This worship guide is designed for home or online use. Have a child read each question below. Have an adult read each answer.
What is Good Friday? Good Friday is a day Christians use to remember the death of the Lord Jesus for our sins.
Is Good Friday a sad time? Yes. Good Friday is a sad time of remembering what Jesus has done for us. And we can turn our tears of sadness into tears of thankful worship as we consider how much God loves us and is providing for our forgiveness in Jesus. (CAUTION: Families with children should take special care in explaining the death of Jesus to them. Please tell them the truth that Jesus did in fact die for the bad things they think and do. Please also be gentle, comforting and encouraging. Reassure children that Jesus is not dead now. God raised Jesus from death on Resurrection Sunday. On Good Friday we remember the death of Jesus – in the hope of Jesus’ resurrection on Sunday.)
Where does the Bible talk about Good Friday? We read about the death of Messiah Jesus in Matthew 27:32-55.
Do other passages talk about Jesus’ death on the cross and why He died for us? Yes. More than 44 other Bible passages talk about Jesus’ death and sacrifice for us on the cross. https://www.openbible.info/topics/jesus_died_on_the_cross_for_our_sins
Christ’s death on the cross does not seem very good to me! Why do we call it Good Friday? Jesus was killed on a Friday. We call it “Good” Friday because of the good His death can bring to us. But some people call it Holy Friday, Sad Friday, Silent, Long, Dark or Great Friday as well.
Is Good Friday connected to other special days? Yes. Good Friday is connected to Passion Week. Passion Week is when Jesus was betrayed, was tried as a criminal, tortured, killed, buried and raised from the dead for our sins. Good Friday is linked with Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead on Sunday. Good Friday and ‘Easter’ are also connected to our Jewish feast of Passover because Jesus is our Passover Lamb whose death covers our sins. Good Friday is linked with Communion or the Lord’s Supper because in Communion we thank God for the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (I Corinthians 5:7,8). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+5%3A7-8&version=CSB
Why is Good Friday important? Good Friday is important because the Apostle Paul tells us that the story about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for our sins are central to the message Christians believe and communicate with others. Good Friday is important because if Jesus did not die for the bad things we do (sins) we could not be saved – we’d be separation from God forever (I Corinthians 15:1- 8).
How do Christians remember or celebrate Good Friday? We can recognize the death of Jesus for us on Good Friday in many different ways. Today one way we will worship is by thinking about Jesus’ last words on the cross. Jesus made seven (7) separate statements while he was on the cross. We will read each phrase that Jesus said while he was nailed to the cross and consider their meaning for us. We will start our time of remembering Jesus’ seven last words with seven (7) lit candles.
So, What do we Need, to do this today?
1) You need to have a heart of sincere worship. This is a time of worship. We will be meditating on what Jesus’ death on the cross means for us.
2) You need seven lit candles and you need an open
4) Optionally, you can go online during this worship time to listen to songs, hear explanations, read scriptures on the web and see art that relates to Good Friday.
How much time should we dedicate to this service? It is up to you. You can do this quickly or you can proceed slowly. Overall, you will need 45 minutes to an hour. (PS: You may pray and read the Bible in your first language for this. You may also want to add a tradition or other Good Friday expression that is unique to your first culture.)
Tell me again, Why are we doing this? The main purposes of this somber time is to: contemplate the death of Jesus for our evil desires; and to thank God for His love for us in sending Jesus to suffer for our sins.
Everyone enters in Silence.
PRAYER: Designate one person to start our time by inviting God to meet with us.
A) Have another person read Matthew 27:32-55 as a sad story. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27%3A32-56&version=CSB
B) Ask someone else to read I Corinthians 15:1-8 as a bold declaration! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=i+corinthians+15%3A+1-8&version=CSB
C) All read I Corinthians 15:3, out loud, together, as a thankful prayer.
