Home   |   Welcome   |   Worship Schedule   |  Coming Events   |   Location   |   Ministries   |   Teaching   |   Photos   |   Links   |   Contact Us

 

Good Friday

D. G. Phillips

Evening Prayer

Cherry Hill, LaHave and Petite Riviere, March 21, AD 2008

John 18:33-19:37

 

Mercy and truth are met together;

righteousness and peace have kissed each other. [Ps 85:10]

 

What words can be spoken at all on such a day as this? 

 

Here laid bare before the eyes of the world is a deep mystery of Divine love:  a greater redemption than was brought about by the flood in the time of Noah; a greater salvation than when the people of Israel were brought through the Red Sea in the time of Moses.  Yet both of these pointed to that flood that opened up on Calvary – the Red sea of Jesus’ blood shed for God’s people.  May His blood be upon us and upon our children.

 

But what act of God could free us from our sins, and change us forever?  What act of God could cut through the lies that we tell ourselves about ourselves?

 

We’ve all known the pain of being exposed to the sharp point of truth about ourselves when wielded by someone out of hatred and not love.  Truth without mercy can be dangerous weapon.  Truth without mercy would have us stone the women caught in adultery – yet Truth would have us see that all are deserving of being stoned to death if there is no mercy… For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. [Rom 3:23]

 

But here, on the Cross, mercy and truth are met together.

 

Here we can be certain of the nature of God – loving, forgiving, and just.  Here on the Cross justice is met, forgiveness is extended, love becomes known.  Here we know that God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  Whosoever believeth on him is not condemned: not because truth does not matter, not because justice does not matter, but because on the Cross mercy and truth are met together.

 

And by mercy and truth iniquity is purged. [Pr 16:6]  When we look upon the Cross, at the One who died there, God gives us the courage to look at ourselves and to confess our sins, that we may be cleansed of all unrighteousness.

 

On the Cross, Mercy and truth are met together; and

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

 

If we trust in His offering, we are justified, made righteous in the sight of God.  When the Father looks upon us, He sees the righteousness of His Son and we have peace with God, we are reconciled.  Here, at the foot of the Cross, we can finally enter into God’s rest.  There is no lifetime of trying to make up for past sins – as if we could ever do that.  Here our lives can start afresh. 

 

Here we can behold our God, no longer in terror of condemnation, but in loving adoration. 

And when we look upon what humanity did to the Son of Man, what our sin did to the Son of Man, our hatred of truth is undone, our love of power over others is undone, our vain pursuits are exposed for what they are.  Our desire, which is endlessly reaching out for satisfaction, finally finds its rest.   Here we can rest our eyes in worship on the One who made us and redeemed us by His blood.  At the foot of the Cross is the peace which every human being seeks, and will not rest until it finds it in Christ.

 

On the Cross Mercy and truth are met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

 

The Sacraments of Baptism and Communion are effective because of the Cross.  They are the normal means by which we receive all the benefits of His death and passion. And a change comes about in us, when we receive them in faith.  Our sin sick souls are not only forgiven but also transformed by grace.  Here, upon the Cross that is his throne our Lord can say, Behold, I make all things new. [Rev. 21:5]  We offend one another less and less, we forgive one another more and more – and the city of God is built up.

 

Because of the Cross, Mercy and truth are met together in us; righteousness and peace have kissed each other in us.

 

But what words can be spoken at all on such a day as this?  Perhaps it is best left to the words of worship and praise and thanksgiving.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, who for the redemption of mankind did ascend the Cross, to enlighten the world that lay in darkness:  Gather us this day with all thy faithful to that same holy Cross; that, gazing in penitence upon thy great sacrifice for us, we may be loosed from all our sins, and, entering into the mystery of thy passion, be crucified to the vain pomp and power of this passing world; and finding our glory in the Cross alone, we may attain to thy everlasting joy; where thou, the Lamb that once was slain, livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

 

Home   |   Welcome  |   Worship Schedule  |   Coming Events   |   Location   |   Ministries   |   Teaching  |   Photos   |   Links   |   Contact Us