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Good Friday 2019

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Good Friday 2019

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Transcript
That song leaves us with the words,
“A guiltless man was crucified  
Love for the whole world in his eyes
I watched Him die”
What do you see when you look at the cross?
The result of a confused Jewish rabbi? Disillusioned and betrayed?
Maybe we see a religious rebel whose mouth and threats got him into trouble!
What do we even do with the cross?
The prophet Isaiah 700 years before the birth of Christ, described how the world would see the death of her Messiah.
Isaiah 53:3 NLT
3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
Isaiah 53:2–3 NLT
2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
He was quiet, as a sheep is quiet while its wool is being cut; he never opened his mouth.
He was a nothing!
Isaiah 53:7–9 NLT
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
Men took him away roughly and unfairly.
And people will show indifference!
He died without children to continue his family.
People will look at this man on a cross and say, he had it coming! Or how sad!
But the prophet goes on to say that something is going on behind the scenes.
That within this historical event of the crucifixion lies a deeper truth.
That God was at work in the humility and rejection of Jesus, to destroy the power of our brokenness.
Isaiah 53:4–6 NLT
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
He wasn’t on the cross because of HIS sin, He was on the cross because of HIS love!
It wasn’t for his past that he was paying for; t was ours.
So today we remember the cross, we survey the wondrous cross on which our savour died, because in it we discover our defining story!
He was put to death; he was punished for the sins of my people. He was buried with wicked men, and put in a rich man’s tomb. He had done nothing wrong, and he had never lied.
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One of the most important life altering characteristics of the Christians faith is the understanding that the greatest impact on our identity (who we are) is not found in what we label ourselves or what we have accomplished.
But in what has been accomplished for us.
And because of that we are a people who remember!
We proclaim our remembrance in our worship, in our practices, in our preaching.
Because our memory of who Christ is and what he has done has precedence and power over every other memory we might find ourselves holding onto.
PAUSE
One of my best friends growing up had a tradition in his home that included a family quilt.
Each year his mother would add a new patch to represent an aspect of that family. a memory from the year.
Maybe some of you have had this tradition or seen it before.
Often these kinds of quilts begin with a word that says Family, or Love, or Home, Welcome.
And around this centre all the other patches find there place and are given meaning.
And as the quilt is looked at as a whole the family says....this is who we are.
PAUSE
In our lives we construct something similar.
Over time we patch our memories and experiences together and say..
“This is who I am!”
And we look at our mistakes, how we have hurt others and ourselves, and we looks at how we have been wronged, misunderstood and these all add up to a patchwork we use to define ourselves.
We use our memory, whether based on fact or fiction to understand our current state; our heart our mind, our spiritual health.
WE all have what some call defining moment. Each of you walked in here with a collection of memories that have constructed an image in your mind of who you are.
We don’t really know who we are without our memories.
For all of us we have defining moments. Each of you walked in here with a collection of memories that have constructed an image in your mind of who you are.
If suffering has been part of our past, pain often becomes a part of our identity.
Mistakes you have made.
Memory, as the argument goes, is central to identity. To the extent tent that we sever ourselves from memories of what we have done and what has happened to us, we lose our true identity. If suffering has been part of our past, pain will be part of our identity. We must hold fast to our memories along with their pain; otherwise we will not be true to ourselves. selves.
If we have caused harm or pain to others, often shame and guilt will be a part of our patchwork.
And the real problems arrives when pieces make their way to the centre of our patchwork; so instead of family, or home or welcome at our centre we allow shame, guilt, victim to take over our centre.
Personal healing happens pens not so much by remembering traumatic events and their accompanying emotions as by interpreting memories and inscribing them into a larger pattern of meaning-stitching them into the patchwork quilt of one's identity, as it were.
The Christian faith at its core has the belief that our identity, our hope, our truest humanity comes from remembering the right thing rightly.
That our truest source of life, and identity comes from the cross.
And that our shame and guilt, belongs not at the centre of our life’s patchwork but on the cross, firmly where Christ nailed it.
And that the cross itself after dislodging those memories from the centre of our lives, ought to take their place as the defining moment for each of us.
As one writer puts it.....
“Behind the unbearable noise of our sin and its attachment to us, we can hear the divinely composed music of our true identity.”
When we listen to that music.....and other memories are pushed to the periphery, they begin to lose their power.
They can come to mind, but they do not define, because they no longer occupy the centre of our identity.
When the cross occupies the centre of our life’s patchwork....everything else finds its proper place AND even our brokenness finds its proper place in the patchwork of our new identity; working together by the truth of the cross to create something beautiful.
For not only do we act on memories of wrongs suffered; these memories act on us, too. They steal our attention, and they assault us with inner turmoil moil marked by shame, guilt, and maybe a mixture of self-recrimination and self-justification. They envelop us in dark mists of melancholy, they hold us back so that we cannot project ourselves into the future and embark bark on new paths. They chain our identity to the injuries we have suffered and shape the way we react to others. Such memories are not just clusters of information about the past-not even clusters of information stored for future use. They themselves are powerful agents.
