The first candle is extinguished.
A He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3, 6
P Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside tothem and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered Him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “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.” This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death He was going to die.
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You over to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to Him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in Him. But 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?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. John 18:28–40
A Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied;
by His knowledge shall the righteous One, My Servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the many,
and He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because He poured out His soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet He bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:11–12
P Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head and arrayed Him in a purple robe. They came up to Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck Him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has made himself the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. John 19:1–9
A He was oppressed, and He was afflicted,
yet He opened not His mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so He opened not His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
and as for His generation, who considered
that He was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of My people? Isaiah 53:7–8
P 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?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered Me over to you has the greater sin.”
+ BIDDING PRAYER +
A Let us pray for the whole Christian Church, that our Lord God would defend her against all the assaults and temptations of the adversary and keep her perpetually on the true foundation, Jesus Christ:
P Almighty and everlasting God, since You have revealed Your glory to all nations in Jesus Christ and in the Word of His truth, keep, we ask You, in safety the works of Your mercy so that Your Church, spread throughout all the nations, may be defended against the adversary and may serve You in true faith and persevere in the confession of Your name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (428)
A Let us pray for all the ministers of the Word, for all vocations in the Church, and for all the people of God:
P Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified, receive the supplications and prayers which we offer before You for all Your servants in Your holy Church that every member of the same may truly serve You according to Your calling; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (429)
A Let us pray for our catechumens, that our Lord God would open their hearts and the door of His mercy that, having received the remission of all their sins by the washing of regeneration, they may be mindful of their Baptism and evermore be found in Christ Jesus, our Lord:
P Almighty God and Father, because You always grant growth to Your Church, increase the faith and understanding of our catechumens that, rejoicing in their new birth by the water of Holy Baptism, they may forever continue in the family of those whom You adopt as Your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (430)
A Let us pray for all in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty:
P O merciful Father in heaven, because You hold in Your hand all the might of man and because You have ordained, for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do well, all the powers that exist in all the nations of the world, we humbly pray You graciously to regard Your servants, especially [name], our president; the Congress of the United States; [name], our governor; and all those who make, administer, and judge our laws; that all who receive the sword as Your ministers may bear it according to Your Word; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (431)
A Let us pray to our Lord God Almighty that He would deliver the world from all error, take away disease, ward off famine, set free those in bondage, and grant health to the sick and a safe journey to all who travel:
P Almighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in all their necessities they may rejoice in Your manifold help and comfort; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (432)
A Let us pray for all who are outside the Church, that our Lord God would be pleased to deliver them from their error, call them to faith in the true and living God and His only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and gather them into His family, the Church:
P Almighty and everlasting God, because You seek not the death but the life of all, hear our prayers for all who have no right knowledge of You, free them from their error, and for the glory of Your name bring them into the fellowship of Your holy Church; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (433)
A Let us pray for peace, that we may come to the knowledge of God’s holy Word and walk before Him as is fitting for Christians:
P Almighty and everlasting God, King of Glory, and Lord of heaven and earth, by whose Spirit all things are governed, by whose providence all things are ordered, the God of peace and the author of all concord, grant us, we implore You, Your heavenly peace and concord that we may serve You in true fear, to the praise and glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (434)
A Let us pray for our enemies, that God would remember them in mercy and graciously grant them such things as are both needful for them and profitable for their salvation:
P O almighty, everlasting God, through Your only Son, our blessed Lord, You have commanded us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, and to pray for those who persecute us. We therefore earnestly implore You that by Your gracious visitation all our enemies may be led to true repentance and may have the same love and be of one accord and one mind and heart with us and with Your whole Christian Church; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (435)
A Let us pray for the fruits of the earth, that God would send down His blessing upon them and graciously dispose our hearts to enjoy them according to His own good will:
P O Lord, Father Almighty, by Your Word You created and You continue to bless and uphold all things. We pray You so to reveal to us Your Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, that through His dwelling in our hearts, we may by Your grace be made ready to receive Your blessing on all the fruits of the earth and whatsoever pertains to our bodily need; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (436)
P The Lord be with you.
C And also with you.
