle. It represents the Triune God. Throughout our Lord’s final day it might seem like God has lost control. The presence of the triangle reminds us that God is ever in charge, even as Jesus, or ourselves, face our darkest hours.

The next common design element is the large cross. According to Roman Catholic tradition, all real Stations of the Cross actually have a wooden cross as part of them. This, however, is not an approved Roman Catholic version of this historic devotional practice so this large cross serves to constantly remind us that this is a Stations of the Cross. The large cross dominates each picture, reminding us that our redemption was accomplished on this instrument of death. Beginning in station ten, this cross does double duty as it is also the cross on which our crucified Lord is depicted. In station fourteen, when Jesus is buried, the cross is again empty.

The next common design element is the serpent. It reminds us of Genesis 3:15 and represents Satan. In station one it is in a tree with the fruit of the tree on the ground, representing Satan’s failure in tempting Jesus. In stations two through nine, the serpent is striking the heel of Jesus while in stations ten through fourteen the serpent’s head is being crushed by the cross. This visually displays the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Genesis 3:15.

Another common design element is found in the upper right corner of the stations. It is a small cross which slowly fills up with darkness. This represents the growing isolation of Jesus as all, even the Father, turns from him. He must bear his burden of our sin alone.

The final design element you can find in each station is that three different stories are actually depicted. The larger one is, of course, from the final day of Jesus. These begin at the Garden of Gethsemane and ends at the Garden Tomb. The two small depictions are drawn from the Old Testament and foreshadowed the final day of Jesus in some fashion. There are biblical references in case the stories do not come to mind and you need something to job your memory. One may ponder these events and consider how they reflect our Lord’s final hours.

Blessings in Christ,

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