Still, behind the unbearable noise of wrongdoing suffered, we can hear in faith the divinely composed music of our true identity. When this happens, memories of mistreatment lose much of their defining power. They have been dislodged from the place they have usurped at the centre of the self and pushed to its periphery. They may live in us, but they no longer occupy us; they may cause pain, but they no longer exhaustively define.
That is why, for the Christian, the cross has precedence over all other remembering we do in our lives.
In a world where we are told we are what we accomplish, we are simply a culmination, a patchwork of our accomplishments and failures, ......we surrender and say,
ALL we are is what HE has accomplished for us.
He was
Isaiah 53:4–5 NLT
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Isaiah 53:4–6 NLT
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
These are the defining moments of our lives; that take very seriously our sin but also take very seriously the love that god has for us.
Many people walk with identity based on mistakes and abusesd
Conclusion
In , when the prodigal son came home he arrived with a patchwork of mistakes dragging behind him, and the embrace of his father brought a new identity.
In , when the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus with a patchwork, a list of wrongs on her account, he wrote in the dirt and in doing so erased her old story and wrote her a new one.
In , when the sinful woman breaks into a private party to wash Jesus feet with her tears, Jesus defining love transformed her tears from guilt to tears of adoration and thanksgiving.
PAUSE
What do you bring here today?
What have you allowed to define you? Where is your identity found?
The invitation of Good Friday is to allow the work of Christ on the cross to be the centre through which the patchwork of your life is interpreted and properly remembered.
The day of Passover arrived – the day on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. As Jesus gathered in the upper room with his disciples, they were blind to the significance of the celebration. Ever since they were young, they had celebrated the Jewish feast which represented God’s covenant with His people. But they were too distracted with their own petty disputes to see that the very Lamb of God was sitting at their table, offering a new covenant in His blood. Jesus – the fulfillment of everything the Passover had pointed to, took one of the loaves of bread and said, “This is my body given for you: do this​ ​in remembrance of me​”. (​ )​ ​And after the supper, He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sin”. ​()
PAUSE
One of the ways we remember well. One of the way ways we anchor ourselves in this story and continue to build our life and identity around it, is to worship through the practice of communion.
(call up servers)
Communion is a form of worship given to us by Jesus himself.
And it makes it very clear that Jesus was not misguided or our of touch; he explained to his disciples on the night he was betrayed.....he too bread....
1 Corinthians 11:24–26 NLT
24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
1 Corinthians 11:23–26 NLT
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
So, when the church gathers to take communion together we are declaring that our greatest defining moment took place 2000 years ago. It is the bases of remembering our past soberly, understanding our present with comfort and belonging and looking to the future with hope and joy, because we believe the cross has changed the trajectory of history! And because he says he will come again.
1 Corinthians 11 NLT
1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. 2 I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you. 3 But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 A man dishonors his head if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. 5 But a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head. 6 Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair! But since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, she should wear a covering. 7 A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is made in God’s image and reflects God’s glory. And woman reflects man’s glory. 8 For the first man didn’t come from woman, but the first woman came from man. 9 And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. 10 For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority. 11 But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. 12 For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God. 13 Judge for yourselves. Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public without covering her head? 14 Isn’t it obvious that it’s disgraceful for a man to have long hair? 15 And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches. 17 But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. 18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19 But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized! 20 When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. 21 For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22 What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this! 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. 27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. 31 But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world. 33 So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. 34 If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together. I’ll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive.
It places the cross at the centre of our patchwork.
. So for the next few minutes, the band is going to lead us in worship, and we are going to have four stations up front and would ask that when you are ready, you come down the two centre aisles. And make your way back to your seats along the sides. We also will have two station up in the balcony.
If you are a Christ follower, you would say that the cross event from 2000 year ago is your story, you are welcome to take communion with us, but if you have not come to that point in your life, we would simply ask that you refrain from taking part, as it would just be snacks to you, but we would hope and invite you to approach any of the people you see up front after the service to know more bout what it means to follow Christ.
PAUSE
So as we take communion this morning, may it be a re-centering. May it be a time of confession and releasing of those things that have no right to define you.
A time to allow the embrace of God welcome you home, the finger of Christ write you a new story and your tears of repentance turn to tears of adoration and joy.
PRAY
AFTER Communion:
Rest of the weekend
Easter Egg Hunt at Glen Park from 10-12 invite your friends and bring your family
Holy Saturday Service 6PM tomorrow night - a time for reflection and hope as we wait for our returning saviour
Easter Sunday- Mariner Campus- 8:30AM-10AM-11:30AM
Town Centre Campus- 9AM and 10:45AM
Now i want to invite you to stand and leave you with a benediction....
Benediction:
All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the source of every mercy, the God of all consolation.
Do not rely on yourselves alone, but put your trust in him.
For the God who can raise the dead to life again
will also deliver you!
Revelation 5:12 NLT
12 And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
Amen
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