ALL CANDLES are Lit and BURNING (Light in Jesus)
SONG: O Sacred Head: (#137 in the Baptist Hymnal) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgkVTtT-0xg
NB: After each statement of Jesus there is opportunity for spontaneous silent and vocal (open) prayer.
#1) FORGIVENESS Luke 23:34 “Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”
Only the person, work and blood of God can forgive my sins.
Action: Silently take note of your spiritual ignorance and of the sins you have committed against God. Openly thank God for His forgiveness and seek His grace.
• Blow out the first candle.
#2) SALVATION Luke 23:43 “And Jesus said to him ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”
Only Jesus can take those who repent and trust in Him to be with God in heaven.
Action: Silently thank God that He has done it all for you. You don’t have to work for His salvation. His salvation is complete, immediate and free when I believe!
Openly praise God for your salvation and your future with Him in paradise!
• Blow out the second candle.
#3) COMPASSION John 19:26,27 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’”
Jesus is our example to care and provide for our family and our aging parents.
Action: Silently ask God to reveal to you who needs your compassion right now.
Openly ask God for His power to care for those for whom He has given you responsibility.
• Blow out the third candle.
#4) ANGUISH Mark 15:34 “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
When our sins were on Jesus (while he was on the cross), God turned away from Jesus. We must give God our greatest questions and sorrows, like Jesus did.
Action: Silently tell God your deepest pain. Pour out your hurts before His merciful throne.
Openly praise God for having placed your guilt upon the head of Jesus so that you can have open and direct communication with God through Him.
• Blow out the fourth candle.
SONG: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyZ80Gi94S8
#5) SUFFERING John 19:28 “Jesus said ‘I’m thirsty.’”
Jesus was God in a regular human body. We can remind God of our human needs. We can share in the sufferings of Jesus.
Action: Silently recount to the Father what you are suffering with most right now.
Openly admit your unmet human needs to God and others. Ask for His grace to endure sufferings you share with The Savior now.
• Blow out the fifth candle.
ART: Learn about the artist Rembrandt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu6-jgDojzA
#6) VICTORY John 19:30 “Jesus said ‘It is finished.’”
Even though my sin put Jesus on the cross, Jesus has forgiven me completely through His perfect sacrifice on our behalf. We can’t add to the salvation Jesus offers us.
Action: Silently praise God for His total solution to your problem with secret sins.
Openly declare your confidence in the perfection of Jesus’ sacrifice for your evil heart.
• Blow out the sixth candle.
#7) JOY Luke 23:46 “And Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.’ Saying this he breathed his last.”
Lesson: Hear an encouraging 4 minute message on this verse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=754CwrB4Sc8
Action: Silently recommit your body, mind, soul, spirit and will to Almighty God.
Openly express your desire to help others be made right with our all-powerful Savior, thanking Him for completing your redemption and returning to His Father.
• Blow out the seventh and seventh and Final candle.
ALL CANDLES HAVE BEEN SNUFFED OUT (Darkness without Jesus)
SONG: Were You There: (#156 in the Baptist Hymnal) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRaFdFkOVyY
CLOSING PRAYER: (Suggested) “Jesus, we see clearly that You died for us on the cross. Individually, we confess our sins to You. Together we agree that You are the world’s one and only Savior. Unite our hearts to thank You for Your sacrificial love for us. Help us to die to our sins and to live for You. Make us better communicators of Your story to others. We worship You for Your forgiveness and salvation. Make us compassionate like You. Our hearts cry out in anguish to You. We lament that our sins were put on You. Thank You for suffering for us. Assist us in suffering with You, our Master. We praise You for the complete victory of Your cross. You have done it all for us! And now, as we leave this time in darkness, we know that we will find joy in You and in the merits of Your blood on our behalf. God, we thank You that You raised Jesus from the dead. But for now, we meditate on Jesus’ painful sacrifice for us. And it is in Him name that we pray. Amen.”
EXIT in Darkness and Silence
(This worship service was prepared by George Bradley for www.HopeInternationalChurch.org – April 10, 2020; Portland Oregon)