Good Friday, a day when our focus is on the crucifixion of Jesus; the pain, the suffering, the humiliation, the mocking. So greater love……
Good Friday that God should love us so much!
It is the cross that calls us on more deeply into the costly journey towards life.
CALL TO WORSHIP:
In the shadow of our suffering is the suffering of Jesus.
In the shadow of our pain is the God who cried out.
We are never alone. God is with us.
HYMN: When I survey the Wondrous Cross
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ my God; all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down; did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small:
love so amazing, so divine demands my soul, my life, my all. (WOV258)
THE CROSS is brought in during the hymn and placed against the table.
THE CROSS Lorraine Goffin
Jesus went out, carrying his cross, and came to “The Place of the Skull”, as it is called, or in Hebrew “Golgotha”. John 19:17
A nice piece of wood, although maybe a bit rough to touch – such a waste. It could have been carved, or used in the building of a house. It took years to grow green and majestic amongst other trees. When it was cut down, it took time to season……but I guess this man took time too. Time to grow, to come to fruition. Wasted years now. Maybe something is being built by the cross – a signpost to life, a door to new opportunities, a bridge between God and us.
SING: My Song is Love Unknown (please remain seated)
My song is love unknown, my Saviour’s love to me, love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be. O who am I that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh and die?
THE HAMMER AND NAILS are brought forward Martin Cleland
Three nails are hammered into the cross.
There they crucified him; and they also crucified two other men, one on each side, with Jesus between them. John 19:18
These nails are crude – but efficient. Only three will do the trick. They pin him on the cross, man on wood. They stretch him out to full length. They are made to pierce wood, not a man’s flesh. The people responsible for this must be as hard as nails. They are real nails that pin Jesus to the cross.
SING: Sometimes they strew his way and his sweet praises sing, resounding all the day hosannas to their King. Then ‘Crucify!’ is all their breath, and for his death they thirst and die.
THE INDICTMENT is placed at the top of the cross Ros Jackson
Pilate wrote a notice and had it put on the cross. “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,” is what he wrote. John 19:19
Who on earth does Pilate think he is? This man is not ‘our’ king. We haven’t had anything to do with him. We want him out of the way. He’s some sort of troublemaker. You know I wouldn’t put it past Pilate. The next thing he’ll be saying that this fellow is more than the King of the Jews, that he is the son of God, or something like that. To put it in a nutshell – the whole thing is bad business. It’s blasphemy.
SING: Why, what has my Lord done? What makes this rage and spite? He made the lame to run, he gave the blind their sight. Sweet injuries! Yet they at these themselves displease, and ‘gainst him rise.
THE ROBE is draped across the cross Judith Mackay
Pilate’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s palace, and the while company gathered round him. They stripped off his clothes and put a scarlet robe on him. Matt 27:27-28
He did it for a joke. Someone said he was a king! He didn’t look like the kind of king we’re used to. Not like Herod in all his finery. So we dressed him up. We made him ‘look’ like a king.
His own robe – well, it was quite a simple one woven without a seam. I guess we’ll cast lots for it. It’s hardly the kind of robe a king would even be seen dead in. What a joke!
SING: They rise, and needs will have my dear Lord made away; a murderer they save; the Prince of Peace they slay. Yet cheerful he, to suffering goes, that he his foes from thence might free.
THE CROWN OF THORNS is place at the top of the cross Mele
Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on his head, and they put a stick in his right hand; then they knelt before him and mocked him. “Long live the King of the Jews!” they said. Matt 27:29
These long sharp thorns. They pierce us. They wound us. We try to avoid them – lest we be entangled and torn. This is the price, this crown of thorns, that Jesus paid. He was snared, pierced and wounded. He didn’t try to avoid our human problems. They placed this crown of thorns upon his head – the wounded head – the priceless crown.
SING: Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine; never was love, dear King, never was grief like thine! This is my Friend, in whose sweet praise I all my days would gladly spend.
THE SPEAR is placed across the cross. June Service
So the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man and then of the other man who had been crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out. John 19:32-34
This is the end of it all.
The proof of death…………and I should know, I’ve seen it many times before.
This man was well and truly dead.
SILENT REFLECTION: Be still, be quiet, look toward the cross.
A time to construct your cross.
HYMN: Lift High the Cross
Lift high the Cross, the love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world adore his sacred name!
Come, Christian people, sing your praises, shout!
If we are silent, even stones cry out …
Jesus, you wept to see our human strife,
Teach us compassion for each human life …
Peace was your plea and peace your loving theme
Let peace be our passport a living dream …
Great is the cost of walking on this road,
To follow and suffer with the Son of God …
Worlds to be born and children yet to be
Come, take up this song into eternity … ©Shirley Murray (AA)
It is time to leave; listen again to those last words Jesus uttered from the cross.
‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’
‘My God, why have you forsaken me!’
‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’
Loving and compassionate God, into your hands we place our spirits, that the Spirit of Jesus we have met today might dwell in us. Enable us to take the love that has enveloped us into our everyday lives that others may experience that love too. Amen.
You may stay as long as you please.
EASTER DAY SERVICES:
27th March 9.00am St Martin’s Easter Communion
10.30am Beckenham Easter Celebration
All Welcome. Please join us.