P Brothers and sisters, when God became man, it was no illusion, no spiritual game-playing. Today we are observing, as it were, the funeral of the man Jesus, who is in fact a God who bleeds, a God who dies.
God the Son became a true human being for one purpose: to die for us.
When He compared Himself to a good shepherd, He said,
A For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me,
C but I lay it down of My own accord. John 10:17–18
P He lay it down even though it meant experiencing human suffering. When He was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil,
A He ate nothing during those days.
C And when they were ended, He was hungry. Luke 4:2
P He was dependent on the kindness of other humans during His ministry. He said,
A Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests,
C but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. Luke 9:58
P He kept the cross always in view.
A When the days drew near for Him to be taken up,
C He set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51
P When He was warned of physical harm from Herod, He replied,
A Go and tell that fox, “Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow,
C and the third day I finish My course.” Luke 13:32
P So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. First they led Him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. John 18:1–14
A Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him,
and no beauty that we should desire Him. Isaiah 53:1–2
P Simon 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, but 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. The 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.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When He had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how You answer the high priest?” 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?” Annas then sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now 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.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. John 18:15–27
A God Who Bleeds, a God Who Dies
The second candle is extinguished.
P From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the
sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “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.” So he delivered Him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. John 19:10–18
A Surely He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed Him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4–5
P Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 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.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” John 19:19–22
REPROACHES Based on Micah 6, Jeremiah 2, and Isaiah 5
A The words of the prophets, as they were adapted for this day centuries ago, portray God’s abject sadness and dismay.
P Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. Though I have raised you up out of the prison house of sin and death, and you have delivered up your Redeemer to be scourged. For I have redeemed you from the house of bondage, and you have nailed your Savior to the cross. O My people. Micah 6:3–4
C Holy Lord God, holy and mighty God, holy and most merciful Redeemer; God eternal, leave us not to bitter death. O Lord, have mercy.
P Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. For I have conquered all your foes, you have given Me over and delivered Me to those who persecute Me. For I have fed you with My Word and refreshed you with living water, and you have given Me gall and vinegar to drink. O My people. [Jeremiah 2:6–7]
C Holy Lord God, holy and mighty God, holy and most merciful Redeemer; God eternal, allow us not to lose hope in the face of death and hell. O Lord, have mercy.
P Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. What more could have been done for My vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? My people, is this how you thank your God? O My people. Isaiah 5:2–4
C Holy Lord God, holy and mighty God, holy and most merciful Redeemer; God eternal, keep us steadfast in the true faith. O Lord, have mercy.
HYMN “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” (LSB 437)The third candle is extinguished.
A My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from saving Me, from the words of My groaning?
O My God, I cry by day, but You do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet You are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In You Our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and You delivered them.
To You they cried and were rescued;
in You they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see Me mock Me;
they make mouths at Me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let Him deliver Him;
let Him rescue Him, for He delights in Him!” Psalm 22:1–8
P When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took His garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also His tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided My garments among them,
and for My clothing they cast lots.” John 19:23–24; Psalm 22:18
HYMN “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (LSB 425)
The fourth candle is extinguished.
P So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. John 19:24–27
A Yet You are He who took Me from the womb;
You made Me trust You at My mother’s breasts.
On You was I cast from My birth,
and from My mother’s womb You have been My God.
Be not far from Me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help. Psalm 22:9–11
P After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” John 19:28
A Many bulls encompass Me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround Me;
they open wide their mouths at Me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,
and all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
it is melted within My breast;
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and My tongue sticks to My jaws;
You lay Me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass Me;
a company of evildoers encircles Me;
they have pierced My hands and feet—
I can count all My bones—
they stare and gloat over Me. Psalm 22:12–17
P A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to His mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:29–30
(A moment of silence.)
The fifth candle is extinguished.
A But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O You My help, come quickly to My aid!
Deliver My soul from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog!
Save Me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued Me from the horns of the wild oxen! Psalm 22:19–21
P Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of His bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on Him whom they have pierced.”
The sixth candle is extinguished.
