During our Good Friday services at Community Church we focused on Jesus and what he did for us out of his great love. Here are six takeaways from a variety of speakers who offered their reflections:
1-Jesus knows what it is to be hurt, heartbroken and betrayed. He had to drink from a bitter cup. Do you have a cup you are being asked to drink from — difficult circumstances you didn’t choose? Live life in the spirit of Jesus, who displayed pure, unrestrained and unlimited love. That love gave Jesus the strength to drink from his cup, and he offers us that same strength to drink from ours.
2-Isaiah 53 talks about the need for a sacrifice, and Jesus took on that responsibility. He bore our grief and was weighed down by our sorrows. He was lashed and we were healed. This idea of getting rescued, of someone giving up their life to save ours, is overwhelming as we consider Jesus taking on the weight of the world’s guilt, even though he didn’t deserve to die.
3-There is no place for us to live in guilt. We are restored through God’s grace. The prodigal son returned home to open arms, not finger pointing and shame. God welcomes us with open arms after we’ve wandered away from him.
4-Three things we fear: failure, difficulties, and death, but the cross of Jesus offers hope. The cross doesn’t promise we won’t fail, but when we fail we are no less valued. The cross doesn’t promise that we won’t suffer grief and brokenness but when we do, that loss will be redeemed and God can transform those circumstances. The cross doesn’t promise that we won’t experience death, but when we die it’s not the end of the story because the cross offers eternal life.
5-It’s hard to think of God not expressing his disapproval when we fall short. But God delights to show mercy and hurls our iniquities to the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). What guilt or shame are you carrying that needs to be hurled into the depths of the sea?
6-The voice of shame, grief, failure, anger, doubt and inadequacy tells us to stop singing — using our talents to serve God. But God whispers to our soul, “I will never ask you to stop singing.”
Good Friday Acknowledgements
Come Close, Cageless Birds
Man of Sorrows, Ellie Holcomb
Why Me Lord, Johnny Cash & Ray Charles
When Death Dies, Gungor
Come Close, Cageless Birds
Brokenness Aside, All Sons & Daughters
Love Come to Life, Cageless Birds, Melissa Helser, Molly Skaggs
All We Sinners, David Crowder Band
Living Hope, Bethel Music, Bethany Wohrle
Gentle, My Desperation, Ted Loder
Can You Drink the Cup?, Henry Nouwen
Personal blog, Justin McRoberts
Tattoos on the Heart, Gregory Boyle
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, Nadia Bola-Weber