Good Friday Worship Gathering at 7:00 PM.

Throughout his ministry Jesus turned things on their heads: the last became first, the poor were blessed, the blind could see. In parable and miracle Jesus brought a dominion that was set against the kingdoms of this world. In the circumstances of his death, he did away with the accepted structures of power and weakness, justice and retribution. Jesus' crucifixion was the ultimate manifestation of the paradox of the dominion of God: the king who only days before rode triumphantly into the royal city is crucified as a criminal. The Messiah is a suffering servant. The Son of God is willing to die so that we can live.

John's gospel tells the story of how God accomplished, in Jesus, the fulfillment of scriptural prophecy about the one who would bring God's people into reconciliation with God's own self. In the story of the passion, Jesus' inexorable journey toward the cross, which is the culmination of this prophecy, picks up speed. Then, with Jesus' dying breath, the journey is over. With the words "It is finished," Jesus' mission is complete. His passion and his suffering are finished; the centuries-long wait for the Messiah is finished. God's ultimate disruption of our efforts to save ourselves, and the astounding reversal of human expectations, is accomplished.

On this day, as we meditate on the consequences of God's sacrifice, the church proclaims the good news that the cross of Christ is not only necessary, but also sufficient for our salvation. With the command of Maundy Thursday lingering in our ears and hearts, Good Friday reminds us that the freedom to obey Jesus comes as a gift from God through the cross of Christ. At the cross, our old life of captivity to sin is finished, and our new life of discipleship begins. (