Good Friday | April 10, 2020
Speaker: Kenton Beshore
Scripture Reading/Worship: 8:17-24:03
Sermon transcription starts at 24:04
Thank you for tuning in to this Good Friday service. The observance of Good Friday is one of my favorite Mariners traditions. The goal of this service is that wherever you are, you would have a greater appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus experienced as he gave his life for us. And we hope that the more we understand about Christ’s suffering, the more we can celebrate his resurrection during Easter.
During this service, you’ll be led in communion. At Mariners, we believe that communion is intended for believers in Jesus Christ to reflect on his sacrifice given for us. The Bible instructs Christians not to take communion in an unworthy manner. So we take communion with intention and confession. I encourage you to examine your hearts. Be honest in your confession. If you plan to share communion during the service, you can pause the broadcast now and prepare your communion supplies. Bread and juice, crackers or chips. Those will be fine. If you don’t have juice, you can use any beverage you do have.
This time of communion should be reserved for those in your household who have received salvation in Jesus Christ. So as we celebrate communion together, take this time to remember his sacrifice for you.
In addition to communion, there will also be a moment of silence and confession. On our website, we’ve created a confession card that’s available for you to print out, but you can use any piece of paper to share in this experience. In a moment, the broadcast will begin.
Families with young children should remember that some of the content in the crucifixion story is more appropriate for mature audiences. We pray that this experience would bring you closer to the heart of the father who loves you, and the son, Jesus, who willingly died for you. We’ll begin in just a moment.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane. And he told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” Going a little farther, he fell face down and prayed. “My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve suddenly arrived. With him was a mob with swords and clubs from the chief priest, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had given them a signal. “The one I kiss,” he said, “He’s the one. Arrest him and take him away under guard.” So when he came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Rabbi,” and kissed him. They took hold of him and arrested him.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and clothed him in a purple robe. And they kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” and were slapping his face. When the chief priests and the temple servants saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate responded, “Take him and crucify him yourselves, since I find no grounds for charging him.” They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your King?” “We have no King but Caesar!” the chief priests answered. Then he handed him over to be crucified. Then they took Jesus away.
Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic, is called Golgotha.
When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there along with two criminals, one on the right and one on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they’re doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots.
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” Saying this, he breathed his last.
How can this Friday be called good? What’s good about Jesus dying on the cross and giving his life? And why did Jesus have to die? I mean, if God is all powerful and he’s good, it doesn’t make sense that Jesus had to die. These are the two questions that are answered on Good Friday. And we’re going to go on a spiritual journey where you’re going to get to experience two powerful ways that the truths of Good Friday can become real in your life.
The key verse that we’re going to look at is in 2Corinthians 5:21, and it really tells us ultimately why Jesus had to die and why this is called Good Friday. It says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” This one verse explains to us why it’s Good Friday. It’s a verse that theologians have called “the great exchange” because it talks about what happened at the cross.
“God made Christ, who never sinned,” is how the verse began. It begins with Jesus. And the reason it does is because, ultimately, it tells us how Jesus came to save us. When God created the world, everything was right. It was a world full of love. We were created to live in loving relationship with God, and each other, and ourselves. And it was right and good, and we loved it.
And yet even at that point, we didn’t like it the way that God created it. We wanted life on our own terms. So we were like a child who folds their arms and looks at their parents and says, “There will be no peace in this house.”
And we rebelled because we wanted life on our terms. And as a result of our selfishness, we damaged everything. We damaged our relationship with God, with each other, and even ourselves. And as a result of our sin, is what the Bible calls it, there it led to the hatred we see in the world today: jealousy, racism, sexism, corruption, injustice and the oppression that we see.
And it’s not just that it’s out there in a bad world that’s full of sin. It became a part of us. It became a part of our heart. We are filled with sin. So the question became, or the dilemma that God had, is how could God destroy sin, eradicate the sin in the world without destroying us?
God loved us so much that he came to this world 2,000 years ago. He showed up in this world as the person of Jesus. So it says, “God made Christ,” and he never sinned. So Jesus came and he lived a life like no one has ever lived. He taught us a new way to live. And ultimately, he knew that the only way to destroy sin was to let it infect him. So Jesus took all the sin of the world, and he put himself in our place. When he went to the cross, he took all of our sin. And it says “God made Christ, who never sinned,” to be our sin offering. To be sin itself.
