Holy Week Devotional - Good Friday
Reminder, we will be gathering for our Good Friday service this evening at 6pm in Burriss Hall. In honor of today being Good Friday, we would like to invite you to spend today fasting. Our goal for this fast is that we as a church family might take the time to remember and reflect on what Jesus did, in real time and space, and to let hunger help remind us of his suffering and sacrifice. We will break fast together this evening as we observe communion, and share a meal afterwards. We look forward to worshiping with you this evening!
During Holy Week we will be emailing daily devotionals that reflect on what happened each day during Holy Week. We hope and pray the Lord uses these devotionals, and additional resources, to encourage you and grow you in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
These devotionals will be archived on our website, and can accessed here.
Please feel free to share any and all of these devotionals!
What Happened on Good Friday?
Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the authorities (could be late Thursday night or after midnight/early Friday morning)
Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12
Jesus has an informal hearing before Annas (former high priest and Caiaphas’s father-in-law)
Matthew 26:57, 59-68; Mark 14:53, 55-65; Luke 22:63-71
As predicted, Peter denies Jesus and the rooster crows
Matthew 26:58, 69-75; Mark 14:54, 66-72; Luke 22:54b-62; John 18:15-18, 25-27
After sunrise on Friday the final consultation of the full Sanhedrin condemns Jesus to death and sends him to Pontius Pilate
Matthew 27:1-2; Mark 15:1
Judas changes his mind, returns the silver, and hangs himself
Pilate questions Jesus and sends him to Herod Antipas
Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-38
Herod questions Jesus and sends him back to Pilate
Jesus appears before Pilate a second time and is condemned to die
Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:38b-19:16
Jesus is mocked and marched to Golgotha
Matthew 27:27-34; Mark 15:16-23; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17
Jesus is crucified between two thieves
Matthew 27:35-44; Mark 15:24-32; Luke 23:33-43; John 19:18-27
Jesus breathes his last
Matthew 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-41; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:28-37
Joseph of Arimathea buries Jesus in a new tomb
Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42
Rend the Heavens
We are told that at the time of Jesus' death on the cross the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. What was the significance of that? And what exactly was the curtain?
The curtain of the temple, or temple veil, was located within the temple between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. It was an elaborately woven fabric (consisting of blue, purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen) that was around 60 feet high and 30 feet wide. No one was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place behind the curtain except for the high priest; and only he was allowed to do that once a year, on the Day of Atonement, when he would take in blood for himself and the unintentional sins of the people. (For further reading on this, read Hebrews 9:2-10:22). The curtain served as a visible reminder to God's people that, because of sin, they were unclean and unworthy to be in His presence. Furthermore, the fact that a sin offering had to be made regularly each year reminded them that sin could not truly be atoned for or erased by mere animal sacrifices.
In order for man to be truly cleansed, and able to stand in the presence of God, meant the Lord had to act. In Isaiah 64:1, Isaiah says to the Lord "Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down." Isaiah was asking the Lord to do something man could not do. Isaiah recognized man needed God but was blocked from Him, and man was unable to rend/tear the Heavens and ascend to the Lord. Only the Lord has the might to tear the heavens and come down to rescue us.
Isaiah, in Isaiah 40:22, says the Lord "stretches out the heavens like a curtain" and as Emmanuel hung on the cross dying, the curtain of the temple, the visible reminder that there was a barrier between us and God, was torn from top to bottom. In that moment as we see 'God With Us' dying in our place and the curtain torn in two, we are reminded that the Lord did in fact rend the Heavens and come down. He tore the curtain (top to bottom, not bottom to top) and came down amongst us in the 2nd person of the Trinity, Jesus the Christ. Animal sacrifices could never fully atone us. But the blood of the perfect, spotless, Passover Lamb, Jesus, defeated sin, defeated death, and if you are washed by His blood all your sins are wiped away, and you are washed white as snow.
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (II Corinthians 5:21) When you are saved by Christ you become clothed in His righteousness and you have access to God and can stand before Him blameless! "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!" (I Peter 1:3)
*For those interested, the following is a research article discussing the 'unusual phenomena' mentioned in the Gospels that occurred around Christ's crucifixion (including the tearing of the temple veil) by reviewing non-Biblical sources from that time period. It's a pretty fascinating read. Enjoy! Click here to read
The passion of Christ
- How do we know that Jesus did not deserve to be crucified?
- When Jesus died on the cross, was it the end of the story? What would happen 3 days later?
- Why did the rulers have Jesus crucified? What was God's reason?
Worship Through Song
The Power of the Cross
: chorus 1 :
This the pow'r of the cross
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross
: verse 1 :
Oh to see the dawn of the darkest day
Christ on the road to Calvary
Tried by sinful men, torn and beaten then
Nailed to a cross of wood
: verse 2 :
Oh to see the pain, written on Your face
Bearing the awesome weight of sin
Ev'ry bitter thought, ev'ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow
: verse 3 :
Now the daylight flees, now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head
Curtain torn in two, dead are raised to life
Finished the vict'ry cry
: verse 4 :
Oh to see my name, written in the wounds
For through Your suff'ring I am free
Death is crushed to death, life is mine to live
Won through Your selfless love
: chorus 2 :
This the pow'r of the cross
Son of God slain for us
What a love what a cost
We stand forgiven at the cross
Video: Holy Week - Good Friday
Filmed in conjunction with the book The Final Days of Jesus, this video features short explanations from and interviews with historian Paul Maier and New Testament scholar Andreas Köstenberger, looking at the origin, object, and purpose of Roman crucifixion, along with one difference in emphasis between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and John on suffering and glory.
Holy Week Spotify Playlist
We created a Spotify playlist with music focused on Holy Week. We hope these songs will help you reflect on this momentous week, and help prepare your heart as we reflect on and celebrate these events.
Check out our Easter Pinterest Board for activity and craft ideas for the whole family! You can find the board here.
The following two books were used to help prepare these daily Holy Week devotionals.
The Final Days of Jesus
A chronological arrangement, with commentary, to help one understand what happened and why it matters today.
More information here.
The Final Days of Jesus has a companion study guide available as a free PDF. You can download it here.