A Meditation for Good Friday from Bryn

 

Westfield Church

Meditation for

Good Friday 2020

 

 

 

Personal Meditation for Good Friday

Each section is made up of a Bible Reading, followed by suggestions for Meditation, silent contemplation and a prayer.

 

Opening Prayer

Eternal God, in the cross of Jesus we see the cost of our sin and the depth of your love:

In humble hope and fear may we place at his feet all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

 Violence & Humiliation - Matthew 27 verses 27-31, 35

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on Him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

 

Meditation

Jesus entered into everything we experience as human beings. Around the world the sinfulness of man is expressed in violence, torture and suffering. In many places there are still people who are imprisoned and tortured simply because of their faith.

On this Friday 2000 years ago, God shared their pain. The disciples deserted Him, the crowd surrendered Him and the violent and ruthless Roman soldiers took Him.

The son of God chose the path of helplessness and put aside all His power

These hardened soldiers humiliated Him by whipping Him and putting a crown of thorns on His head.

He was humiliated, alone and helpless and then taken out to be crucified

 

Silence

 

Prayer

Lord, as we look upon the cross, we remember those who still suffer violence and humiliation

  • The innocent victims of war. Men, Women and Children
  • Those in abusive relationships. Husbands, Wives and family
  • Victims of racial and religious abuse and intolerance
  • Those in fear of their lives, in prison, in countries where other faiths are not respected and where harsh authoritarian regimes crush the poor
  • For all who feel, like you on the cross, humiliated, alone and helpless

 

Father, may we, who are called to be your family, also be the family and friends of those who need the comfort of your love. May we, through your Spirit not only feel at one with all the suffering world but be moved to prayer and action.

 

By Your agony and trial; by Your cross and passion; and by Your precious death,

Good Lord deliver us. AMEN

 

Rejection - Matthew 27 verses 39-44

 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

 

Meditation

Like a fallen celebrity, Jesus was cast out by the very people who had sung His praise only a few days before. The disciples had been amazed by His healing, teaching and example and had begun to believe that Jesus really was the Son of God. There were so many whose lives had been transformed by Him in the short years of His ministry – the blind, the deaf, the mute and those suffering from all kinds of illnesses – the crippled and lepers. He even had the power to bring back loved ones from death. Around the country there were many who owed Jesus their allegiance. But on this morning, they hold back, they deny Him, they hide away or become part of the crowd. They are quiet as He is taken before the Court, before Pilate and is sentenced to crucifixion. They shout for the release of Barabbas.  They deny Jesus when they are challenged, and they forget His teaching and gospel.

 

Silence

 

 

Prayer

Father, as we see the friends and followers of Jesus desert Him. As we see those He had helped or healed hide. As we watch those who should have understood Him teaching jeer at Him as He hangs rejected and broken, may we look at the world around us. Help us to reach out in Jesus name to: -

  • The down and out rejected by society
  • The mentally ill that we find difficult to include in our world
  • Those with a different colour skin, different language, different culture that many still reject
  • The young, rejected as not having experience of life
  • The old, rejected by a society that can’t be bothered to care

 

Father, may we, who are called to be your family, also be the family and friends of those who rejected by society. May we, through your Spirit not only feel at one with all who are excluded but be moved to prayer and action.

 

By Your agony and trial; by Your cross and passion; and by Your precious death,

Good Lord deliver us. AMEN

 

The Bearer of our Sins - Isaiah 53 verse 4

Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

Matthew 27 verse 45

 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.

 

Meditation

To the observers gathered round to watch a crucifixion He was just a dying man between two other criminals. But in the spiritual realm, Jesus was surrounded by the sins of mankind and as darkness descended over the land for three hours we are shown how the darkness of sin can separate us from Jesus as He fights on our behalf for light and forgiveness.  But we can’t grasp the enormity of His sacrifice as He takes on not just the sin of His earthly time, but the sins of the future, our sins. And through all the events, the violence humiliation and rejection He remains perfect. He doesn’t curse His accusers; He accepts the torment and forgives the tormentors with the words “they know not what they do” and continues to show the love of His Father to mankind.

