Dear heavenly Father, tonight the cross is draped in black. As candles are extinguished, the church grows so dark I cannot see the words of the hymn we are to sing. But who needs light to sing, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord”? I know the song by heart even as my heart bows low to whisper it. Last evening you gave me your body and blood. Tonight I give thanks to you for giving me your life. Amen.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4
Attached you will find the worship folder for Good Friday and if you click the link you will be able to view the service with Pastor Wright. https://youtu.be/4QxtJDk5iw8
Good Friday: My God, Why?
Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying … “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
Invocation and Litany
P In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
P My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
C Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
P O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest …
C A company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—
P I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me;
C They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
P But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
C O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Hymn – Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted LSB #451 (v.1,3,4)
1. Stricken, smitten and afflicted, see him dying on the tree!
’Tis the Christ, by man rejected; yes, my soul, ‘tis he, ‘tis he!
’Tis the long-expected Prophet, David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it: ’Tis the true and faithful Word.
3. Ye who think of sin but lightly nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed, see who bears the awful load:
’Tis the Word, the Lord’s anointed, Son of Man and Son of God.
4. Here we have a firm foundation, here the refuge of the lost:
Christ, the Rock of our salvation, is the name of which we boast;
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded, sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded who on him their hope have built.
Confession and Absolution
P Let us confess our sins to God and ask his forgiveness for the sake of Jesus our Savior.
C Almighty God, we daily sin against you in our thoughts, words and actions. We turn away from your Word to listen to the temptations of the world around us. We seek to do our own will instead of your will. We do not love others as our Lord commanded us and we do not follow him as we should. Have mercy on us and forgive us.
P God has had mercy on us. He sent his Son to be our Savior. Jesus, the perfect Lamb of sac-rifice, carried our sins in his own body to the tree of the cross. There he suffered the penalty of death that we deserved. He rose from death to grant us forgiveness and life in his name. I announce to you that your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
C In Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, we have forgiveness and life!
Prayer of the Day
P Almighty God, you sent your Son to be our Savior. Jesus, who was innocent of all sin, car-ried our sins to the cross, where they were washed away in his blood. When soldiers and onlookers mocked and reviled him, he did not answer in kind. He entrusted himself into your hands. Help us to be faithful at all times to your Word and your will for us. If we suffer for the sake of Jesus’ name, if we are mocked because we believe in him, keep our faith strong and help us to respond in love and share with others the good news of salvation. Hear our prayer in the name of Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord. Amen.
Hymn – Glory Be to Jesus LSB #433 (v.1,2,4)
1. Glory be to Jesus, who in bitter pains
Poured for me the lifeblood from his sacred veins!
2. Grace and life eternal in that blood I find;
Blest be his compassion, infinitely kind!
4. Abel’s blood for vengeance pleaded to the skies;
But the blood of Jesus for our pardon cries.
Old Testament Reading – Isaiah 53:4-6
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 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. 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 … Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
In one of the ceremonies commanded in the Old Testament for the Day of Atonement, the high priest was to lay his hands on the head of a goat and confess over it the sins of the people. Then the goat was led out to a desolate area far from the Israelite camp, carrying the sins of the people out into the wilderness. The prophet Isaiah said that the Lord’s Suffering Servant, the promised Messiah, would be that “scapegoat.” The Messiah would be the perfect lamb of sacrifice and on his head the Lord himself would lay “the iniquity of us all.” Then that silent, suffering lamb would be led outside of the city and slaughtered on a cross-shaped altar, not for any sin of his own, but for our sin. But in his anguish, because he poured out his soul to death, the innocent lamb would “see and be satisfied.” He would finish the work that he had come to do, and he would be satisfied with the result of his saving work. Because of his suffering and death, we are righteous—without guilt, without shame, without fault—in the sight of God. All of this was accomplished in Jesus Christ our Savior, who “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.” Amen.
Hymn – Upon the Cross Extended LSB #453 (v.1)
1. Upon the cross extended
See, world, your Lord suspended.
Your Savior yields his breath.
The Prince of Life from heaven
Himself has freely given
To shame and blows and bitter death.
