Home Service 14

Good Friday Reflection ~ 2nd April 2021 ~ ‘A day like no other’

O God of infinite love and power, we pause this day to reflect on what Jesus suffered for us.
To think on the mystery of grace. We are humbled in the presence of such love and mercy.
Open our hearts this day to the goodness of Good Friday. Open our minds to your truth.
Enfold us in your arms, Father. Amen.

Song: Hallelujah, My Father

Hallelujah, my Father, for giving us your Son;
Sending Him into the world to be given up for men,
Knowing we would bruise Him and smite Him from the earth.
Hallelujah, my Father, in His death is my birth;
Hallelujah, my Father, in His life is my life.

When Jesus lived on earth, the world was not full of clocks as it is now. People could not know the time of day to the nearest second as we can, but when Mark recorded the events of Good Friday in his Gospel, he made several references to the time they occurred. What remarkable things happened. Let us take time to follow and reflect prayerfully on the events as they unfolded.

Our readings come from The Good News Translation of chapter 15 in Mark’s Gospel. verses 1-24: Early in the morning…

…the chief priests met hurriedly with the elders, the teachers of the Law, and the whole Council, and made
their plans. They put Jesus in chains, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “So you say.” The chief priests were accusing Jesus of many things, so Pilate
questioned him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? Listen to all their accusations!” Again, Jesus refused to say a word, and Pilate was amazed. At every Passover Festival Pilate was in the habit of setting free any one prisoner the people asked for. At that time a man named Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder in the riot. When the crowd gathered and began to ask Pilate for the usual favour, he asked them, “Do you want me to set free for you the king of the Jews?” He knew very well that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask, instead, that Pilate set Barabbas free for them. Pilate
spoke again to the crowd, “What, then, do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” “But what crime has he committed?” Pilate asked. They shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers took Jesus inside to the courtyard of the governor’s palace and called together the rest of the company. They put a purple robe on Jesus, made a crown out of thorny branches, and put it on his head. Then they began to salute him: “Long live the King of the Jews!”  They beat him over the head with a stick, spat on
him, fell on their knees, and bowed down to him. When they had finished making fun of him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. On the way they met a man named Simon, who was coming into the city from the country, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was from Cyrene and was the father of Alexander and Rufus.)  They took Jesus to a place called Golgotha, which means “The Place of the Skull.” There they tried to give him wine mixed with a drug called myrrh, but Jesus would not drink it.    Then they crucified him and divided his clothes among themselves, throwing dice to see who would get which piece of clothing.

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Song: Come and see

Come and see, come and see, come and see the King of love.
See the purple robe and crown of thorns he wears.
Soldiers mock; rulers sneer as he lifts the cruel cross.
Lone and friendless now he climbs towards the hill.
We worship at your feet where wrath and mercy meet
And a guilty world is washed by love’s pure stream.
For us he was made sin. Oh, help me take it in.
Deep wounds of love cry out ‘Father, forgive’.
I worship, I worship the Lamb who was slain.
Come and weep, come and mourn for your sin that pierced him
So much deeper than the wounds of thorn and nail.
All our pride, all our greed. all our fallenness and shame
And the Lord has laid the punishment on him.
Man of heaven, born to earth, to restore us to your heaven.
Here we bow in awe beneath Your searching eyes.
From your tears comes our joy; from your death our life shall spring.
By your resurrection power we shall rise.

verses 25-32:   It was nine in the morning… …when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: ‘the King of the Jews’. They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!’ In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the
law mocked him among themselves. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

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    Song: O teach me what it meaneth

O teach me what it meaneth, that cross uplifted high,
With One, the Man of Sorrows, condemned to bleed and die!
O teach me what it cost Thee to make a sinner whole;
And teach me, Saviour, teach me, the value of a soul!
O teach me what it meaneth, that sacred crimson tide,
The blood and water flowing from Thine own wounded side.
Teach me that if none other had sinned, but I alone,
Yet still Thy blood, Lord Jesus, Thine only, must atone.
O teach me what it meaneth, Thy love beyond compare,
The love that reacheth deeper than depths of self-despair!
Yes, teach me, till there gloweth in this cold heart of mine
Some feeble, pale reflection of that pure love of Thine.
O teach me what it meaneth, for I am full of sin,
And grace alone can reach me, and love alone can win.
O teach me, for I need Thee, I have no hope beside—
The chief of all the sinners for whom the Saviour died!

O teach me what it meaneth the rest which Thou dost give
To all the heavy-laden who look to Thee and live.
Because I am a rebel Thy pardon I receive
Because Thou dost command me, I can, I do believe.
O infinite Redeemer! I bring no other plea;
Because Thou dost invite me I cast myself on Thee.
Because Thou dost accept me I love and I adore;
Because Thy love constraineth I’ll praise Thee evermore!

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verse 33: At noon… …darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 

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Song: Were you there?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

verses 34-41: And at three in the afternoon…… Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of those standing near heard this, they said,
‘Listen, he’s calling Elijah.’ Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’ Some women were there, looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joseph, and Salome. They had followed Jesus while he was in Galilee and had helped him. Many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him were there also.

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Song: How deep the Father’s love

How deep the Father’s love for us?
How vast beyond all measure?
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss?
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

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verses 42-47: It was toward evening……when Joseph of Arimathea arrived. He was a respected member of the Council, who was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God. It was Preparation day (that is, the day before the Sabbath), so Joseph went boldly into the presence of Pilate and asked him for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that
Jesus was already dead. He called the army officer and asked him if Jesus had been dead a long time. After hearing the officer’s report, Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a linen sheet, took the body down, wrapped it in the sheet, and placed it in a tomb which had been dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph were watching and saw where the body of Jesus was placed.

Song: The price is paid

The price is paid.
Come let us enter in to all that Jesus died to make our own.
For every sin more than enough He gave
And bought our freedom from each guilty stain.
The price is paid. Alleluia!
Amazing grace so strong and sure.
And so with all my heart, my life in every part,
I live to thank You for the price You paid.
The price is paid.
See Satan flee away, for Jesus crucified destroys his power.
No more to pay. Let accusation cease.
In Christ there is no condemnation now.
The price is paid.
And by that scourging cruel He took our sicknesses as if His own.
And by His wounds, His body broken there
His healing touch may now by faith be known.
The price is paid
‘Worthy the Lamb’ we cry. Eternity shall never cease His praise.
The church of Christ shall rule upon the earth.
In Jesus’ name we have authority.

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By His stripes we are healed. By His wounds we are made whole. By His goodness we are saved. Let us go in the name of Jesus Christ and live in the salvation made possible by the Goodness of Good Friday. Amen.