Thank you so much for joining us wherever you are and let’s pray father. We thank you so much for jesus and all that he did for us on good friday and as we worship you now and as we reflect, we pray that you will speak once again to us. May we know your presence here with us in jesus name, amen and so let’s join in with our first song, savior of the world, Music, god so loved that he gave his son to lay down his life. For the sake of us, he bore the weight of our sin and shame with a cry. He said it is finished christ, the lord overcame, the dark, he’s alive death has been defeated, for he made us a way by which we have been saved. He’S, a savior of the world, so we lift up a shout for his fame and renown. Praise the lord praise, the lord jesus savior of the world Music. We must spread the word of his soon return to reclaim the world for his glory. Let the church now sing of this coming king crown with majesty a redeemer, and he reigns ruler of the heavens and his name is jesus the messiah, for he made us a way by which we have been saved he’s, the savior of the world. So we lift up a shout for his famous renown: praise the lord praise, the lord jesus savior of the world, for he made us a way by which we have been saved he’s, the savior of the world.
So we lift up a shout for his fame. Every now and then praise the lord praise, the lord jesus savior of the world Music. The reading is from mark’s gospel, chapter 15, verses, 21 to 41.. A certain man from cyrene simon, the father of alexandre and rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country and they forced him to carry the cross brought jesus to the place called golgotha, which means the place of the skull. They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it and they crucified him dividing up his clothes. They cast lots to see what each would get. It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice on the charge against him read the king of the jews. They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him shaking their heads and saying so you who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself. In the same way, the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him amongst themselves. He saved others, they said, but he can’t save himself. Let this messiah this king of israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe those crucified with him also heaped insults upon him at noon. Darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon and at three in the afternoon.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice: eloy eloy, lama sabathni, which means my god, my god. Why have you forsaken me when some of those standing near heard this they said? Listen he’s calling elijah someone ran, filled a sponge with wine, vinegar, put it on a staff and offered it up to jesus to drink now. Leave him alone, let’s see. If elijah comes to take him down, he said with a loud cry: jesus breathed his last the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom and when the centurion, who stood there in front of jesus, saw how he died, he said. Surely this man was the son of god. Some women were watching from a distance, among them were mary magdalene, mary, the mother of james, the younger and of joseph and salome in galilee. These women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to jerusalem were also there. I wonder if you ever remember, being taunted at school, or maybe you used to join in the taunting of others, it’s, something that makes you feel so alone and so small so totally and utterly ashamed. Well, it’s, here that jesus found himself nailed to a cross blood coming from each wrist where the nails had gone through and blood coming from each ankle, where the nails had come through gasping for breath, pulling himself up blood coming from the thorn of crowns upon his Head and as he hanged there in absolute agony, those that were standing by said come down.
Save yourself, you’ve saved others. Why not save yourself if you’re, who you say you are come down and others kept joining in, come down? Save yourself see what you can do. I wonder what it must have been like for jesus to hang there on the cross, the world watching all of heaven almost watching, but trying to turn away for the son of god. Himself was hanging there. You know that must have been a moment of deep. Deep shame a moment where almost, if anything could swallow us up, we wouldn’t want to be there and in the midst of that moment of shame, jesus himself cries out: eli eli lama, sir bethany, my god, my god. Why have you forsaken me because for him he couldn’t see anymore? The sky had turned black. You see there’s a part of the time of passover where there was a scapegoat and the scapegoat literally had hands laid on it by the priest, symbolizing, the transfer of sin and the goat was then let out and sent away from jerusalem and the reason why jesus Himself cried out: eli eli, lama. Sabafni is because he’d been made that scapegoat. The sins of the world had been placed upon him. He had taken on all the shame and all the guilt and he died on the cross, but whose shame whose guilt well it’s. Yours and mine, we might want to reflect upon this week. There have been things that we’ve done, that we wished.
We hadn’t done there’s been things that we haven’t done, that we wished. We had there’s, maybe things we’ve, thought or said. Maybe we just feel a real distance from god and feel like we’ll, never be good enough. It’S, almost as if that dark sky of good friday is over us, and yet the amazing news of good friday is jesus has taken that darkness. Jesus has taken our sin. Jesus has taken all that is wrong with us upon himself and he cried out and he breathed his last, and in that moment our scripture says the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom from heaven to earth. You see behind that curtain was the very presence of god and that curtain separated the presence of god from you and me, and because that curtain was torn in two you and i can now know the very presence of god – it’s really simple, it’s about trusting what Jesus himself did for us on that good friday, trusting that he died in our place, trusting that he took on our shame, trusting that he took on our sins. Why so we didn’t need to feel shame anymore, so we didn’t need to feel guilty anymore, so that we too could have access to god, the father and know a new start in jesus. We know in the story that jesus went through holy saturday where he was buried in the ground and we had to wait for easter sunday when we rose again, for we too will rise again with jesus, but on this good friday.
There is a moment, a moment of choice, a moment of looking a moment of watching a moment of understanding. Jesus stretched out for you and me, everybody who was taunting got to look. Everybody who was taunting got to make a choice. Even the robbers either side got to make a choice, but there was one choice that made an amazing difference in our reading today, and that was simple. It was the centurion who was standing there he’d most probably witnessed many many many crucifixions. He most probably witnessed the horrors and had had them inflicted on so many people and yet for him. Looking on, there was something different about this death, something different that he saw that broke whole of human history. That broke the barrier from heaven to earth and he said surely surely this man is the son of god and so that’s our choice again for us today. Our choice is to trust in jesus to trust that he’s died for us and to trust that he gives us a new start, a trust to enable us to journey with him to know life and life in all its fullness. Jesus’S arms outstretched our arms there to be able to embrace you and welcome you home to god, our father. The arms are open and outstretched it’s for us to choose to run into and step into, it’s so interesting that the women were still there watching on entering into the story, and yet most of the disciples had fled.
You have a choice enter into the story enter into the life that jesus offers enter into the life of god himself by the death and resurrection of jesus and know his hope this day. And so let us pray in this moment, and i just want to invite you if you already know jesus or you’d love to come to know him for the first time. I invite you just to open your hands as a sign of openness to the lord and with hands open. Lord jesus, we give you that which we are not proud of. We give you that, which is ashamed. We give you that that brings us guilt. We give you that that gets in the way between us and god. We give you our sins. We thank you so much for already taking them there on that cross all those years ago. We thank you for your gift of life for us and, as you take those will, you fill us afresh with your spirit. Will you fill us afresh with your life? Will you help us to step through that curtain into the very presence of god and we we know his strength and his cleansing and his forgiveness in this moment in jesus name amen and if you’ve just done that for the first time we’d love you to either Tell a friend or email us here at the office and just to let us know, we pray that you will continue to be encouraged this day, that you will continue to step into all that jesus has for you as we continue now and reflect on in our Worship this morning, Music, you chose Music Applause Music because of jesus Music Music of my disgrace, Music.
You chose the cross up from the grave victorious he rose again so glorious. You chose a cross, the sorrow that surrounded you was mine, yet not my will, but yours Music ever more because of jesus. I have forgiven. I have restored Music because of jesus i’m, fading love. I have forgiven, i am restored, and so may the lord jesus christ himself bless you and keep you may his face, shine upon you and grant you his peace and may you know his strength and his blessing to walk into the new way of forgiveness. The new way of life that he offers this easter time and the blessing of god, father, son and holy spirit, be upon you and remain with you now and always amen.