Rev'd John Brown: April 2020
Rev'd John Brown has offered the following 'Readings and Meditations' for
Good Friday Afternoon.
This is intended as an aid to personal meditation taking perhaps 15 to 30 minutes. It uses verses from scripture and hymns.
First find a cross to give you something to focus on. It can be anything — a wooden cross, crucifix, palm cross, a picture of a cross; you can even make a simple cross from two twigs tied together.
After reading each section, spend a few minutes thinking about what it means to you, focusing on the cross all the time.
Look at the Cross:
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There 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 the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Look at the Cross and think about Jesus' pain and suffering:
His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
I sometimes think about the cross,
And shut my eyes and try to see
The cruel nails and crown of thorns,
And Jesus crucified for me.
Look at the Cross and think about how Jesus was rejected and abandoned:
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 among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
O sacred head, once wounded,
With grief and pain weighed down,
How scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown!
How pale art Thou with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish,
Which once was bright as morn!
Look at the Cross and think about Jesus' words:
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother."
See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Look at the Cross and let Jesus speak to you.
Inscribed upon the cross we see
In shining letters "God is love."
He bears our sins upon the tree;
He brings us mercy from above.
Look at the Cross and wonder at the greatness of God's love:
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
But even could I see Him die,
I could but see a little part
Of that great love which like a fire
Is always burning in His heart.
I cannot tell how He could love
A child so weak and full of sin;
His love must be most wonderful,
If He could die my love to win.
Look at the Cross and remember that all this was for You.
Rev. John Brown
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