Special thanks to Gold Avenue Church Worship Leaders Kayleen Jasperse and Marissa Walters for their prayerful work on this Liturgy.

 

Welcome!

 

Good Friday is a day where we remember and reflect on a pivotal point in Christian history: the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ that atoned for the sins of the world. 

 

As you walk through the different sections of this liturgy, you’ll be invited at different times to read, sing, worship, reflect, and pray. Please note that a variety of scripture translations have been utilized throughout this liturgy; feel free to look up your preferred translation as you feel led. It may be helpful to read scripture slowly and to linger in or repeat certain passages as you feel led. 

 

As a visual, we also invite you to light a candle before you begin that you can then extinguish when directed at the end of the liturgy to represent the death of Jesus.

 

May the Lord bless you richly as you spend time with him reflecting on his tremendous sacrifice.

 

Open by  reading this question and answer from the Heidelberg Catechism out loud about the significance of Jesus’ suffering and death:

 

Q&A 40:         

Q.

Why was it necessary for Christ

to humble himself even unto death?

A.

Because of the justice and truth of God 

satisfaction for our sins

could be made in no other way

than by the death of the Son of God. 

 

Gen 2:17.

Rom 8:3; Phil 2:8; Heb 2:9, 14, 15.

 

Take a moment to silence your thoughts and your heart and prepare for worship.

 

Opening Prayer: 

 

Read this prayer aloud as you invite the Holy Spirit to move in your heart as we reflect on the suffering and death of our savior, Jesus Christ

 

God of all hope,

we gather today deeply aware

of the world’s grief and pain –and our own. Send your Holy Spirit here among us and comfort us with the sure knowledge

that our Lenten journey will end in Easter joy. Amen.

adapted from ​The Worship Sourcebook, J.1.4.9; u​sed with permission

 

Opening song: 

Feel free to join in song, to listen to, and or meditate on the words of this song where we remember the love of Christ displayed for us on the cross.

 

 

Preparation: the Traitor

 

Read out loud from Matthew 26:17-30 :

On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare your Passover meal?”

He said, “Enter the city. Go up to a certain man and say, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I and my disciples plan to celebrate the Passover meal at your house.”‘” The disciples followed Jesus’ instructions to the letter, and prepared the Passover meal.

After sunset, he and the Twelve were sitting around the table. During the meal, he said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.”

They were stunned, and then began to ask, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it, Master?”

Jesus answered, “The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table. In one sense the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense that man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!”

Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”

Jesus said, “Don’t play games with me, Judas.”

During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples:

Take, eat.

This is my body.

Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them:

Drink this, all of you.

This is my blood,

God’s new covenant poured out for many people

    for the forgiveness of sins.

“I’ll not be drinking wine from this cup again until that new day when I’ll drink with you in the kingdom of my Father.”

They sang a hymn and went directly to Mount Olives.

 

 

 

Confession: Peter’s Betrayal

 

Read out loud from John 18:15-18 and 18:25-27

 

Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in. “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.” One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

 

Spend a few minutes alone or as a family inviting the Holy Spirit to bring to mind any times in the past week when you have denied Jesus. When in this past week/few weeks have I denied the opportunity to share the good news about Jesus? How else have I denied, turned away from, ignored Jesus…? Take time to confess to the Lord anything that comes to mind.

 

 

 

Remembering:

 

Read aloud from Matthew 27:1-56

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

 

(Jesus Before Pilate)

Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.

While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”  All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

 

(The Soldiers Mock Jesus)

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

 

The Crucifixion of Jesus

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).  There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the jews.

Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.  “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.  He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”  In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

 

The Death of Jesus

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

 

Questions and Reflection: 

 

Reflect on our Father’s forgiveness toward us because of Christ’s sacrifice. Take time to  journal or talk about your feelings/heart/ emotions as you read about Jesus’ crucifixion and death using the following prompts:

 

What does it mean for Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior? 

 

Think about where you would be without this sacrifice; remember who you were and what you were like before Jesus rescued you.  