Epistle Reading – 1 Peter 2:21-25
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
You are probably all too familiar with the angry arguments on social media; maybe you even join in now and then in a few of those heated exchanges. People challenge and mock and ridicule those whose opinions and beliefs are different than their own. They will often say in print what they would not dare to say to someone face to face. Yet as Jesus hung helpless on the cross, the soldiers, the priests and other religious leaders, and even the criminals crucified beside him, taunted and ridi-culed him to his face. They challenged him to prove he was the Messiah by coming down from the cross. If he had saved so many others, why didn’t he save himself? They mocked his trust in his heavenly Father, saying, “He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him” (Matthew 27:43). Yet Jesus did not join in; he did not return their insults and ridicule. He did not revile those who reviled him or threaten those who had nailed him to that awful tree. What did he do instead? He prayed that they would be forgiven. He bore their sins—and yours and mine—in his own body on that cross. Jesus was mocked for trusting God, but he continued to do so, even during those dread-ful hours. He entrusted himself to his heavenly Father. His Father had sent him on a mission to achieve our salvation, and Jesus completed that mission. He finished the work he came to do, and by his wounds we are healed. Amen.
Hymn – Upon the Cross Extended LSB #453 (v.3&5)
3. Who is it, Lord, that bruised you?
Who has so sore abused you
And caused you all your woe?
We all must make confession
Of sin and dire transgression
While you no ways of evil know.
5. Your soul in griefs unbounded,
Your head with thorns surrounded,
You died to ransom me.
The cross for me enduring,
The crown for me securing,
You healed my wounds and set me free.
Gospel Reading – Matthew 27:32-54
As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered [Jesus] wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had cruci-fied him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the tem-ple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrec-tion they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
One of Jesus’ own disciples betrayed him and handed him over to the priests and other religious rulers who had plotted his death. When the Savior was arrested, the rest of the disciples deserted him and fled the scene. The leader of the disciples, Peter, swore that he never even knew Jesus. The Jewish ruling council, in an unjust trial, condemned their own Messiah to death. As the disciple John would later write, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11). And now, hanging as a beaten, suffering victim on the cross, Jesus cries out in the words of a psalm, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” His heavenly Father abandoned his Son to the pain and suffering of the cross. He left him hanging there, he let him die, because that is the purpose for which Jesus had come. For our sake, God made Jesus “to be sin, who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). On Jesus were laid all the sins of world, from the sins of Adam and Eve to the sins that will be committed on the last day of this world’s history, all of your sins and my sins, all of the guilt and shame. For those sins Jesus was judged and condemned and suffered the penalty of death that we earned. The Father turned his face away from his sin-burdened Son. We know our heavenly Father will never turn his face away from us because on the third day after Jesus’ death, the Father’s face was turned once more to his Son as he raised him up from death. When Jesus died, the heavy curtain that hid the holiest place of the temple—the place of God’s presence—was torn in two. A new, eternal curtain now hangs in its place, a curtain that is the flesh of the crucified and risen Son of God (Hebrews 10:20). Whatever your fear or guilt or grief, through Jesus Christ you have immediate access to the throne room of heaven. You have the blessing of God the Father, whose face is turned to you in love and mercy, now and for all eternity: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Amen.
Hymn – Upon the Cross Extended LSB #453 (v.6)
6. Your cords of love, my Savior,
Bind me to you forever,
I am no longer mine.
To you I gladly tender
All that my life can render
And all I have to you resign.
Offering (Thank You to everyone who has donated to the church during this time, please remember you may donate at Pathway Bank Drive-Thru window or mailing your donations to the church.)
P You who fear the Lord, praise him!
C All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Is-rael!
P For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted,
C And he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him …
P All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the na-tion shall worship before you.
C For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations …
P Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
C They shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Closing Hymn – O Perfect Life of Love LSB #452 (v.1&2,4&5)
1. O perfect life of love!
All, all, is finished now,
All that he left his throne above
To do for us below.
2. No work is left undone
Of all the Father willed;
His toil, his sorrows, one by one,
The Scriptures have fulfilled.
4. And on his thorn-crowned head
And on his sinless soul
Our sins in all their guilt were laid
That he might make us whole.
5. In perfect love he dies;
For me he dies, for me.
O all-atoning Sacrifice,
I cling by faith to thee.
P He was pierced for our transgressions;
C He was crushed for our iniquities;
P Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
C And with his wounds we are healed.
P Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
Strepitus – (The Bible is closed loudly, reminding us of the sealing of the tomb.)
Congregation leaves in Silence.
By Carol Geisler. © 2020 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, Inc., 1564 Fencorp Dr., Fenton, MO 63026. 800-325-9414. www.creativecommunications.com. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.