Good Friday Devotional

A Meditation on the Cross of Christ

GATHERING HYMN. O sacred head.
      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
      HYMN. Ah, holy Jesus, how have you offended.
DEVOTIONAL HYMN. Glory be to Jesus
      One verse is sung after each devotional reading
The fact of the cross
      "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left." Luke 23:33
      Death's no friend
      whatever mask it wears;
      it breaks our fragile
      worlds apart
      and in the heart
      of each of us
      plants grief and fear
          Bruce Smith. Death. "i'll not pretend"
The meaning of the Cross
      "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Gal.6:14
      The prevailing ideas is that, in Christ, God was dealing with the world (2Cor.5:19) and that in such action by God, Christ was taking death upon himself and thus death has lost its destructive character and taken on the creative character of divine action. Thus in his death resurrection is established. This act of dying has finished with sin and thus with death; out of it grew life.
          Rudolf Bultmann. Life and Death.
The curse of the cross
      "For He has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2Cor.5:21
      St.Paul did not say that God made Him a sinner; that would be the ultimate blasphemy. He was made to be sin in the sense that He was identified with the sinner, and was treated as the object of the wrath and judgement that sin deserves. He was sinless, and yet He was treated as if He were sinful. And all this for us; it was on our behalf.
          Marcus Loane. By Faith we Stand.
      O Love divine! What hast thou done!
      That immortal God has died for me!
      The Father's co-eternal Son
      Bore all my sin upon the tree;
      The immortal God for me had died!
      My Lord, my Love, is crucified."
          Charles Wesley
Derision at the Cross
      "And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ, the chosen of God.." Luke 16:14 ("They bitterly taunted him." Weymouth)
      Under the Eastern sky,
      Amid a rabble cry,
      A man whent forth to die, For me!
      Thorn-crowned His blessed head,
      Blood-stained His every tread,
      Gross laden on He sped, For me.
      Pierced glow His hands and feet,
      Three hours o'er Him did beat,
      Fierce rays of noon-tide heat, For me!
      Thus wert Thou made all mine,
      Lord, make me wholly Thine,
      Give grace and strength divine. To me!
      In thought and word and deed,
      Thou will to do; oh, lead my feet,
      E'en though they bleed, To Thee!
Hope in the cross
      "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and HIim crucified." 1Cor.2:2.
      The stars wailed when the reed was born,
      And heaven wept at the birth of the thorn:
      Joy was plucked like a flower and torn,
      For Time foreshadowed Good Friday morn.
      But the stars laughed like children free
      And heaven was hung with rainbow's glee
      When at Easter Sunday, so fair to see,
      Time bowed before Eternity.
          Fiona Macleod. Easter.
Glory in the cross
      "Therefore if any person is in Christ, they are a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2Cor.5:17
      The essential thing was not self-sacrifice...... but sacrifice of the central self - not sacrifice by self, and of the whole self, sacrifice not merely voluntary, but personal, loving and entire.
          P.T. Forsyth. The Cruciality of the Cross.
Identification with the cross
      "But now Christ has appeared once and for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Heb.9:26-28
      Whichever way I go, whatever year I leave
      it will be untimely.
      Whether by heart of lung, knife or axe,
      or simply Life's refusal to lend me new cells
      - all of it, just at the wrong moment, - all of it, a tragic way to die
      There will be something left undone,
      some people I wanted to see, and besides
      the room won't be in a fit condition for relations to look around.
      But when it does come
      it will be when I've stopped counting
      It will be the very day I feel least death-like
      not the one when I shake hands
      to leave lasting impressions,
      and tidy away my belongings just in case
          Steve Turner. part, "My Tragic Untimely Death." "Up to Date".
FINAL READING Romans 8:31-39
CLOSING HYMN. Man of sorrows.
      Pilgrim God, take us now and put our feet on the road that leads to the horizons of your unfolding future, the future to which the Spirit draws us, and from which the crucified and risen One comes to meet us. Amen.

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