Good Friday Readings and Prayer

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

 

A. Success through Suffering

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,     and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations.
    Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,
for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.

 

B. Facts of his life

53 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.
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.

 

C. His suffering explained

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.
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.

  

B’. Facts of his death

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?
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.

 

A’. Success through Suffering

10 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.
11 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.
12 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.

  

1 Peter 2:21-25

 

21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

 

Martin Luther:

 

Here’s what you should do when you feel your sins weighing on your conscience. Don’t be afraid. Instead, by faith, take them off yourself and place them on Christ. For this text says, ‘He has borne our iniquities.’ It’s clear that we need to entrust our sins to Christ. If you think your sins still belong to you, then this thought doesn’t come from God but from Satan because it is contrary to God’s word.  For in God’s word, God places your sins on Christ. So here’s what you should say to yourself. “I see my sins on Christ.  So my sin is no longer mine. It belongs to another. For I see it there on Christ.” It is a great thing to be able to say, “My sin is not my own any more….My sins have been transferred to Christ and now they are his responsibility.”

 

Jesus was pierced for my transgressions;
Jesus was crushed for my iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought me peace,
and with his wounds I am healed.

A Prayer to pray to return

 

Lord Jesus Christ, I admit I’ve been like a sheep that has wandered away from you. I’ve gone my own way and I’m sorry. I want to return to you. Thank-you that you went willingly to your death for me, taking the punishment I deserved. Please help me to die to sin and live to righteousness. Amen.