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Good Friday

Sermon
Restore Me
Litanies, Prayers And Dialogues For Lent and Easter
Reader 1: After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with
his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was
a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who
betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there
with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers
together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees,
and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then
Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and
asked them,

Reader 2: "Whom are you looking for?"

Reader 1: Those with Judas answered,

Choir: "Jesus of Nazareth."

Reader 2: "I am he."

Reader 1: Now Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them and
when Jesus said to them, "I am he," they stepped back and fell to
the ground. So, again Jesus asked them,

Reader 2: "Whom are you looking for?"

Choir: "Jesus of Nazareth."

Reader 2: "I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me,
let these men go."

Reader 1: This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, "I did
not lose a single one of those whom you gave me." Then Simon
Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave,
and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. Jesus
said to Peter,

Reader 2: "Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink
the cup that the Father has given me?"

Reader 1: So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police
arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who
was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.
Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better
to have one person die for the people. Simon Peter and another
disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the
high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high
priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other
disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to
the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman
said to Peter,

Choir: "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?"

Reader 1: To which Peter replied,

People: "I am not."

Reader 1: Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire
because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming
themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming
himself. Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his
disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered,

Reader 2: "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always
taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come
together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask
those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said."

Reader 1: When he had said this, one of the police standing
nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, "Is that how you answer
the high priest?"

Reader 2: "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if
I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"

Reader 1: Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him,

Choir: "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?"

Reader 1: Again Peter denied it and said,

People: "I am not."

Reader 1: Then one of the slaves of the high priest, a relative
of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked,

Choir: "Did I not see you in the garden with him?"

Reader 1: Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock
crowed. Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's
headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did
not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and
to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and
said,

Choir: "What accusation do you bring against this man?"

Reader 1: The Jews who had brought Jesus answered,

People: "If this man were not a criminal, we would not have
handed him over to you."

Reader 1: Pilate told them that they should judge Jesus according
to their own Law and the Jews reminded Pilate that under the
occupation they were not allowed to put anyone to death. (This
was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of
death he was to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again,
summoned Jesus, and asked him,

Choir: "Are you the King of the Jews?"

Reader 2: "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you
about me?"

Choir: "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief
priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"

Reader 2: "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were
from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from
being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not
from here."

Choir: "So you are a king?"

Reader 2: "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for
this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who
belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

Reader 1: After asking Jesus, "What is truth?" Pilate went out to
the Jews again and told them,

Choir: "I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I
release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to
release for you the King of the Jews?"

Reader 1: As one the people shouted in reply,

People: "Not this man, but Barabbas!"

Reader 1: Now Barabbas was a bandit. Then Pilate took Jesus and
had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put
it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept
coming up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking
him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them,

Choir: "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I
find no case against him."

Reader 1: So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the
purple robe. Pilate said to them,

Choir: "Here is the man!"

Reader 1: When the chief priests and the police saw him, they
shouted,

People: "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

Choir: "Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case
against this Jesus."

Reader 1: Now the Jews answered Pilate saying, "We have a law,
and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed
to be the Son of God." When Pilate heard this, he was more afraid
than ever and entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus,

Choir: "Where are you from?"

Reader 1: (pause) But Jesus gave him no answer. And so, Pilate
said to him,

Choir: "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have
power to release you, and power to crucify you?"

Reader 2: "You would have no power over me unless it had been
given you from above, therefore the one who handed me over to you
is guilty of a greater sin."

Reader 1: From then on Pilate tried to release Jesus, but the
Jews continued to cry out, "If you release this man, you are no
friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets
himself against the emperor." When Pilate heard these words, he
brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge's bench at a place
called The Stone Pavement. Now it was the day of Preparation for
the Passover; and it was about noon. Pilate said to the Jews,

Choir: "Here is your King!"

Reader 1: And the people again cried out as one,

People: "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!"

Reader 1: Pilate really wanted to know, and so again he asked

Choir: "Shall I crucify your King?"

People: "We have no king but the emperor."

Reader 1: Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, Jesus went
out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is
called Golgotha. There they crucified Jesus, and with him two
others, one on either side. Pilate also had an inscription
written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the
King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. When the
soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided
them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his
tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the
top. So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast
lots for it to see who will get it." This was to fulfill what the
scripture says, "They divided my clothes among themselves, and
for my clothing they cast lots." And that is what the soldiers
did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother,
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary
Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he
loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,

Reader 2: "Woman, here is your son."

Reader 1: Then Jesus said to the disciple,

Reader 2: "Here is your mother."

Reader 1: And from that hour the disciple took her into his own
home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, (in
order to fulfill the scripture) he said,

Reader 2: "I am thirsty."

Reader 1: Now, a jar full of sour wine was standing there. So
they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held
it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said,

Reader 2: "It is finished."

Reader 1: Then Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
(pause) Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not
want the bodies left on the cross during the Sabbath, especially
because that Sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked
Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the
bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the
first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when
they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not
break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side
with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw
this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is
true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)

Reader 2: These things occurred so that the scripture might be
fulfilled, "None of his bones shall be broken." And again another
passage of scripture says, "They will look on the one whom they
have pierced." After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a
disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the
Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate
gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus,
who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a
mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.

Reader 1: They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the
spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the
Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified,
and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever
been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation,
and the tomb was nearby, (with Reader 2) they laid Jesus there.

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