CENTERING MUSIC             

INVOCATION

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray.

Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Call to WorshipIsaiah 53:1-6

1Who has believed what we have heard?
  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2For 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,
  nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3He was despised and rejected by others;
  a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
 and as one from whom others hide their faces
  he was despised, and we held him of no account.

4Surely he has borne our infirmities
  and carried our diseases;
 yet we accounted him stricken,
  struck down by God, and afflicted.

5But he was wounded for our transgressions,
  crushed for our iniquities;
 upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
  and by his bruises we are healed.

6All we like sheep have gone astray;
  we have all turned to our own way,
 and the Lord has laid on him
  the iniquity of us all.

SONG               When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

The Passion of Our Lord According to Matthew

Matthew 26:31-56             Jesus prays at Gethsemane, Judas comes

31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter declared to him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsem′ane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go yonder and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zeb′edee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[a] with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch[b] with me one hour? 41 Watch[c] and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Hail, Master!”[d] And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?”[e] Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.

SONG               Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross  (vs. 1 – 3)

Matthew 26:57-75             Before Caiaphas, Peter’s denial

57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Ca′iaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spat in his face, and struck him; and some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

Peter’s Denial of Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a maid came up to him, and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the cock crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

SONG               Ah,  Holy Jesus (vs. 1-3)

Matthew 27:1-26                        Jesus before Pilate, sentence of Death

27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and they bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor.

The Suicide of Judas

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that he was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” So they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

Pilate Questions Jesus

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge; so that the governor wondered greatly.

Barabbas or Jesus?

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner, called Barab′bas.[a] 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Barab′bas[b] or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the people to ask for Barab′bas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barab′bas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified.” 23 And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified.”

Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified

24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood;[c] see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barab′bas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

SONG               O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

Matthew 27:27-34             Jesus is beaten and mocked

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, 29 and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, and put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyre′ne, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Gol′gotha (which means the place of a skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.

Matthew 27:35-43             Jesus is crucified and taunted

35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; 36 then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is 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 deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

Matthew 27:44-54             Jesus yields up his spirit

44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la′ma sabach-tha′ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Eli′jah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Eli′jah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; 52 the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

SONG                Were You There?      (vs. 1, 2, 5)

Matthew 27:55-61             Jesus is buried

55 There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him; 56 among whom were Mary Mag′dalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zeb′edee.

The Burial of Jesus

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathe′a, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 Mary Mag′dalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre.

         Silence for reflection

The Prayer of the Church

Let us pray to God for the church, the earth, and all in need, that the whole world may know the resurrection that God promises to give. A brief silence.

We pray for the church throughout the world.     A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the spirit of resurrection within all believers.        A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the newly baptized.      A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the health of plants and animals.  A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all who care for the earth.    A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For peace throughout the world.         A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For an increase of justice in every land.      A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those in need, those close to home, those far away.        A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those who are hungry.  A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the sick and the dying.         A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For our neighborhood.       A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For this assembly of worshipers.        A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the desires of our hearts.      A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We give thanks for the lives of all the faithful who have died and who now enjoy the full presence of God. We pray that at the end we may join them in the resurrection.         A brief silence.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O God, receive our prayers and give us your Spirit, that our lives may be signs of the new life you give through Jesus Christ, our crucified Savior and Lord. Amen.

PSALM 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

The Congregation leaves in reverent silence.

Good Friday Worship Service