John chapters 18 and 19 outline the gruesome and sad betrayal, sham trial, and vicious persecution of our Lord under the auspices of Judas Iscariot, the Jewish leaders, and Pontus Pilate. At the bidding of the scribes and the priests and the consent of the multitude, Pilate reluctantly ordered the Roman garrison to crucify our Lord. Taken away after beatings and humiliations, Jesus carried his cross to the place called Skull Hill (Hebrew, Golgotha), and it was there he was crucified between two thieves, with our Lord tortured in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign to be posted over Jesus’s head on the cross which said, “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.” He suffered on the cross from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., having his garments gambled over by the soldiers, his mother’s care being given over to his disciple John, and sour wine being given to him while on the tree. After taking the wine, Jesus exclaimed, “It is finished!” With that he offered up his spirit.
With that day being the day of Sabbath preparation, the priests asked Pilate that the bodies be taken down from the crosses. Pilate consented and so the soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves. Coming to Jesus, they saw he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers stabbed him in his side with his spear, and blood and water gushed out.
In the plain, direct testimony of the apostles in the Gospels, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified under Pontus Pilate’s authority, suffered on the tree, and finally died. He did not swoon, faint, or pretend. The one who created all things as the Son of God died on the tree for the sin of the world.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who for our redemption willedst to be born and circumcised, and rejected by the Jews, betrayed with a kiss by Judas, seized, bound, and led in bonds to Annas, Caiaphas, Herod, and Pilate, and before them to be mocked, smitten with palm and fist, with the scourge and the reed; to have Thy face covered and defiled with spitting; to be crowned with thorns, accused by false witnesses, condemned, and as an innocent Lamb to be led to slaughter, bearing Thine own Cross; to be pierced through with nails, to have gall and vinegar given Thee to drink, on the Cross to die the most shameful of deaths, and to be wounded with a spear; do Thou by these Thy most sacred pains deliver us from all sins and penalties, and by Thy holy Cross bring us, miserable sinners, to that place whither Thou didst bring with Thyself the crucified robber on his late repentance; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
~ Sarum Missal; a Prayer of Innocent III (Bright, p. 44-45)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Chronological Holy Week ReadingsGood Friday: Matt. 27.1-61; Mark 15.1-47; Luke 22.66-23.56a; John 18.28-19.42
Lectionary Readings for the Day
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
~ Isaac Barrow, A.D. 1630 (Fox, p. 223)
Affirmation for the Day
The one who created all things as the Son of God died on the tree for the sin of the world.
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.