Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O my people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer me. For 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!
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.
C: (Hymn 128 v. 1-2)
Not all the blood of beasts On Israel's altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace Or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heav'nly Lamb, Takes all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name And richer blood than they.
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, and 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!
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.
C: (Hymn 128 v. 3)
In faith I place my hand On that dear head divine,
As penitently here I stand And lay on him my sin.
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!
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.
C: (Hymn 128 v. 4-5)
My soul looks back to see The burden you did bear
When hanging on the cursed tree I know my guilt was there!
Believing, we rejoice To see the curse remove;
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice And sing his bleeding love.
Confession and Absolution
P: O almighty God, merciful Father,
C: I, a poor miserable sinner, confess to you all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended you and justly deserved your punishment both now and forever. But I am truly sorry for my sins and sincerely repent of them, and I pray you of your boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor sinful being.
P: Upon this, your confession, I, by virtue of my office as a called servant of the Word, announce the grace of God to all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer of the Day for Good Friday
M: Let us pray.
P: Lord God, you love us so much that you sent your Son into the world. The sun refused to shine during the death of your one and only Son. On a cross, he willingly endured pain, anguish, and death once for all. He proclaimed, “It is finished.” We rejoice that the darkness of sin that oppressed our hearts has given way to full and complete forgiveness. We are declared righteous because he who had no sin assumed our sin and paid the ransom for us. Hold his cross before us always, so that we may not be overcome by the darkness.
Hymn 140 vv. 1-3 God Was There on Calvary
1 God was there on Calvary, God the Father’s only Son,
Dying that the world might live, There on Calvary.
2 All the world on Calvary, Crucified the Prince of life,
Pierced the hands of God’s own Son, There on Calvary.
3 Sin was there on Calvary, All the sins of ev’ryone,
Laid upon God’s sinless Lamb There on Calvary.
The First Word — Luke 23:32-34
32 Two other men, who were criminals, were led away with Jesus to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
They cast lots to divide his garments among them.
Sermon: Nail-Pierced Hands
P: O Lord Jesus Christ, fold your hands in prayer for us; those wounded hands once stretched and nailed to the cross. Pray for us as you once prayed for your executioners;
C: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
P: O Lord Jesus Christ, we know our sinful rebellion. We dare plead ignorance of your holy will. But in your death for us, we find forgiveness for all of our known and unknown crimes.
C: Stretch out your forgiving hands, O Lord, for your endless mercies’ sake. Amen.
Response: Hymn 140 vv. 4-6 God Was There on Calvary
4 Love was there on Calvary, Streaming from the heart of God,
Reaching out for ev’ryone There on Calvary.
5 Life was there on Calvary, Flowing from his wounded side,
Spent that death itself might die There on Calvary.
6 We were there on Calvary; We were pardoned, saved, set free,
Saved to live eternally-Blessed Calvary!
Text: Kurt J. Eggert, 1923-93. © 1993 Kurt J. Eggert. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
+ The first candle is extinguished +
The Second Word — John 19:25-27
25 Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene were standing near the cross.
26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother!” And from that time this disciple took her into his own home.
P: O Lord Jesus Christ, how could you care so much for the hurt of your mother while you were suffering hell for the sins of the world?
C: Oh, what boundless love and divine mercy you pour out to your mother from your cross.
P: Forgive us when we think of you as cold-hearted toward our suffering and indifferent toward our pain. Open our eyes to see how your love for us held you to the cross so that we might become your sons and daughters.
C: We come to you for protection and peace from sin within us and evil around us. Amen.
Response: Hymn 351 vv. 1 & 2 Hail, O Once Despised Jesus
1 Hail, O once-despised Jesus! Hail, O Galilean King!
You have suffered to release us, Hope to give and peace to bring.
Hail, O universal Savior, Bearer of our sin and shame;
By your merits we find favor; Life is given through your name.
2 Paschal Lamb, by God appointed, All our sins on you were laid;
By almighty love anointed, You have full atonement made.
Ev’ry sin has been forgiven Through the power of your blood;
Open is the gate of heaven; We are reconciled to God.
