Welcome to our Good Friday reflective website. Because we can't meet in person this year, we've put together a resource for you to use instead. There's a gospel reading, followed by some images and accompanying questions for you to meditate on. Please take as long as you would like.
You may wish to listen to some accompanying background music as you work through the images. Please use the play icon at the bottom of the page to do so. You can pause the music at any time if you find it unhelpful.
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in the cross of Jesus
we see the cost of sin
and the depth of your love:
in humble hope and fear
may we place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
‘I have sinned,’ he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood.’
‘What is that to us?’ they replied. ‘That’s your responsibility.’
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.’
Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’
‘You have said so,’ Jesus replied.
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’
But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge – to the great amazement of the governor.
Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.
At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: ‘Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.’
But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’ asked the governor.
‘Barabbas,’ they answered.
‘What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ Pilate asked.
They all answered, ‘Crucify him!’
‘Why? What crime has he committed?’ asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, ‘Crucify him!’
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’
All the people answered, ‘His blood is on us and on our children!’
Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers round him.
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him.
‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said.
They spat on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him.Then they led him away to crucify him.
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull’).
There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.
When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.
Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews.
Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, “I am the Son of God.”’
In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’
(which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’).
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, ‘He’s calling Elijah.’
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
The rest said, ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.’
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
in so many ways this is the blackest of days
recalling the darkest of moments -
a day on which hearts were broken
and faith tested to the limit,
a day of appalling suffering and agonizing death,
a day when all hell was let loose
and love seemed overwhelmed.
Yet we can call this day 'Good Friday',
for in all of that horror you were there.
In the despair, in the pain,
In the humiliation, in the sorrow,
you were supremely at work,
demonstrating the immensity of your love.
as we recall those terrible yet wonderful events
give us new insight into what you did that day,
for us and for all.
Art is emotional and challenging.
As you work your way through the images take your time.
These questionas may help you
If you'd like to; choose one or two that drew you in and spend a moment longer with them again.
Saviour of the world,
save us from our sin, our sadness, and our self-deception.
Give us courage to live in a world we cannot fix
with hope that it has already been redeemed.
Thank you for taking part.
Bible reading from the New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV© Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images reproduced from The Christ We Share © CMS, USPG, Methodist Church 2004
Common Worship: material from which is included here, is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.