P After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. John 19:31–42
A And they made His grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in His death,
although He had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in His mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him;
He has put Him to grief;
when His soul makes an offering for guilt,
He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. Isaiah 53:9–10
(The Christ Candle is removed.)
STREPITUS (A loud sound is heard, signifying the closing of God’s book.)
(The Christ candle is returned in recognition that God is eternally alive.)
P Let us pray. Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(Please observe silence while departing.)
Copyright © 2018 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Parts of this service taken from Good Friday—Chief Service from Lutheran Service Book: Altar Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
April 21, 2019
7:00a.m. Sunrise Service
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
When the man Jesus, our Lord, finished His course on the cross, He was the perfect sacrifice. Like lambs offered in the temple, He was innocent. Like Passover lambs, not a bone in His body was broken. Through the shedding of His blood He made forgiveness available to all who rely on Him for eternal life. Let us therefore confess our sins to God, our heavenly Father.
Silence for reflection on the Word of God and our sinful condition.
P Gracious heavenly Father,
C we come before You not as we wish nor as You desire but bringing our faults and failures, our willful sins, and our thoughtless errors. We have put our own physical comfort ahead of loving You. Out of fear of losing food, clothing, or shelter, we have spoken, acted, and thought loveless things toward our neighbors. We cannot free ourselves. Forgive us, renew in us clean hearts, and set our feet on paths of loving obedience to Your will for the sake of the man Jesus, who is Your Son and our Brother. Amen.
P Just before He breathed His last, our Lord declared finished the sacrifice for sin that He had always intended. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.
P So specific was God’s plan that He inspired both Isaiah and David to describe the suffering and death of His Son centuries before the events. We will therefore read the Passion in St. John’s Gospel together with the prophecies in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.
P The Lord be with you.
C And also with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
P Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we ask You to open our hearts to know the great love of our Savior.
C Grant that our worship this day will enable us to grasp the full measure of His love and the depth of His suffering. Send Your Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith in His physical sacrifice so that we may rejoice together in His bodily resurrection;
P through Your Son, the man Jesus, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
+ PREPARATION +
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
EPISTLE………………………………………………Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9
(Jesus, a true human being, was tempted as we are and prayed to His heavenly Father and ours.)
L The Epistle is from Hebrews, chapters four and five.
Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. . . .
In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
+ SERVICE OF DARKNESS +
ENTRANCE HYMN “Upon the Cross Extended” (LSB 453:1–2, 7)
HYMN “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now” (LSB 440:1)
HYMN “Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing” (LSB 421:1–2)
P The Passion of our Lord according to St. John, the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters.
P When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with His disciples. So 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. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to Him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” Judas, who betrayed Him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So He asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He. So, if you seek Me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that He had spoken: “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me?”
ADORATION OF THE CROSS
P [quietly] Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the salvation of the whole world.
C O come, let us worship Him.
P [louder, midway down the aisle] Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the salvation of the whole world.
C O come, let us worship Him.
P [shouting, from the front] Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the salvation of the whole world.
C O come, let us worship Him.
HYMN “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” (LSB 438:1)
HYMN “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (LSB 450:1–2)
SERMON: “A God Who Bleeds, a God Who Dies”
LORD’S PRAYER Matthew 6:9–13
A Finally, let us pray for all those things for which our Lord would have us ask, saying:
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
+ WORD +
As We Gather
Why has God become man? Why does God have flesh? Why does God have a heart that beats, lungs that breathe, a brain with synapses that fire? For this: to die. His heart beats so that it can stop beating. His lungs draw in breaths and exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide so that they can fill with fluid and stop taking in breath. His brain conducts an electro-chemical symphony so that it can stop abruptly before the final act. His eyes see so that they can be blind. His ears hear so they can be deaf. His hands work so they can be pinned to a wooden cross. His blood courses through His veins so it can flow in rivulets down the post of a torture device and leave a crimson stain in the dirt at a place named “Skull.”
God is man so that He can die. For you.
The service begins in silence, without music or invocation. It is a continuation of the service begun yesterday. The offering will not be received during the service; tithes and offerings may be placed in the plates in the narthex.
HYMN “Not All the Blood of Beasts” (LSB 431)