Here’s a copy of our 2019 Good Friday Service Script. You may find this helpful for Good Friday services, Communion Services, or any service that focuses on the cross.
Opening Worship Set
Suggested Song – Grateful
Suggested Song – Death Was Arrested
Suggested Song – Living Hope
Turn and Greet/Bumper
Welcome/Explanation of Service/Communication Cards
- Thank you for coming this evening. Tonight’s service is totally focused on the cross of Jesus and all He did for us. We’re going to look back in time and then reflect on our own lives before we share in communion together at the end of the service. Before we begin our journey, we’re asking everyone to complete their communication cards. We’ll collect them at the end of tonight’s service. But first, before we begin, we’re going to receive our offering. Some people here have already given online and some are preparing to give right now. However you are giving, thanks so much. Let’s pray and then we’ll continue on with tonight’s service.
Transition Video (adapted from Andy Stanley’s book “Irresistible.)
Construction on the Roman Colosseum began in AD 72 during the reign of Emperor Vespasian and was completed in AD 80 by his son Titus. It held over 50,000 people. That’s roughly 79% of of the New Orleans Mercedes Benz Superdome. That’s a pretty big arena for first century technology.
Nearby is the site where Nero’s circus once stood. This was the place where the first state-sponsored persecution of Christians took place. In the summer of AD 64, the city of Rome burned for six days and seven nights, consuming almost 75% of the city. Many Roman citizens blamed Emperor Nero, claiming he set fire to the city for his own amusement. Nero denied this accusation and claimed the fire had been started by the Christians who did not worship the Roman gods yet instead followed a King named Jesus. He set out to persecute the Christians and torture them in Nero’s Circus. It was there that the Christians were first dressed as animals and fed to the lions.
But the larger site, where the persecution of Christians continued, was the Colosseum, which soon became the symbol of the strength of the Roman Empire and its king. Spectators entered and exited the Colosseum through 80 arched entrances. 76 of these gates were numbered and allowed the general public to exit within 10 minutes. The remaining four unnumbered entrances were the emperor’s gate, two VIP gates, and the gladiator gate. Guests today are ushered in through the emperor’s gate.
And every single person who enters the Colosseum walks directly toward an enormous wooden structure that Pope Benedict XIV had placed there in the eighteenth century. By that time, the Colosseum had fallen into disrepair. Everything of value had been stolen and vagrants lived in the lower levels. Town planners, for safety, decided to tear down the entire structure. But to keep this from happening, Pope Benedict declared the Colosseum as a sacred monument dedicated to the suffering of Christ. As a part of his declaration, he commissioned the construction of an enormous cross to be hung over the emperor’s gate to commemorate the Christian martyrs who had died in the Colosseum and in Nero’s Circus.
When you see the Cross of Jesus in the Roman Colosseum, you are faced with the reality that the gospel is the power of God. The contrast is staggering. Here are two symbols representing two kingdoms – the Roman kingdom and the kingdom of God. In the end, the kingdom of the Lord prevailed.
The Roman Empire is no more. The Colosseum, once marveled at by man as a sign of Roman strength is now a tourist destination where the central attraction is the Cross of Jesus. The symbol that once represented the most horrible kind of death represents eternal life. The cross, the symbol of our King’s plan for our salvation and His own victory over death, hell, and the grave.
Praise be to our King.
Sermon – THE KING
We are here today to celebrate our King.
King Jesus lived like no other king because He was a King like no other.
Before Jesus was born, wise men from Eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem asking:
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2)
Expound on scripture:
- “Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” – C.S. Lewis
- Jesus was born in a place reserved for animals and was wrapped not in fine linen but in cheap strips of material. He was placed not in a prince’s cradle, but instead was lain in a manger, the feeding trough for the livestock. This wasn’t the typical birthplace for a king, but Jesus is no typical king.
Jesus Was Born Like No Other King
When Jesus entered the City of Jerusalem, He fulfilled prophecy by telling His disciples: “Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.’” (Matthew 21:4-5)
Expound on scripture:
- “I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ and the brightest evidences that He is indeed our Master.” – John Newton
- Jesus didn’t enter Jerusalem on a white horse, showing himself off to the world. Instead, He purposefully rode on a young donkey, showing how humble He truly was. Kings aren’t typically known for their humility, but for their pride. Jesus personified humility in everything He did.
- Jesus was God and deserved to stay in Heaven. Yet out of His great love for us, He chose to come to earth as a human. He even chose to obey God to the point of dying an embarrassing and painful death on the cross for our sins. Jesus is the perfect example of humility.
Jesus Was Humble Like No Other King
Jesus was arrested and brought before Pilate, the Roman Governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked Him. Jesus replied, “You have said it.” But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against Him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.” (Matthew 27:11-14)
Even when Pilate tried to make a way to release Jesus, it didn’t go well. He had a custom where he would release one prisoner a year at Passover. He asked the people to choose between Jesus and a thief named Barabbas. They chose the thief.
Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” (Mark 15:12)
They shouted back, “Crucify Him!”
Expound on scripture:
- Jesus is God. He is the Ultimate Judge. He lowered Himself to be judged by Pilate in order to carry out the will of His Father.
Jesus Had A Trial Like No Other King
Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:27-31
After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” (Matthew 27:32-44)
Expound on scripture:
- In their mocking of Jesus, the Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head and a reed stick in His hand as a scepter. The crown and the reed certainly caused Jesus pain, but even more, it caused intense humiliation before the people. The scarlet robe drove the point home even more.
- The jeering crowd caused even more humiliation for Jesus. They were jabbing at him, hoping to elicit some response that would ruin His claims about Himself. They received none.
Jesus Was Humiliated Like No Other King
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”… Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:45-46, 50-54)
Expound on scripture:
- “It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was His unqualified resolution, out of love for His Father, to do His Father’s will-and it was His love for sinners like me.” – D.A. Carson
- “God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
Jesus Died Like No Other King Because He Was, And Is, A King Like No Other
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Video – No Other King by Dan Stevers – https://www.danstevers.com/store/no_other_king
Decision Time – This King Gave His Life For You On the Cross
- Spoken Intro – You heard the story of King Jesus. This is who we are remembering tonight…
- Communion Song – Mighty Cross