Good Friday March of Witness

We begin with “Wondrous Love” ( also known as “Here is love, vast as the ocean”.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=7uRTQkdvNrY

Let’s pray.

We thank You, Lord, for Jesus Christ – Your Son, our Saviour. What a great Saviour He is! When we think of Jesus, may our hearts be filled with true and lasting joy. We search for happiness – but we don’t find it. Why? – Because we look in the wrong place. We look within ourselves. What do we find? – An emptiness which keeps on gnawing away at us, ‘There must be more than this.’ There is. There’s Jesus. He changes our focus. We start looking less at ourselves and more at Him. We see that real happiness – true and lasting joy – doesn’t come from within ourselves. It comes from Jesus – “Hallelujah! I have found Him … Through His blood I now am saved.”

Lord, we thank You that You answer the sinner’s prayer. Jesus is Your Answer. He is our Saviour. He is the Gospel Answer. He is the Good News that we need to hear. He is the Good News of Your amazing love. He is the Good News of Your saving power. Lord, we thank You for Jesus – our wonderful Saviour.

We thank You, Lord, that You have opened up for us a great future. What glory awaits us in Your eternal Kingdom. What encouragement this gives to us when we’re going through a hard time! Help us, Lord, to lift up our eyes, to catch a glimpse of Your glory, to be changed by Your glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Help us to “turn our eyes upon Jesus”, to “look full in His wonderful face.” As we look upon Jesus, may “the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

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Now, here’s a link to “Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling … “

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qf_glkmbNbQ

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Matthew 27:27-54

27 Then Pilate’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s palace, and the whole company gathered around him. 28 They stripped off his clothes and put a scarlet robe on him. 29 Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand; then they knelt before him and made fun of him. “Long live the King of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spat on him, and took the stick and hit him over the head. 31 When they had finished making fun of him, they took the robe off and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha, which means, “The Place of the Skull.” 34 There they offered Jesus wine mixed with a bitter substance; but after tasting it, he would not drink it.

35 They crucified him and then divided his clothes among them by throwing dice. 36 After that they sat there and watched him. 37 Above his head they put the written notice of the accusation against him: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then they crucified two bandits with Jesus, one on his right and the other on his left.

39 People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus: 40 “You were going to tear down the Temple and build it back up in three days! Save yourself if you are God’s Son! Come on down from the cross!”

41 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and the elders made fun of him: 42 “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Isn’t he the king of Israel? If he will come down off the cross now, we will believe in him! 43 He trusts in God and claims to be God’s Son. Well, then, let us see if God wants to save him now!”

44 Even the bandits who had been crucified with him insulted him in the same way.

45 At noon the whole country was covered with darkness, which lasted for three hours. 46 At about three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?”

47 Some of the people standing there heard him and said, “He is calling for Elijah!” 48 One of them ran up at once, took a sponge, soaked it in cheap wine, put it on the end of a stick, and tried to make him drink it.

49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah is coming to save him!”

50 Jesus again gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

51 Then the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split apart, 52 the graves broke open, and many of God’s people who had died were raised to life. 53 They left the graves, and after Jesus rose from death, they went into the Holy City, where many people saw them.

54 When the army officer and the soldiers with him who were watching Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else that happened, they were terrified and said, “He really was the Son of God!”

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

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The ‘King of the Jews’ wore ‘a crown of thorns’ (Matthew 27:29). In the cross, we see the King. The way of crucifixion – this is the way of the Kingdom. The prayer, ‘Thy Kingdom come’ (Matthew 6:10), could only be answered by way of the Cross. From the Cross, we hear the call for decision. It is the call of love. The love of Christ calls for our answer: ‘What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ (Matthew 27:22). Here, we see different responses to Christ – derision, mocking, reviling (Matthew 27:39-44); misunderstanding (Matthew 27:47-49); believing worship (Matthew 27:54). How are we brought out of unbelief and into faith, out of derision and into rejoicing? By the mighty working of God in our hearts, we are brought out of darkness and into light (2 Corinthians 4:6). Salvation comes from above, from God – ‘The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom’ (Matthew 27:51).

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Now, here’s a link to “Just as I am, without one plea … “

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CxA0TFe3-Uo

Let this song be your prayer. It is a prayer that the Lord loves to hear, and answer

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When our faith is being sorely tested, help us, Lord, to turn to You. Help us to know that, through it all, You are there with us – suffering with us, leading us into Your joy. Teach us, in our suffering, to wait for the day when You will “restore our fortunes”, when You will answer our prayer: “O that salvation … would come”, when we will, again, “rejoice” and be “glad” in You (Psalm 14:7).

True and lasting joy comes from You, Lord. This joy doesn’t depend on good things happening to us. Even when bad things are happening to us, this joy, Your joy, is still there – because You are still there. You’re with us – and You’re for us. The world cannot give this joy to us. Joy is Your gift. The world cannot take this joy away from us. Whatever happens to us, there’s one thing that never changes – You are our God. This is where our joy comes from. It comes from Your faithfulness. Help us to remember this – especially when everything seems to be pulling us away from You.

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Here’s a link to “Rock of ages” –

http://youtube.com/watch/?v=gM7gt_cSxjw

God bless all of you.

___

Let us pray for doctors, nurses, scientists, emergency service workers and indeed all who would seek to respond in these difficult days. Pray for the vulnerable folk in society; let us pray for those who have had to self-isolate, and for folk who contract the virus that they will make a full recovery. Let us pray for families with children who are at home because our schools are closed, that they can cope with the need to keep the children interested and occupied.

Let us pray for our congregations and the folk in our Presbytery and nation. Pray for folk whose employment and income is adversely affected by not being able to work.

Pray for our politicians in Westminster and Holyrood that God will sustain them and inspire them with His Holy Spirit that their decisions will be in accordance with His will and purposes.

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Here are a few links that you may find interesting and helpful.

A selection of free email devotionals to guide you through the season of Lent.

During these unusual and unprecedented days, we need to regularly remind ourselves of God’s providence, power, and love.

Daily Bible-focused news, articles, interviews, and insights.

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