 

Reflect on the freedom and forgiveness you have because of Christ’s sacrifice. 


Lament:

 

Jesus cried out in lament to His Father from the cross (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). His spirit was troubled. He was in a place of feeling forsaken. He was expressing His pain through lament.  Lament is born out of moments where things are not as we would hope or desire them to be, or when things do not seem to reflect God’s Kingdom; to lament is to bring our pain to the Lord honestly and vulnerably while still acknowledging His goodness and his sovereignty even when we do not understand. Good Friday gives us an opportunity to participate with God in His ministry of lament, as we remember the suffering and sorrow of Jesus in His death.

 

Read aloud from Psalm 22

 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

    Why are you so far from saving me,

    so far from my cries of anguish?

My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,

    by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;

    you are the one Israel praises.

In you our ancestors put their trust;

    they trusted and you delivered them.

To you they cried out and were saved;

    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,

    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.

All who see me mock me;

    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.

“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,

    “let the Lord rescue him.

Let him deliver him,

    since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;

    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.

From birth I was cast on you;

    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Do not be far from me,

    for trouble is near

    and there is no one to help.

Many bulls surround me;

    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

Roaring lions that tear their prey

    open their mouths wide against me.

I am poured out like water,

    and all my bones are out of joint.

My heart has turned to wax;

    it has melted within me.

My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,

    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;

    you lay me in the dust of death.

Dogs surround me,

    a pack of villains encircles me;

    they pierce my hands and my feet.

All my bones are on display;

    people stare and gloat over me.

They divide my clothes among them

    and cast lots for my garment.

But you, Lord, do not be far from me.

    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.

Deliver me from the sword,

    my precious life from the power of the dogs.

Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;

    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 

Reflection for lament:

Do any of the feelings that are expressed in this Psalm resonate with you right now? Read the following questions, and choose 2-3 of them to journal about or share with those around you:

 

Is there something the Lord may be inviting you to lament over with Him? 

 

In light of the suffering and death of Jesus, what grieves you? 

 

In light of what is going on in the world right now, what is your heart broken over? 

 

Where do you long for Jesus to manifest his Kingdom in your life or in the lives of those around you?  

 

The beauty of lament is that when we take our pain and struggles to our God, He promises to bear our burdens and make things right in His own perfect timing. Because of His sovereign goodness and because of His victory on the cross, we can exchange our pain for His healing, our burdens for His strength, our worries for His peace and provision.

 

The psalmist wrote of this glorious exchange when he completed the Psalm that you’ve just read.

 

Read aloud the rest of Psalm 22:

 

I will declare your name to my people;

    in the assembly I will praise you.

You who fear the Lord, praise him!

    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!

    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

For he has not despised or scorned

    the suffering of the afflicted one;

he has not hidden his face from him

    but has listened to his cry for help.

 

From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;

    before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.

The poor will eat and be satisfied;

    those who seek the Lord will praise him—

    may your hearts live forever!

 

All the ends of the earth

    will remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

    will bow down before him,

for dominion belongs to the Lord

    and he rules over the nations.

 

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;

    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—

    those who cannot keep themselves alive.

Posterity will serve him;

    future generations will be told about the Lord.

They will proclaim his righteousness,

    declaring to a people yet unborn:

    He has done it!

 

 

 

Throughout this service we have walked through the final days of Jesus’ life and His suffering and death. We participated in His suffering as we too grieved the brokenness of our world and our lives as we long for His Kingdom to come. We conclude this Good Friday Service in a place of lament and yet a place of faith  as we meditate on the burial of Jesus and anticipate His glorious resurrection.

 

Burial of Christ:

 

Read aloud from Matthew 27:57-61 

As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.


Responding:

 

 

As the liturgy concludes, feel free to sing along with or just linger in the song below; if you chose to light a candle at the beginning of the liturgy, you may extinguish it at the conclusion of the song.

 

Make sure you join in on Easter morning for the rest of the story. 

 

 

Were You There?

 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

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? 

 

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb? 

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb? 

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. 

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?