April 6th, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
AS WE GATHER - John, the Gospel Writer
Our journey to follow Christ through witnesses to Christ arrives now at the cross. Tonight, we view Christ on the cross through the author’s eyes—John, Apostle and Evangelist, the beloved disciple, Zebedee's son, and James's brother. By John’s witness, we view Jesus as beaten and bloodied. We hear His words of forgiveness and fulfillment. We see Him shedding His blood for the life of the world. As we sing, pray, and sit in silence this evening, we ponder Christ’s love for us. We marvel at His gifts of forgiveness and salvation, for we have been clothed with the blood of Christ.
In the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Our Lenten journey concludes when Jesus arrives at the cross.
We have followed Jesus from the Upper Room to Gethsemane.
We have followed as Jesus stood trial before the chief priests and Pontius Pilate,
and we follow Him now to the cross.
On the cross, Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sorrows.
On the cross, Jesus was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.
On the cross, Jesus shed His blood for us and for our salvation.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
Good Friday is a day where we see our sin most clearly. We see our sin heaped upon Jesus as He suffers and dies on the cross. We confess our sins to our heavenly Father.
Dear heavenly Father, we have sinned against You and our neighbors in our thoughts, words, and actions. We have sinned against You and our neighbors in the things we have done and the things we have left undone. O Lord, have mercy on us.
God invites us to see our forgiveness clearly in Jesus. Out of His abundant mercy and grace, God gave His Son to die and rise for you. Because Jesus shed His blood, we are forgiven. Because Jesus endured the cross, we are saved. As a called and ordained servant of our crucified Lord, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. We are forgiven by the blood of Jesus.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, You endured the extreme suffering of crucifixion, shedding Your blood, so that the world would be forgiven. Keep our eyes fixed upon Your cross, where You won forgiveness and salvation for the world; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
OLD TESTAMENT READING Isaiah 52:13–53:12
The Old Testament Reading is from Isaiah, the fifty-second and fifty-third chapters.
The fourth servant poem promises ultimate vindication for the servant, who made his life an offering for sin. The servant pours himself out to death and is numbered with the transgressors, images that the early church saw as important keys for understanding the death of Jesus.
Behold, My servant shall act wisely;
He shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
As many were astonished at you—
His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and His form beyond that of the children of mankind—
so shall He sprinkle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of Him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
Who has believed what they heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him,
and no beauty that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
Surely, He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed Him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned everyone to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and He was afflicted,
yet He opened not His mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so, He opened not His mouth.
By oppression and judgment, He was taken away;
and as for His generation, who considered
that He was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of My people?
And they made His grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in His death,
although He had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in His mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him;
He has put Him to grief;
when His soul makes an offering for sin,
He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
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.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
EPISTLE Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9
The Epistle is from Hebrews, the fourth and fifth chapters.
In his death Jesus functions as great high priest who experiences temptation and suffering in order that we would receive mercy and find grace, because he is the source of true salvation.
Since then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. . .
In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John.
READING John 18:1 - 11
John 18:12 - 27
John 18:28 - 40
John 19:1 - 16a
John 19:16b - 24
John 19:25 - 30
John 19:31 - 42
LORD’S PRAYER (spoken softly)
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.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, we have followed Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to the cross. Strengthen us as we face our own mortality, knowing that just as we have been united with Jesus in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Removal of the Christ Candle (The removal of the Christ Candle symbolizes that our Savior hung in darkness for three God-forsaken hours before he died for the sins of the world.)
Strepitous (A great noise symbolizes the closing of Christ’s tomb.)
The congregation walks out of the sanctuary and the building silently, contemplating the death of Christ and looking forward to resurrection victory.