Good Friday Devotional

The Seven Words from the Cross

      The Lord be with you.
        And also with you.
      Jesus said, "Now is the judgement of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
BIBLE READING. John 18:1-19:42
The first word
      "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" Luke 23:34
      O God and Father of us all, who heard the prayer of Jesus Christ your Son, that those who nailed him to the cross should be forgiven: We thank you for this assurance of a love that even in our ignorance and sin always pleads on our behalf. Write this prayer on our hearts that we may learn to love as we are loved, to forgive as we are forgiven. Amen.
The second word
      "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43
      Lord Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners, who taught us of a Father's love that rejoiced in the return of a prodigal son, and even in the hour of death gave a repentant sinner the promise of your continued presence: We thank you for this word of reassurance that death cannot separate us from your love, and we pray that as we grow in understanding of your cross, we may draw nearer to our eternal home. Amen.
The third word
      "Dear woman here is your son". "Here is your mother" John 19:26,27.
      Dear Lord, who has blessed us with the gift of family life, that we may learn to love and care for others; We praise you for the example of Jesus Christ our Lord, who even when deserted and betrayed by his closest friends, took time to consider his mother. Open our eyes to care for our family and our brothers and sisters in the faith. Stir our hearts to serve all who are called to walk in the way of the cross, in the way of love. Amen.
The fourth word
      "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me." Matthew 27:46
      O God, whose love never fails us, and from whom nothing can finally separate us: We confess with shame the darkness of our sin that casts so deep a shadow on the cross; we thank you for the glory of your Son's obedience that carried him through the loneliness of his passion, and we pray that in the hour of our trial, when all is dark and there is no vision, we may be strengthened in our faith, knowing that the Spirit of him who suffered alone will never leave us to endure alone. Amen.
The fifth word
      "I am thirsty" John 19:28
      Son of Man, who entered our mortal life to be one with us in our human ways: We bless you for the love which stooped down to the level of our need; and although the reward of your self-giving was the cross, we rejoice in knowing that through grief and pain and thirst, the victory was won in our humanity, and the glorious hope of our salvation is in one who is both God and man. Amen.
The sixth word
      "It is finished." John 19:30
      Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. We praise you, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, because you did submit to the discipline of a son's obedience, and perfectly revealed in your death the Father's nature of love. We praise you, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of Man, because as our champion you did enter the battle against evil for our sake, and won the perfect victory over its power. We praise you, Lord Jesus Christ, Servant of God, because you did accept the suffering of those who seek to be at one with the Creator. By your one sacrifice you made us one with God. For your finished work we thank you. Amen.
The seventh word
      "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." Luke 23:46
      Abba, Father, in whom the Saviour trusted as in life so in death: We bless you for this last word which marked the completion of Jesus' work on the cross. The end achieved, grant us a strong faith, that when our life on earth draws to its close, we may not fear to surrender it into your hands as to an all-wise and all-loving Father; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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