For a time, Jesus, the Messiah, is lost to view and Jesus the man is put to death. The sin of the world for a brief time obscures love; the Son is separated from the Father only to show in the end how strong the love of God is for His creation.

 

Silence

 

Prayer

Father, as we watch again the Crucifixion, we feel the darkness of sin surrounding us, we feel cut off from Your love. As we look at the world which You have created and into which You have placed us, we are aware that the sin that put Jesus on the cross is still wherever we look and we struggle at times to find the light of Your love in our lives. Help us, through the sacrifice of Your Son to: -

  • Be aware of the darkness of war and work for peace
  • See the darkness in the hearts of some individuals and pray for their healing
  • Ensure that the darkness of mental anguish and mental illness is recognised and that we too reach out with prayer, understanding and love
  • Stand up to the darkness of the abuse of children and the elderly by working for openness, love and caring in our society

 

Father, we pray that we are given words of hope, faith and love and, we pray, that we may act with courage, patience and openness. As our lives have been touched, in Your name, by friends, family and spiritual leaders, may we, through the power of You Holy Spirit, seek to touch the lives of those whom we meet with the heavenly love which dispels the darkness of sin.

 

By Your agony and trial; by Your cross and passion; and by Your precious death,

Good Lord deliver us. AMEN

 

The Divine Separation

Psalm 22 verse 1

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

Matthew 27 verses 46 & 50

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

1 Peter 3 verse 18 & 19

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and preached to the imprisoned spirits.

Ephesians 4 verses 8 & 9

This is why God says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”   (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?

Isaiah 53 verse 5

But 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.

 

Meditation

It is coming to an end. Jesus has carried the sin of the world, present and future. He has resisted the temptation to save Himself and has remained without sin himself. Jesus, the Lamb of God, is about to die in the place of His Father’s creation.  The Son is to die, not because of His own wrong-doing, but for the wrong-doing of us all.  It is beyond comprehension that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, would be pulled apart so that the world could survive. A world, that should have been totally destroyed by the sin and darkness of mankind but was saved by the death of the one person who was without sin.

In that moment, as He nears the death of His physical being, we know that He feels separated from the Father as He says, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

The phrase, Christ died for sins once for all, sadly doesn’t mean that sin is no more in the world, as we only too well know. But it is an assurance that if we are penitent and rely on the power of the Spirit then, to use Jesus words, we go and sin no more, then sin is defeated.

Jesus is the only way that we can cleanse our lives from the darkness of sin and because He died for us then we are free to live a sin free life in His power and name. As the reading from Isaiah says 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.  For the disciples and followers who were looking on from a safe distance it must have seemed that at that time the most glorious future kingdom was at an end and that all hope was buried as Jesus was taken down from the cross. Had they forgotten Jesus own words that He would rise on the third day.

 

Silence

 

Prayer

Jesus, for us and our salvation: -

  • You were despised and rejected. May your passion turn our faltering hearts to the depth and breadth and height of your love
  • You were crushed by a perversion of justice. Turn our hearts in penitence from the sins that separate us from one another and from you Jesus, for us and the salvation of mankind: -
  • You became a man of suffering and acquainted with grief. As you take our pains and diseases upon yourself, may we know your power to bring wholeness and peace to your suffering world
  • You were laid in a tomb, but in your death point the way for us all to live with you in this world and in the next.

 

By Your agony and trial; by Your cross and passion; and by Your precious death,

Good Lord deliver us. AMEN

 

Song

This song is based on the words from Isaiah – “He was pierced for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities;” and can be heard on You Tube. (Mission Praise 222)

He was pierced for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities;
and to bring us peace he was punished, and by his stripes we are healed.

 

He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, although he was innocent of crime.

and cut off from the land of the living, he paid for the guilt that was mine.

 

We like sheep have gone astray, turned each one to his own way,
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

                                                            Maggi Dawn © 1987 Thankyou Music

 

 

 

 

We pray as the Lord taught us: -

 

Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever.   AMEN

 

In conclusion we pray together: -

 

In Your cross, O Lord, we glory, and we enthrone you in our praise. 

For you alone are the Holy One and in You alone we place our trust and hope. 

 

AMEN

 

A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

 

 


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