Below are the readings and songs from our Good Friday services, as well as links to the songs.
A Reading For Good Friday
Today is called Good Friday, which is not really good because “good” is too
neutral a term. The events of Good Friday are the ultimate paradox—at
once atrocious and wonderful, scandalous and beautiful, the worst kind of
hate and the best kind of love. On this day we were convicted and
pardoned, condemned and freed, cursed and blessed. It was the darkest
day. Many who had followed Jesus up to now fled from the events of Friday.
And those who stayed watched in horror: the phony trial, the mob that cried
out for the blood of the innocent man, the brutal beating, the savagery one
the soldiers, and the grueling walk thought the city he had entered to
cheers just five days before. Finally, the nails pounded into flesh, the
tortured body slouched over, the naked man died as his enemies jeered.
To his disciples, those who had forsaken everything in order to follow
Jesus, this day was the opposite of good. This man, in whom they had put
all of their hopes, was hanging dead on a tree. This was the death of their
faith, the crushing of all their hopes for a new kingdom, and the end of all
they believed in. Or so it seemed.
As his followers laid Jesus in his tomb on that same dark day, Easter
morning was on the horizon, but on Friday they couldn’t see it. They couldn’t
see the defeat of death, the glory of the resurrection, or the advancement of
God’s kingdom. The couldn’t see the whole story. There was no way around
Good Friday, only through—through pain and death and burial. It is the
same for us; we cannot get around this day. We must go through the pain
and death and burial to get to the resurrection. We must go through the
darkness of Good Friday to get to the light of Easter. God is a God of light:
darkness can not survive in his presence. We who have dark hearts full of
sin should tremble at this fact. But Jesus, who was completely good,
cloaked himself in the darkness of our sin and stood under the wrath of God
for us. On the cross, he was destroyed and cut off from his Father. It should
have been our fate. But on the first Good Friday, in the midst of our darkest
hour, God did not cut us off. Jesus Christ, our true light, plunged himself into
the darkness so that we might live in the light.
"...Our Savior displayed on a criminal's cross...darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost..."