Worship at Home - Good Friday 2020

Good Friday 10th April 2020, 10:30am
Matthew 27 and Isaiah 53

This short act of worship is for use while we are unable to attend church.  Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you. (You could try reading the Bible aloud)

Today is a deeply significant day in the life of Christ, and in our Church year. 
Let’s take time to carefully, prayerfully follow the story of Jesus’ suffering and death. 
Let’s gaze in awe and wonder, giving thanks that God should love us so much.

Opening Prayer

Holy and Loving Christ,
I come to worship you on this most momentous of days.  As I do I remember that you were truly alone as friends abandoned you in fear, and authorities and the world you created and loved turned on you most violently.
Thank you Jesus for coming, for taking our suffering and sin upon yourself, to save us from our sin, our selfishness.

Thank you that I am a part of your church in my community and in the world, and I can take comfort from the fact that I am not alone.  Help us all now to see and hear and know and feel something new, something deeper, as we reflect on what you went through, what happened that day.

Amen.

You may well find you own train of thought. If so that’s great.  You could ask yourself as you follow what the story says about…
Who is responsible for Jesus’ death?”

Slowly & thoughtfully…
Read Matthew 27: 1-2, v11-32

Hymn: My song is love unknown
(Singing the Faith (StF 277) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaR4DSjBLO4

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?

He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow,
but men made strange, and none
the longed-for Christ would know.
But O my friend, my friend indeed,
who at my need, his life did spend!

Sometimes they strew his way,
and his strong praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosannas to their King.
Then “Crucify!”…is all their breath,
and for his death they thirst and cry.

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.

They rise, and needs will have
my dear Lord made away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of Life they slay.
Yet cheerful he… to suffering goes,
that he his foes from thence might free.

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 could gladly spend.

Read Matthew 27: 33-44

Hymn: How deep the Father’s love for us
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzQj7XvKFmA

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.

Stuart Townend Copyright © 1995 Thankyou Music

Read Matthew 27: 45-56

Phil writes to us…

That second verse of “How deep the Father’s love” stops me in my tracks every time.  It sums it all up doesn’t it.

As you were reading, who did you think was responsible for Jesus’ death?  In the part before we read (Ch 26), the Religious leaders and Judas were plotting his death, Jesus’ friends ran away, and there was a lynching of a so-called trial by the High Priest and his cronies.  Then in Ch 27, Pilate washed his hands of Jesus and went with the crowd; the Roman soldiers made the most of their orders to beat him and ultimately drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet; and the crowd shouted for his crucifixion and mocked him even while he hung in pain on the cross.

When you think about it, everyone had a hand in it.  In Isaiah 53v6 it says:

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all
.”

And Paul says in Romans 3:

23 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.

Everyone.

Yet, praying in the Garden, what did Jesus pray?  ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’  Sorry Jesus, whose will??! 

It is beyond our understanding how our loving God could sanction such a thing, let alone plan it all before the beginning of Creation, even time itself… but that’s what he did.  Even though he knew what would happen, what it would cost Jesus, the God-head, Father, Son & Spirit together, decided to give us life, to rescue us when we blew it and to love us for all eternity.

And even as Jesus dies, the signs of hope begin to appear: the earth shakes, the centurion confesses Jesus as God, and the dead are already rising from the tombs!!  Bring on Easter Day!  But let’s not hurry on too quickly from the events of Friday and the deepest, most astonishing expression of heavenly love in Jesus giving himself for you and me.

Let us pray…

Loving God, thank you that you loved the world, everyone… me… so much that you were willing to send Jesus to give himself for us that as we believe in him we might be forgiven and have eternal life,

Jesus, help me to understand more about your sacrificial love, to experience more of your love for me, that I might be prepared to love others the way you have loved me.
Amen.

Take a time to wait in God’s presence

Read Isaiah 53

A time of prayer

In a few words, thoughts or perhaps by writing it down, pray your thanks to Jesus.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father ……

Hymn: When I survey the wondrous cross
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhvXOIVsRv4

OR perhaps Oh to see the dawn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aowdjLeaCYs

A prayer of blessing

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore.

Amen.

Message & Order of service leaflet compiled by Revd Phil Snelson