Easter Devotional

Good Friday

Optional Additional Reading: "The Glory of the Cross" by Jeremy Treat (Suffering & Glory book - available at Sunday worship service)
Please note: For Good Friday you have two options from which to choose:
  1. You may join us in person to participate in this service corporately (details).
  2. Second: You may follow along on the regular daily liturgy posted below—similar to what you have seen on previous days.

Preparation

Find eight candles in your home and place them on a  table. They do not have to be matching candles but, ideally, should be candles that can be easily blown or snuffed out. Begin with all the candles lit. Involve your children in this process as it will make it more memorable for them.

Introduction

Good Friday is the celebration of Jesus sacrificial death for our sins. For this time of worship we will consider the seven last words of Jesus from the cross.

Opening Prayer

Open in prayer and/or use the suggested prayer below.

“Almighty God, we pray that you would graciously look upon this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Opening Reading

Psalm 13 — Jesus’s Prayer of Desperation and Faith
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll to full text version below)
LEADER: How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

PEOPLE: How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?


LEADER: Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

PEOPLE: Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.


LEADER: But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

 ALL: I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Option 2: Read the Full Text
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

The Seven Last Words Of Jesus On The Cross

After each passage is read, extinguish one candle. If you have varying sizes of candles, you may want to extinguish the candles starting with the smallest to the largest. After the seventh word, there should only be one candle remaining lit. If you are doing this as a group, assign readings to various people in your group. After each reading all present should respond with “The Word of our Lord.”
Jesus’s First Word Luke 23:32-34 (ESV)

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with Jesus. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

EVERYONE RESPONDS: The Word of our Lord.
 
Jesus’s Second Word Luke 23:39-43 (ESV)

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

EVERYONE RESPONDS: The Word of our Lord.


Jesus’s Third Word John 19:26-27 (ESV)

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

EVERYONE RESPONDS: The Word of our Lord.

Jesus’s Fourth Word Matthew 27:45-46 (ESV)

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?”

EVERYONE RESPONDS: The Word of our Lord.
 
Jesus’s Fifth Word John 19:28 (ESV)

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”

EVERYONE RESPONDS: The Word of our Lord.

Jesus’s Sixth Word John 19:30 (ESV)

A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.”

EVERYONE RESPONDS: The Word of our Lord.

Jesus’s Seventh And Final WordLuke 23:44-46 (ESV)

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

EVERYONE RESPONDS: The Word of our Lord.

The eighth candle remains lit as a reminder of the hope of the resurrection.

Song

Sing or meditate on the words of this hymn.
WERE YOU THERE
(Frederick J. Work, John Wesley Work Jr., 1899)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nail’d him to the cross?
Were you there when they nail’d him to the cross?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when they nail’d him to the cross?

 Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

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?
PUBLIC DOMAIN

Closing Reading

Psalm 118:19-24
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll to full text version below)
LEADER: Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.

PEOPLE: This is the LORD’s gate;
the righteous shall enter through it.


LEADER: I will give thanks because you have answered me.
You have become my salvation.

PEOPLE: The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.


LEADER: This has come from the LORD.

PEOPLE: It is marvelous in our eyes.

LEADER: This is the day on which the Lord has acted.

ALL: Let us shout with joy and rejoice in it.
Option 2: Read the Full Text
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the LORD’s gate;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I will give thanks because you have answered me.
You have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This has come from the LORD.
It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day on which the Lord has acted.
Let us shout with joy and rejoice in it.

Benediction

John 1 (ESV)

LEADER: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

PEOPLE: Amen!

Closing Prayer

Thank God and close your time in prayer.