So when Jesus died on the cross, he died with all of our sin. Our brokenness. the lies that we told. When we took something that didn’t belong to us. When we resented someone. When we refused to forgive someone. All of those things that we did wrong, Jesus went and he died the death that we were already dying. So ultimately, he could give us the life we could never have on our own.
At the cross, Jesus paid for our sin. He made a way. He suffers. He comes into a world of suffering and pain, and he suffers. And through his suffering, what’s incredible, is that he delivers us from sin. We were separated from God. That’s what the Bible talks about as “spiritual death”. So we had no life. So he comes and he saves us.
So why would Jesus do this? Why would Jesus sacrifice his life? Because there is no love without a sacrifice.
When a child is born, they’re dependent and needy. They can’t stand on their own. And the only way that a child ultimately grows is that a parent sacrifices. They put their life on hold. They give up their time, their energy. They give up their dreams to protect the child, to listen to the child, to care for the child. And in that way, when they sacrifice, the child is able to grow to maturity.
But if a parent does not sacrifice, then that child pays. If the child becomes older but he doesn’t grow up, they don’t become an adult. So either way, either the parent sacrifices and a child grows and becomes an adult. Or for parents who are not willing to sacrifice, then that child doesn’t grow and doesn’t become an adult.
Think of it another way. If someone hurts you, they slander your reputation or they take something from you. You have two choices. You can get even with them. You can make them pay. So the cycle of vengeance just continues on. So the world becomes a worst place because you get even. Or you can forgive them, which requires a huge sacrifice. You absorb the debt. You pay. And you do it for good’s sake. You do it for God’s sake. You do it for your sake. But as a result of that sacrifice, there is love. And that’s what God does on the cross.
Jesus goes to the cross on Good Friday, which is this unique truth in the Bible that Jesus goes through this suffering of death. He dies this death that we were already dying so that he could give us life. When Jesus dies on the cross, he shows us that we couldn’t try harder to make our lives right. We couldn’t be good. And if we were really good, then somehow we would be right with God. He relieves us of this terrible burden of trying to be good enough. So Jesus dies in our place.
So look at what it says. Listen to what it says again. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the sin offering for our sin so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
This is the part that’s the great exchange. We come to God and we give him our brokenness, our sin, our failures, all the things that we’re so ashamed of, the things that we wish we never did. We give him the ugliest part of ourselves. And in exchange for that, what God gives us, because of Jesus Christ, he gives us beauty and righteousness. He gives us forgiveness. He gives us love. He relieves us of this awful bondage of trying to make ourselves good enough for God. And this is why we call it Good Friday, because we have forgiveness. We are loved. We are accepted by God.
Colossians 2:14 says that God “canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” So God took our spiritual rap sheet, all the things that we did wrong. The list of everything we did wrong, and he took it to the cross of Christ so that we could be forgiven.
So what I want you to do is I want you to do something with me. I want you to get a piece of paper and a pen, and I want you to start to write out the things that you’ve done. Your failures, your brokenness, the sin in your life. And if you would just write those things out, we’re going to do something in a powerful way that helps you illustrate to yourself why we call it Good Friday, what Jesus did on the cross.
So if you take your piece of paper and on it, you write your failures. And on it you just start to write the things that places where you wanted to do something right, but you just didn’t. Things that you did wrong. Where you were selfish or you were self-centered. Maybe where you lied. You took something that didn’t belong to you. Or places where you failed, where you knew you didn’t even want to do what’s right. You knew the right thing to do, but you didn’t even care. And in a second, you’re going to have some time to write this out completely.
But just begin to write the things that you don’t want to carry in your life anymore. Things that you want to give to Jesus, that you want him to take to the cross and you want to be forgiven of those things. The places where you were selfish and self-centered.
And then write your fears. What are the things that you are so afraid of? Things that you’re afraid you’ll be found out. Things that you’re afraid that might happen to you. Maybe you’ll lose your job. Maybe that God won’t provide. Maybe you’re afraid of the virus, that you’ll get sick and that somehow God won’t protect you in these days. Maybe you’re afraid of the shame that you carry in your life. What are some of the fears that you have in your life that you want Jesus to take away?
And then the last thing is to write the things that are broken in your life. Where are the places that you look in your life and it’s just sad for you because you think, “I’m never going to be free of that.” “I hold onto that resentment.” Or there is that anger, or there is that addiction that I just can’t break. What are those things in your life?
We’re going to give you just a minute. What I’d like you to do on this piece of paper is to write your failures, to write your fears, to take some time to write the things that are broken in your life. Do that right now where you’re sitting. The more specific you are, the more powerful this is going to be in a moment. So take and write these things down.
