The crucifixion is the most depicted event in history. Historically, Jesus was probably executed around 3:00 p.m. on Friday 3 April AD 33. The day was accompanied by a partial lunar eclipse or blood moon. He shared an early Passover meal with his disciples on Wednesday, was arrested and tried on Thursday, and then crucified the next day.
The depiction of his suffering and death is graphic—particularly the tearing of his flesh—often evoking shock, compassion, and catharsis. The latter term, derived from the Greek catharsis (“purification”), is ironically appropriate. Today, because of psychology, we often signify catharsis as a discharge of pent-up emotions. But a responsive hearing to the depiction—repentance and faith—imparts a deeper purification and renewal of the heart.
Participating in Good Friday at home allows us to return to our Hebrew roots—Jesus died while the Passover lambs were being sacrificed in the temple. It was customary for Jewish families to consume the lamb in their homes that evening. The youngest child asks, “Why is this night different from all the other nights?”; the father then tells the story of the Exodus (“departure” from slavery in Egypt). We will be doing this as a church family, but telling the story of Jesus, our Passover Lamb.
How To Participate
Here’s what you will need:
- Six candles
- The elements of communion: grape juice/wine and bread
- A bible, bible app, or print out for the scripture readings (you can download a PDF by clicking the button below)
- Internet and a device (phone, computer, tablet, smart tv, etc…) to stream the service
Our live streamed Good Friday service will begin at 8:00 p.m. on April 2nd. Please have the candles lit and communion prepared. During the service, you will be prompted to read six passages from the Gospel of John. At the end of each reading, blow out a candle (if you don’t have candles, you can turn one light off in your home each time.). After the final candle is extinguished, we invite you to sit in the darkness in silence for several minutes. “I have been crucified together with Christ,” Paul writes.
First Reading – John 18:1–18 (ESV)
When Jesus had spoken these words, nhe went out with his disciples across othe brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew pthe place, for qJesus often met there with his disciples. 3 rSo Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, sknowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, t“Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”1 Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 uWhen Jesus2 said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, t“Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 vThis was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, whaving a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant3 and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; xshall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” 12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews4 arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they yled him to zAnnas, for he was the father-in-law of aCaiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews bthat it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 cSimon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 dbut Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 eThe servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants5 and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. fPeter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
Second Reading – John 18:19–27
gThe high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken hopenly ito the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. jI have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, k“Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 lAnnas then sent him bound to lCaiaphas the high priest. 24 mNow Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of nthe man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you oin the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and pat once a rooster crowed.
Third Reading – John 18:28–40
qThen they led Jesus rfrom the house of Caiaphas to sthe governor’s headquarters.6 It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, tso that they would not be defiled, ubut could eat the Passover. 29 vSo Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, w“Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 xThis was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken yto show by what kind of death he was going to die. 33 zSo Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, a“Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, b“My kingdom cis not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, dmy servants would have been fighting, that eI might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, f“You say that I am a king. gFor this purpose I was born and for this purpose hI have come into the world—ito bear witness to the truth. jEveryone who is kof the truth llistens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”After he had said this, mhe went back outside to the Jews and told them, n“I find no guilt in him. 39 oBut you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, p“Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.7
Fourth Reading – John 19:1–16a
Then Pilate took Jesus and qflogged him. 2 rAnd the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that sI find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing tthe crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, u“Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, v“Take him yourselves and crucify him, for wI find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews1 answered him, “We have a law, and xaccording to that law he ought to die because yhe has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, zhe was even more afraid. 9 aHe entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, b“Where are you from?” But cJesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, d“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore ehe who delivered me over to you fhas the greater sin.” 12 From then on gPilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. hEveryone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on ithe judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic2 Gabbatha. 14 Now it was jthe day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour.3 He said to the Jews, k“Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, l“Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 mSo he ndelivered him over to them to be crucified.
Fifth Reading – John 19:16b–27
So they took Jesus, 17 and ohe went out, pbearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 qThere they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate ralso wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for sthe place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, t“What I have written I have written.” 23 uWhen the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.4 But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” vThis was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
w“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 xbut standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and ythe disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, z“Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to ahis own home.
Sixth Reading – John 19:28–30
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now bfinished, said (vto fulfill the Scripture), c“I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, dso they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, e“It is finished,” and he bowed his head and fgave up his spirit.