First Worship: Good Friday
Below I’ve listed a series of readings and meditations for use on Good Friday. I pray you find them helpful.
Read Mark 15:1-15. Jesus is Condemned to Die
Jesus is taken bound in chains before Pilate. Pilate questions him and exasperated asks Jesus, ‘Aren’t you going to answer your accusers?’ Jesus says nothing…Pilate addresses the crowd, ‘What do you want me to do with this one you call King of the Jews?’ They simply shout back, no doubt with venom in their voices, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he sets Barabbas free for them. He has Jesus whipped and hands him over to die.
Read Mark 15: 16-20 Jesus takes up his cross
The soldiers lead Jesus away and take the chance to have a bit of ‘fun’. Mocking him, they place a purple robe on his shoulders and push a crown of thorns onto his head. They continue by calling out, the sarcasm dripping from their words, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ They beat him and spit on him…and with their fun over lead him out to crucify him.
Read John 19:16-37 Jesus’ Crucifixion and Death
Jesus is now in the hands of the execution squad. He is stripped of clothing, disciples and friends; alone and vulnerable with nothing to protect him from the terrible pain to come. It was nine in the morning when they crucified him – people stayed to watch – the leaders to jeer- the soldiers to mock…Matthew’s account tells us that around noon the sky grew dark for three hours and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. John records Jesus’ final words as simply, ‘It is finished’. With that, Jesus bowed his head and died.
Read John 19:38-42 The burial of Jesus
Jesus’ body might have been flung into a common pit had it not been for these two faithful friends. The place of the burial was likely a private garden close to the scene of the execution. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed and saw both the garden and the location of the tomb and having seen they returned home to prepare their spices and perfumes in advance of Easter morning.
Read Isaiah 53:4-6 and then take time to pray thanking Jesus for dying for you.
You might find it helpful to also sing or listen to a hymn – possible suggestions might be: How deep the Father’s love for us/ There is a green hill/When I survey the wondrous Cross.