Readings: Good Friday
Behold the Lamb of God, Who Takes Away the Sin of the World
Jesus, the Lamb of God, is led to the slaughter of His cross as the sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the world. “Despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Is. 53:3), He is the righteous Servant who justifies many by His innocent suffering and death. He bears our griefs and carries our sorrows; He is wounded for our transgressions; He is crushed for our iniquities; He suffers our chastisement, so that “with His stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:4–5). As the Son of God, He fulfills the Law for us in human flesh, and so fulfills the Scriptures (John 19:7, 24). For in Christ, “God was reconciling the whole world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Cor. 5:19).
Old Testament: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
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 he has 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 pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—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 guilt, 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.
Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
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.
Gospel: Jesus’ Seven Words
The First Word Luke 23:32-34a
Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with Him. 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.”
Sing hymn # 447, verses 1-3
The Second Word Luke 23:39-43
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.”
Sing hymn #447 vs. 4-6
The Third Word John 19:25-27
But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. 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.
Sing hymn #447, verses 7-9
The Fourth Word Matt. 27:45-46
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, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Sing hymn #447, verses 10-12
The Fifth Word John 19:28, 29
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 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.
Sing hymn #447, verses 13-15
The Sixth Word John 19:30
When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Sing hymn #447, verses 16-18
The Seventh Word Luke 23:44-46
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.
Sing hymn #447, verses 19-21
Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross.