Good Friday Communion

We’re doing a three-station, self guided, Communion-centered Good Friday come-n-go service in the Sanctuary of Portage Free Methodist.

This is what we came up with as the walking liturgy, in case you’d like to get a sneak-peek:

Good Friday

Good Friday is the day we remember the crucifixion of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He hung on a cross to die a sinners death — pierced hands, pierced feet, pierced side.  It was most certainly not a good day in the sense of what took place, but it is good because of what follows on Resurrection Sunday: the defeat of sin and the end of death for those who put their faith in Christ.  Good Friday walks us through the story of Jesus’ death and prepares us to celebrate His victory on Easter Sunday.

The Sanctuary is set up as a self-guided tour which will take you through three stations.  The instructions for each station are below.  Don’t be in a rush; take time to work your way through each step at a worshipful pace.  Following each reading, take time to pray, then follow the instructions and head to the next station.  On your way out, there is a box to submit any prayer requests/comments.

Station 1: Jesus, the Light of the World

Isaiah 9:2, John 1:4, John 12:44-46

The Prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus, the Light: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.  John writes that in him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  We are born into the darkness of sin and of a broken world, but God doesn’t leave us in darkness.  He sends Jesus, whose light is the only thing that will get us out of this mess. Jesus said Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

 

Light a candle — consider light, which pierces the darkness.  Jesus is the Light of the World, given for us.

Carry your candle to Station 2: The Table

Station 2: The Table of Grace

Luke 22:14-20, John 16:16-22, 33

The Light of the world gathered His disciples together for one last meal before His crucifixion.  He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.  He took the cup, saying This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.  The first disciples shared in the same meal that we share in today.  Though they didn’t understand it, Jesus was giving Himself entirely to us, which would cost Him His very life.  That night, Jesus prayed for His disciples and foreshadowed His crucifixion, saying In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.  This confused the disciples.  Jesus spoke truth and comfort as He continued, saying Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

 

When we participate in Communion at this Table, we identify with the sacrifice of Jesus and remember that He gave Himself for us that we might feed on Him.  Jesus reminds us that the journey won’t be easy, saying I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  

 

Take Communion — consider sacrifice, which is given for the benefit of another.

Carry your candle to Station 3: The Darkness

 

Station 3: The Darkness

Isaiah 53:4-5, Psalm 22, John 19:17-18, Luke 24:46, John 19:38-42

After the Last Supper, Jesus was arrested, charged, and crucified.

Isaiah describes what Jesus would endure on the cross, saying He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.  Jesus didn’t pay for His sin.  He paid for ours.  He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

On this cross, Jesus quotes Psalm 22 as He cries My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?  Jesus experienced all the pain of the crucifixion, all the weight of our sin, and, perhaps worst of all, the sense that God the Father had abandoned Him.  The price Jesus paid was higher than we could ever imagine.   Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.)  There they crucified him, and with him two others — one on each side and Jesus in the middle.  After hours of excruciating pain, Jesus knew that everything had been fulfilled according to the Scripture.  Darkness came over the land.  Jesus called out with a loud voice Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.  When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The Light of the world.  Extinguished.

Extinguish your candle — consider the Light of Christ, extinguished by His death.  The world dwells in darkness.

 

In quietness we leave, for Jesus has been placed in the tomb.

(Remember — the story doesn’t end on Good Friday…)