+ The second candle is extinguished +
The Third Word — Luke 23:39-43
39 One of the criminals hanging there was blaspheming him, saying, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same condemnation? 41 We are punished justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for what we have done, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.”
43 Jesus said to him, “Amen I tell you: Today you will be with me in paradise.”
P: O Lord Jesus Christ, we too like the thief on the cross deserve to die for the sins of our soul. With the thief of old, we can only plead:
C: “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
P: How tender your gaze, how sweet your words, how powerful your promise that gives life forever with you. With sure confidence and true humility, we wait eagerly for the day when you will whisper your words in our ears:
C: “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” Amen.
Response: Hymn 714 vv 1 & 5 — The Lamb
1 The Lamb, the Lamb, O Father, where’s the sacrifice?
Faith sees, believes God will provide the Lamb of price!
Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me his own!
The Lamb is reigning on his throne.
5 He rose, he rose, My heart with thanks now overflows.
His song prolong ’Til ev’ry heart to him belong.
Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me his own!
The Lamb is reigning on his throne.
+ The third candle is extinguished +
The Fourth Word — Matthew 27:45-46
45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour, there was darkness over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
P: O Lord Jesus Christ, your bone-chilling cry revealed to the entire world what God was doing on that dark noon. You continued to trust and call on your Father even while he was punishing you for our sins.
C: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
P: To know the answer to your riveting question is to know your heart, your grace, your forgiveness! May your cry for your Father ever burn in our hearts!
C: Let no shadow of doubt ever darken our trust in you, nor separate us from your Father and ours. Amen.
Response: Hymn 100 vv 1-3 — A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth
1 A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth,
Our guilt and evil bearing
And, laden with the sins of earth,
None else the burden sharing.
Goes patient on, grows weak and faint,
To slaughter led without complaint,
That spotless life to offer,
Bears shame and stripes and wounds and death,
Anguish and mockery and says,
“Willing all this I suffer.”
2 This Lamb is Christ, the soul’s great friend,
The Lamb of God, our Savior;
Him God the Father chose to send
To gain for us his favor.
“Go forth, my Son,” the Father said,
“And free my children from their dread
Of guilt and condemnation.
The wrath and stripes are hard to bear,
But by your passion they will share
The fruit of your salvation.”
3 “Yes, Father, yes, most willingly
I’ll bear what you command me.
My will conforms to your decree;
I’ll do what you have asked me.”
O wondrous Love, what have you done!
The Father offers up his Son,
Desiring our salvation.
O Love, how strong you are to save!
You make his bed within the grave
Who built the earth’s foundation.
+ The fourth candle is extinguished +
The Fifth Word — John 19:28
28 After this, knowing that everything had now been finished, and to fulfill the Scripture, Jesus said, “I thirst.”
P: O Lord Jesus Christ, lead us to see the depths of your thirst as you suffered as true man. Emaciated and dehydrated, you thirsted to proclaim our salvation.
C: Being true man you suffered every ounce of torture in your death. Being God your holy death paid completely for every sin. True God and true man, none other could have saved us.
P: Because you drank every drop from the cup of suffering, you have become for us the well of salvation unto eternal life.
C: May we drink deeply from you and never thirst again. Amen.
Response: Hymn 127 vv 1, 2, 3 — Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted
1 Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See him dying on the tree!
’Tis the Christ, by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, ’tis he, ’tis he.
’Tis the long-expected Prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it:
’Tis the true and faithful Word.
2 Tell me, as you hear him groaning,
Was there ever grief like his?
Friends through fear his cause disowning,
Foes insulting his distress,
Many hands were raised to wound him,
None would intervene to save,
But the deepest stroke that pierced him
Was the stroke that Justice gave.
3 If you think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great,
Here you see its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed;
See who bears the awful load-
’Tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man and Son of God.
+ The fifth candle is extinguished +
The Sixth Word — John 19:29-30
29 A jar full of sour wine was sitting there. So they put a sponge soaked in sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished!” Then, bowing his head,he gave up his spirit.
