GOOD FRIDAY – ‘Jesus dies’
Calm your head, heart, and hands as you slowly breathe in . . . and out.
Collect for the day
Eternal God , the cross of Jesus reveals the cost of our sin and the depth of your love: in humble hope and awe may we place at his feet all that we have and all that we are; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Read: Mark 14: 53 – Mark 15: 41
When is it wise to speak and when is it wise to be silent?
How easy is it to always tell the truth?
What do you wonder about Jesus dying on the cross? How does this story make you feel?
The crucifixion shows a collusion between the ruling religious elite and the political powers of the day – both who were deeply threatened by the life and teachings of Jesus. In what ways is this radical message of God’s love and inclusion a threat to the status quo of today’s world? In what ways is it a challenge to you?
Thank you, Lord, for the message of the cross, an offence to some, nonsense to others, but to us the power and wisdom of God.
Thank you for the awesome truth of which it speaks: the love, forgiveness and new life made possible through surrendering there your all.
For the way your cross has spoken across the years and continues still so powerfully to speak, receive our praise.
(by Nick Fawcett)
Ecce Homo (Behold the man)
ANDREW HUDGINS 1991
Christ bends, protects his groin. Thorns gouge his forehead, and his legs are stippled with dried blood. The part of us that’s Pilate says, Behold the man. We glare at that bound, lashed, and bloody part of us that’s Christ. We laugh, we howl, we shout. Give us Barabbas, not knowing who Barabbas is, not caring.
A thief? We’ll take him anyway. A drunk? A murderer? Who cares? It’s better him than this pale ravaged thing, this god. Bosch knows.
His humans waver, laugh, then change to demons as if they’re seized by epilepsy. It spreads from eye to eye, from laugh to laugh until, incited by the ease of going mad, they go. How easy evil is! Dark voices sing,
You can be evil or you can be good, but good is dull, my darling, good is dull. And we’re convinced: How lovely evil is! How lovely hell must be!
Give us Barabbas!
Lord Pilate clears his throat and tries again:
I find no fault in this just man.
It’s more than we can bear. In gothic script our answer floats above our upturned eyes.
O crucify, we sing. O crucify him!
Something else to do:
Jesus’ death was a big event. Lots of strange things happened when Jesus died like the day becoming dark for three hours. A Roman centurion standing by the cross even began to wonder whether Jesus could be God. Usually on the day we remember Jesus dying we eat hot cross buns. They are called hot cross buns because they are marked on the top with a cross, reminding us that Jesus died by being hung on a cross. The buns are made from bread dough and filled with raisins, reminding us of what Jesus had said at the Last Supper about the bread being like his body and the wine being like his blood. The dough is also filled with spices since Jesus’ dead body was covered in spices at his burial. Below is an easier alternative to hot cross buns, as well as the option of making a tasty sun. (For more of the story, check out Mark 15:31-39)
Hot Cross Cookies
200g soft butter
100g light brown sugar
250g plain flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
100g sultanas or raisins
Icing sugar/ icing pen/ fondant icing/ white chocolate
Set the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth.
- Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, then combine to make a dough.
- Add the sultanas and combine.
- Roll lumps of dough into balls. Flatten these onto the trays, leaving enough space between each for them to expand.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
- Allow cookies to cool before marking them with a cross.
When you see or write a cross sign – x – what could it mean? We use crosses as a sign for love or to show a kiss. We use crosses as a sign of adding and multiplying. Crosses are used when we get an answer wrong and crosses are also the sign on ambulances and hospitals, the place people go to get better. A cross can show where there’s treasure. It might sound strange to call the day that Jesus died ‘Good’ but many good things happened because of Jesus’ death (including the fact that three days later he beat death and rose to life!). Can you use some of the ideas we’ve just mentioned to explain why Jesus’ death on a cross turned out to be a good thing? Why did Jesus die?