“Only love is not finished. Only love will not die.”
The texts assigned in the Revised Common Lectionary for Good Friday of Holy Week are Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (the Suffering Servant endured our pain), Psalm 22 (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?), Hebrews 10:16-25 (Jesus our Great High Priest gives us confidence), and John 18:1-19:42 (the Passion of our Lord Jesus).
From With One Voice by Reggie Kidd (p. 88-92):
He hung alone. Well, not completely alone. There were the thieves – one a new friend, one a scoffer. There were the three Mary’s, his own mother among them. There were the soldiers, doctors of pain and humiliation. And there was the crowd, wagging their heads and hurling abuse. Although Jesus was not completely alone, he was. He was left desolate by the One whose presence truly mattered. God’s Son lifts a bitter dirge of forsakenness to a Father who promised he would never abandon his own. He who knew the Father’s voice from eternity and was the author of sound for all creation heard nothing but silence. God seemed for an instant to be an atheist. Jesus, feeling the presence of the Father being withdrawn from him, quotes one of the laments David gave to Israel in Psalm 22. To know the God who is, is to look to him even when he won’t make eye contact. To know the God who keeps covenant is to sing to him, even, perhaps especially, when you fear he may not be listening.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, hymn by Isaac Watts (1707):
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
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?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Scenes from “The Way of the Cross” – Good Friday service at Covenant Lutheran Church on April 2, 2010. This was a modified version of the stations of the cross that included Scripture readings, prayers, reflections, hymns, and choir. Each station was presented in tableau.