P: Lord Jesus Christ, give us your strength as you resolved to do your Father’s work and finish it. What profound peace it gives to know that all has been accomplished for our salvation. Your one word seals the enormous payment you made for our sin.
C: “It is finished!” Amen.
Response: Hymn 138 — Oh, Perfect Life of Love
1 Oh, perfect life of love!
All, all is finished now,
All that he left his throne above
To do for us below.
2 No work is left undone
Of all the Father willed;
His toil, his sorrows, one by one,
The Scriptures have fulfilled.
3 No pain that we can share
But he has felt its smart;
All forms of human grief and care
Have pierced that tender heart.
4 And on his thorn-crowned head
And on his sinless soul
Our sins in all their guilt were laid
That he might make us whole.
5 In perfect love he dies;
For me he dies, for me!
O all-atoning Sacrifice,
You died to make me free!
6 In ev’ry time of need,
Before the judgment throne,
Your works, O Lamb of God, I’ll plead,
Your merits, not my own.
Text: Henry W. Baker, 1821-77, abr., alt.
+ The sixth candle is extinguished +
The Seventh Word — Luke 23:44-46
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun was darkened. Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Response: Hymn 137 Oh, Darkest Woe
1 Oh, darkest woe! O tears, forth flow!
Has earth so sad a wonder?
God the Father’s only Son
Now is buried yonder.
2 Oh, sorrow dread! God’s Son is dead!
But by his expiation
Of our guilt upon the cross
Gained for us salvation.
3 Lo, stained with blood, The Lamb of God,
The Bridegroom, lies before you,
Pouring out his life that he
May to life restore you.
4 How blest shall be Eternally
Who oft in faith will ponder
Why the glorious Prince of life
Should be buried yonder.
5 O Jesus blest, My Help and Rest,
With tears I now entreat you:
Make me love you to the last
Till in heav’n I greet you.
Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
L: Let us pray for the whole 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 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.
L: Let us pray for all the ministers of the Word 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; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
L: 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 the President and Congress of the United States, the Governor of this state, and all those who make, administer, and judge our laws that all who receive the sword as your representatives may bear it according to your Word; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
L: Let us pray our Lord God Almighty that he would deliver the world from disease, ward off famine, set free those in bondage, 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 those who labor, 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.
L: 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.
L: 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.
L: 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 to 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 of one mind and heart with us and with your whole Church; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
L: 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 goodwill:
P: O Lord, Father Almighty, by your Word you created and you still continue to bless and uphold all things. We pray you so to reveal to us your Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, that he may dwell in our hearts and we may by your grace be made ready to receive your blessing on all the fruits of the earth and these things that pertain to our bodily need through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
L: Finally let us pray for all these things for which our Lord would have us ask, praying:
C: 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.
+ The seventh candle is extinguished +
P: The almighty and merciful Lord, the Father, the Son, † and the Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us.
✞ The Christ candle is carried from the sanctuary.
✞ Silence for meditation
✞ A loud noise (strepitus) representing the closing of Christ’s tomb is heard.
✞ The Christ Candle is returned to the altar to await the joy of Easter Morning.
Closing Hymn 117 vv 1-3, 5 — O Dearest Jesus
1 O dearest Jesus, what law have you broken
That such sharp sentence should on you be spoken?
Of what great crime have you to make confession-
What dark transgression?
2 They crown your head with thorns, they smite, they scourge you;
With cruel mockings to the cross they urge you;
They give you gall to drink, they still decry you;
They crucify you.
3 Whence come these sorrows, whence this mortal anguish?
It is my sins for which you, Lord, must languish;
Yes, all the wrath, the woe that you inherit,
This I do merit.
5 The sinless Son of God must die in sadness;
The sinful child of man may live in gladness;
We forfeited our lives, yet are acquitted-
God is committed.
Text: Johann Heermann, 1585-1647, abr.; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-78, st. 1-4, 6-7, alt.; The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis, 1941, st. 5, alt.
The minister exits the chancel.
The congregation may remain for prayer and meditation before dispersing quietly, placing your nail in the cross.