Now on this paper, you have everything that you want to be set free from. And the good news and why we call this Good Friday is because that’s why Jesus went to the cross. He became our sin offering. He died in our place so that we could be set free from the burden of trying to make ourselves acceptable to God. Jesus died, and he set us free. So God took all of these things, the charges, the places that we fail, and he nailed it to the cross of Christ.
So what I’d like you to do is I’d like you to take your paper and just tear it. And in tearing it, realize that that’s what happens to all of your sins and your brokenness, your failures, your sin. That Jesus took and he died for them so that these things would be removed from you. And God removes them as far as the east is from the west. He has forgiven them all. And you can throw them away, and they are not a part of your life. That’s a powerful illustration of why we call this Good Friday.
And then the second thing that we want to do together is to take communion.
Jesus, when he was with his disciples the Thursday just before his crucifixion, he celebrated the Passover. And during the Passover, he took bread and the cup and he says, “I want you to do this in remembrance of me.” Which is sort of a surprising thing because you think, did Jesus really believe that the disciples would forget who he was? They wouldn’t remember him? And obviously Jesus did. He thought they would forget two very important parts of who Jesus was. So he gave them and he gave to us, communion, as a way of celebrating the truths of Good Friday.
So first of all, Jesus took bread and he blessed it. And then he said to them, “This bread is a picture of my body, which is given for you.” And the reason that he took the bread as he says, “As tangible and is real as this bread that you’re holding is the truth that I,” Jesus said, “I left heaven and I became human. I became like you, to be with you, to love you.” And the problem is, is that you’re going to forget that.
And when we forget that Jesus came to this earth and was like us, do you know what happens? We start to think that God can’t understand. He doesn’t know what it’s like to feel small, to be human. He doesn’t know what it’s like to feel alone. God can’t understand what it’s like to be overwhelmed, to be afraid, to be so alone. And he knew we would forget that. So Jesus said, “I want you to take this bread, and this bread is a picture of the truth that I came to this earth and I became like you to be with you.”
So you’re sitting in your home, and maybe you’re with your family. Parents, if you’re with young kids, you’ll have to figure out how to do this with them and what’s appropriate. Because this is something, as believers, that we hold to that is so powerful for us. But for anyone in your home, if you’re just there by yourself. You and I will take communion together. But what he did is he said, “As real as this piece of bread is, this bread proves that I came to this earth, that I became like you, that you are not alone.”
Jesus suffered like we did. He was born in poverty, was raised in obscurity, was betrayed by friends. He went through the same kinds of pains that we go through in this life because he wanted us to remember that we are not alone, and that God absolutely understands.
So I’d like you to take a moment with the people that you’re with your family, or if it’s just you and me, and I’d like you to take the bread. And if you have bread, I’d like you just to, in that sense, talk to yourself and say, “What does this mean?” This bread means that you’re not alone, that God is with you. That he understands the deepest pains of our lives. He came to this earth and he is like us. He wanted to be with us to show us God’s love. So would you take and would you give to each other the bread right now? In your own words, just communicate the truth. God understands you’re not alone.
It’s a powerful thing to take and eat the bread.
And after he gave them the bread, he took a cup and he said, “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which is given for you.” This is a picture of the shed blood of Jesus on the cross when he died. How could he think that the disciples would forget that Jesus shed his blood on the cross? How would Jesus, how could he think that we would forget this powerful truth that he shed his blood on the cross for us.
We do. Because when we forget it, what we do is we start to live with this incredible burden that somehow we can be good enough. We can earn it, we can deserve it. But somehow if we try really hard, that somehow we’ll deserve God’s love out of our goodness. But then how good is good enough? I mean we try, but none of us are really as good as we want to be. None of us do the things that even we know to do that’s right.
And the problem is, is that Jesus would never have to die on a cross if we could be good enough. But the problem is we couldn’t be good enough. So Jesus said, “What I want you to do is I want you to take this cup and I want you to remember that I paid for your sin in full.”
So what I want you to do is I want you to give to each other if you’re in the house with your family. If not, I just want you to say out loud, “It’s paid in full. My sin is covered. It’s paid in full.” You say that to one another right now, “Paid in full. My sin is gone. I am forgiven.”
Take and then drink this cup.
This is why we call this day Good Friday, because Jesus died on the cross for us. So we are not alone. We are not forgotten, and we are forgiven.
When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathaea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb.