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April 7, 2023
Theme of the Day – Hebrews 2:10-11, 14-17
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
Worshipers gather in silence.
Pastor Westendorf’s Welcome
Reading – Isaiah 52:13-53:12
See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him –
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness –
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
Almighty and everlasting God, grant us grace to pass through this holy time of the celebration and commemoration of our Lord’s passion that we may be confident of the pardon of our sins, face death with courage and look forward to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth – CW 422
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 saith,
“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.
4 From morn till eve, in all I do,
I’ll praise you, Christ, my treasure.
To sacrifice myself for you
shall be my aim and pleasure.
My stream of life shall ever be
a current flowing ceaselessly,
your constant praise outpouring.
I’ll treasure in my memory,
O Lord, all you have done for me,
your gracious love adoring.
A brief devotional address will accompany each of the seven words. A candle will be extinguished after each word to symbolize the ebbing of Jesus’ life.
First Word – Luke 23:32-34
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me;
They pierce my hands and my feet.
They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.
He bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Gracious Savior, you did not strike back with revenge against your enemies as they ridiculed and crucified you but prayed for their forgiveness. In your compassion, pardon us for our secret sins and sins we do not discern, and enlighten us to know and do your will.
The Seven Words – CW 436
1 Their nails were freshly driven,
their hatred clearly shown,
when, “Let them be forgiven,”
was heard at heaven’s throne.
Your enemies, O Jesus,
you loved beyond degree,
a love so pure and precious
it even pardoned me.
Second Word – Luke 23:35-43
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: This is the King of the Jews.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
All who see me mock me;
They hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people.
Come to my aid when you save them.
Mighty Redeemer, remember us as we walk through the darkest valleys of life and realize that our time on earth is ending. Stay close to us when we feel the pain and loneliness of dying and take away our fears with your certain promise of paradise.
The Seven Words – CW 436
2 On you, my King, depending,
I’m rid of all my sins!
My final day here ending,
my first in heav’n begins.
As you have truly spoken,
in paradise I’ll be,
with you in bliss unbroken –
you will remember me.
Third Word – John 19:25-27
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be spoken against,
so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.
And a sword will pierce your own soul too.
Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?
Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven
is my brother and sister and mother.
Precious Jesus, you consider us friends and care about the needs of our bodies and souls. Keep us in your care as we walk the road of life and provide the blessings we need to gain safety, contentment, and joy in your service.
The Seven Words – CW 436
3 A Savior like no other,
all self-concern denied,
you served your grieving mother
while you were crucified.
My sin had made me filthy,
but you, the perfect child,
were designated guilty,
and I am reconciled.
Fourth Word – Matthew 27:45-46
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
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?”).
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.”
Lord Jesus, you endured the horrific penalty of our sins as your Father turned his face from you on the cross. Compel us to see in your sacrifice the dreadful nature of sin and call us to acknowledge the amazing depth of your love. Overcome our shame, dear Savior, and give us grateful faith.
Psalm 22 – My God, My God
The Seven Words – CW 436
4 Condemned, cut off, forsaken,
outside the Father’s care,
by terror overtaken,
no ear would hear your prayer.
On you God’s wrath was vented,
on you his fury fell,
when, on the cross tormented,
you took my place in hell.
Fifth Word – John 19:28-29
After this, when he knew that all things necessary for the Scripture to be fulfilled had now been accomplished, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
Dear Jesus, as our brother on earth you endured the agony of pain that besieged your body when your sacrifice was complete. Knowing our experiences, hover over us with your care and compassion when our bodies and hearts are hurting. Provide us with strength that we may confess you with confidence and power.
The Seven Words – CW 436
5 My Lord, in death’s dark valley,
both soul and body drained,
one drink would help you rally
what little strength remained
to raise your voice in vict’ry,
to sound your foe’s defeat –
the highest point in hist’ry –
my rescue was complete.
Sixth Word – John 19:30
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
Because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.
Gracious Redeemer, you paid the full price for our redemption and have released us forever from the hold of Satan, the power of sin, and the fear of death. Protect us from the devil’s claim that we need to do more and from the accusation of our consciences that we have not done enough. Lead us to place our entire confidence in you and to live our lives secure in your grace.
The Seven Words – CW 436
6 Though sin’s most lethal wages
to me, O Christ, were due,
the guilt of all the ages
came crashing down on you.
Most surely, “It is finished” –
my debt is fully paid;
my joy is undiminished;
my heart is unafraid.
Seventh Word – Luke 23:44-46
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
He poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Loving Savior, at the moment of your death you gave yourself into the loving hands of your Father. As we close our eyes in death, lead us to commit our bodies and souls to him who has summoned us by name and made us his own because of you and your love. Then, we pray, let us depart in peace.
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded – CW 429
7 Lord, be my consolation,
my shield when I must die;
remind me of your passion
when my last hour draws nigh.
My eyes will then behold you,
upon your cross will dwell;
my heart will then enfold you –
who dies in faith dies well!
Reading – John 19:31-42
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
The Christ candle is removed from the altar. A bell may be tolled seven times.
Silence for meditation
Rest, O Christ, from All Your Labor – CW 437
1 Rest, O Christ, from all your labor;
sleep within your borrowed tomb.
Foes have crucified and bound you
fast within death’s narrow room.
Pilate’s guards stand watching, waiting
where they rolled the sealing stone.
All unseen another watches:
God will not forsake his own.
2 Peace at last from all your anguish,
wounds in hands and feet and side.
Enemies no longer mock you,
scourged, abandoned, crucified.
Faithful women gather spices,
weep for you whom sin has slain.
Though they mourn, the God who guards you
will not let your death be vain.
3 Help us keep this solemn Sabbath
as we wait for Easter dawn.
Earth’s dark night of sin is passing;
death’s long reign will soon be gone.
Christ, in whom the new creation
rises brighter than the sun:
may we, as we watch for morning,
trust the vict’ry you have won.
4 As, through parting Red Sea waters,
Israel marched to liberty,
so we pass through baptism’s water,
washed by grace, from sin set free.
Jesus, risen, living, reigning
now and through eternity:
grant that, through your life undying,
we may live victoriously.
The offering is brought to the altar.
The Christ candle is returned and re-lit to remind worshipers that Jesus conquered death and lives and rules eternally.
Adult Choir – Jesus Humbled Himself
Prayer of the Day
God Most Holy, look with mercy on this, your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, be given over into the hands of the wicked, and suffer death upon the cross. Keep us always faithful to him, our only Savior, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.
Adult Choir – Scarlet Robe
Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart – CW 817
3 Lord, let at last thine angels come,
to Abr’ham’s bosom bear me home
that I may die unfearing;
and in its narrow chamber keep
my body safe in peaceful sleep
until thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
that these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, thy glorious face,
my Savior and my fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
and I will praise thee without end.
Brothers and sisters, go in peace.
The minister exits in silence.
Worshipers may remain for prayer and meditation before dispersing quietly.