Good Friday 2021

April 2

A Meditation on Christ the Servant WHO ... Suffered FOR us!

Some 700 hundred years before Jesus’ birth, Isaiah prophesied of a Suffering Servant in chapter 53 of his prophecy book which gives a detail portrait of Jesus’ substitutionary death and redemption. The Late Rev. John Stott has rightly said: “Substitution lies at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man.”

As we celebrate our Servant King and Suffering Saviour during this Good Friday meditation, may we all be guided by Isaiah 53 in our reflection on the passion of Jesus. May the Holy Spirit prompt us to repent of the many ways we have substituted ourselves for God; while we show deep appreciation and reverence to Jesus, who substitutes Himself sacrificially into our lives precisely at where we most deserve to be condemned.

Instruction: If you are meditating as a group, assign one person as the lead person to read the subheadings, instructions or prayers marked with a capital “L:”, then the group can respond together follow the bolded line marked with “All:” without opening your zoom microphone. If you are celebrating on your own, please read out all prayers and scriptures in moderate sound and speed.

VISUAL MEDITATION

See His Head, His Hands, His Feet ...

(one minute or two of viewing + one minute of personal silent prayer)

Kim Young Gil (Korean, 1940–2008), "Crucifixion," before 1991. India ink and coloring on rice paper. Sourced from "The Bible Through Asian Eyes" (p. 175) and posted with permission of the artist's estate. Tags: East Asia, Korea, 20th century

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

L:   Blessed Christ, Son of the Creator,
      conceived by the Spirit,
      born of the virgin, the Eternal Word of God,
All: we worship you.
L:   Servant Christ, friend of sinners,
      the one who touches lepers,
      the Great Physician, source of all comfort,
All: we worship you.
L:   Crucified Christ, wellspring of justice and love,
      provider of all faithfulness,
      full of kindness and mercy,
All: we worship you.
L:   Jesus, Lamb of God,
All: have mercy on us.
L:   Jesus, bearer of our sins,
All: have mercy on us.
L:   Jesus, redeemer of the world,
All: grant us peace.

Let us pray the following prayer:

L:   Gracious Father,
      we come into your presence with grief and joy.
      We are grieved over our sin that demanded a blood sacrifice,
      we are joyous, because you have provided with great compassion,
      the sacrifice of Yourself, in the person of your son Jesus Christ;
      who now lives and reigns with You
      and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
All: Amen.

L:   Precious Jesus,
      in unspeakable humility you crossed all worlds to become one with us,
      and submitted yourself this day to be judged and beaten,
      mocked and despised, cursed and crucified by the human race,
      embracing the hostility of sinners against you,
      that you could reach us at our unspeakable worst,
      thereby bringing all that you are with your Father in the Holy Spirit
      together with all that we are in our terrible darkness and pain.
All: Amen.

L:   Merciful Spirit,
      help us never to take for granted
      the pain and suffering of the cross,
      be reminded of the cost of it all.
      We gather also deeply aware
      of the world’s grief and pain – and our own.
      As this pandemic continues to awaken our fears,
      to disrupt our lives, and to reduce the health
      and lives of those we love, we come before You
      to ask that the cry of those in misery and need may come to You,
      that they may find Your mercy present with them in all their afflictions.
All: Amen.

SONG OF MEDITATION

John 1:29 ... Behold, the Lamb of God, who take away the sin of the world!

 

  Amazing Love

THE SERVANT WHO WAS DESPISED & REJECTED

Scripture Reading:

John 12:37-38/Isaiah 53:1

37 Though Jesus had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,
38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
       and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1)”

Isaiah 53:2

2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
       and like a root out of dry ground;
  he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
       and no beauty that we should desire him.

John 1:10-11

10 Jesus was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive Him..

Isaiah 53:3

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
      a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
   and as one from whom men hide their faces
      he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Luke 23:35-39

35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at Jesus, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

Silence (for a minute before you proceed)

SONG OF APPRECIATION

 

  Man of Sorrows

THE PASSOVER LAMB WHO TOOK OUR PLACE

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 53:4-5

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.

Let us pray together:

All:

Holy God, who was the guilty?
We stand with Barabbas.
We stand among those who deserve the punishment.
But it was your Son who took the sentence.
How can we repay you for such love?
In your mercy, hear our prayer.

Scripture Reading:

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake He made Him to be sin who know no sin,
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Silence (for a minute before you proceed)

  Video Reflection: MY NAME IS ...

THOSE SHEEP WHO GONE ASTRAY

Scripture Reading

Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned — every one — to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Romans 1:21-23, 28-31

21 For although WE knew God, WE did not honor YOU as God or give thanks to YOU, but WE became futile in OUR thinking, and OUR foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, WE became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

28 And since WE did not see fit to acknowledge YOU, YOU gave US up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 WE were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. WE are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. WE are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. …

Prayer of Confession

All:

O Lord, Our God!
How we need your courage to face the DARKNESS in us!
We have sinned against You.
We have shunned Your face and ignored Your voice.
We confess to taking for granted Your self-giving on our behalf
We confess that we have not surrendering our all.
We confess that we do not stand up for Your name.
We confess that we are comfortable ignoring the lost;
We confess that we have no compassion for the needy.
We confess that we are prideful to deny our weakness;
We confess that we have inflicted pain on others
due to our own ignorance, selfishness, foolishness, or sin.
In the name of Jesus, our Passover Lamb,
Empty us of all pride,
Fill us again with your humility,
See our need of Your grace,
Hear our prayer for Your mercy,
And come to us again, to help and restore,
because we cannot heal ourselves. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
L:

Be comforted,
for Jesus has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
He was pierced for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities,
upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole,
and with His wounds we are healed.

All:

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all.
Behold the Lamb, the precious Lamb of God,
who bore all my sin, that I may live again.
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slaughtered,
to receive power and wealth, wisdom and might,
honor and glory and blessing, forever and ever. Amen.

SONG OF PLEADING

Silence (for a minute before you proceed)

  All We like Sheep

THE SILENT LAMB WHO WAS OPPRESSED AND AFFLICTED

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
      yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
      and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
      so he opened not his mouth.

Isaiah 52:14
As many were astonished at you —
      his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
      and his form beyond that of the children of mankind —

Mark 14:53, 60-61a; 15:1-5; Lk 23:8-11; Mark 15:17-20

Mk 14:53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. … 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. 15:1 And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. … 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Lk 23:8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, ... 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.

Mk 15:17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.

SONG OF REMEMBRANCE

Silence (for a minute before you proceed)

  Lamb of God

THE SAVIOUR WHO DIED

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 53:8-9

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
      and as for his generation, who considered
   that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
      stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
      and with a rich man in his death,
   although he had done no violence,
      and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Luke 23:13-23

13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.” 18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed.

Luke 23:44-47

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

SONG OF GRATITUDE

Silence (for a minute before you proceed)

  Thank You Jesus for the Blood

Video Reflection

"For the purpose of our Good Friday Service, please watch up to 2 min 46 sec"

Silence (for a minute before you proceed)

  ARIMATHEA (God In My Grave)

RESPONSE IN PRAYER

Offer your own prayer as a response as the Holy Spirit leads you

INTERCESSIONS

Let us pray the following intercession:

L:

Almighty and Merciful God, creator of humanity,
source of all life, health and healing,
we are stunned by Christ’s suffering and His deep love for us
and how He has identified fully with humanity in our predicament,
look with compassion upon the sorrowful condition of your children;
protect us in the midst of the grave challenges that assail us
and in your fatherly providence grant recovery to the stricken,
strength to those who care for them through Christ our Lord.

Jesus, who knew what it was to be despised,
who was no stranger to suffering, griefs, and sorrows
who understood the pain of abandonment.
Have compassion on all who do not know you,
let your Gospel be preached with grace and power
to those who have not heard it,
turn the hearts of those who resist it;
and bring home to your fold those who have gone astray,
that there may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hear our prayer for those fighting
on the front lines of the pandemic —
our first responders, nurses, doctors,
and other health care professionals —
to save as many lives as they can.
Shelter them from this virus
and grant your healing mercies.

Hear our prayer for those who are sick with this virus…
ease their suffering and restore them to health,
reduce the side-effects of those who are vaccinated,
and give patience to those who are awaiting their turns.

Hear our prayer for those who are grieving,
who bury their loved ones without the comfort of funerals,
or the physical presence of family and friends.

Hear our prayer for the unemployed
and business owners in this time of financial insecurity…
help them survive this economic downturn.

Hear our prayer for governments
and public health officials around the world —
give them wisdom as they make decisions to reduce fatalities.

Help us reach out to others,
being the community we long to have.
Showing us new ways to be the church,
vibrant and witnessing to the risen Christ in times like these.

We plead to your mercy for a swift end
to the coronavirus pandemic that afflicts our world,
and, throughout this time of tribulation,
and help us all to persevere in faith
Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.