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Sunday 25th June 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday after Trinity with parallel Children's Ministry and followed by 'Picnic in the Park'
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18th April 2014 – Good Friday – Jack Noonan

Sermon (Click Link to Listen)

Bible Readings: Isaiah 52. 13 – 53. 12; Psalm 22. 1-11 & John 18. 1 – 19. 42

Good Friday 2014 Reflections

Good Friday, in the Christian’s year, has always stood as a most solemn and sombre day.

It possesses a unique, all-pervasive interior quietness; a poignant general sadness that finally finds realisation and expression as we quietly join together, like here this evening. It finds expression in our rehearsing/ retracing, through reading Scripture, the final life-giving earthly steps of Jeshua on His journey of Cosmic Significance to secure the redemption and reconciliation for a usurped world and a stiff-necked, fallen humanity from the dominion of Satan.

Although we are fully aware that Resurrection Sunday is the day after tomorrow, that awareness does not alleviate the sense of deep, profound, awful sadness and sorrow that still flow from the events of that first Good Friday/ Velke Patek.

On this day at 3.00 in the afternoon, just 80 generations ago, outside the walls of Jerusalem, God, in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the 2nd Person of the Most Holy Trinity, became our Passover Lamb, suffered the excruciating pain of Roman scourging. Then being taken outside the city wall to a place of execution; have His hands and feet nailed to a cross, and left hanging there to painfully linger and die.

All this was born out of God’s pure unbounded love to save our fallen, world and humanity from the deadly consequences of our disobedience and rebellion compounded since Adam.
Jesus… ‘’ who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we who are sin might in Him become the righteousness of God’’.
For on this cross the Lord Jesus, our Pascal Lamb:
* was judged instead of us
*…was condemned instead of us
* …was punished instead of us
*…was crucified instead of us.

He took our place so that we could take His place as beloveds of God.

Our unrighteousness was imputed to and laid heavily upon Him …but

His pristine righteousness was imputed to us so that we might spend eternity life in the unutterable joy of God’s Presence; )

We will never know how much we are loved by God until we appreciate how much the Father loved His Son.

Who for the joy set before Him, in reconciling us to His Father, Christ suffered the desolation of isolation and mind numbing existential forsakenness due to our sin until its weight broke His heart and He died.

Let us then never be casual about the ultimately destructive dehumanising nature of sin and God’s attitude to it. The bleeding, naked, scourged, bruised, distorted, humiliated, and ugly body of Christ is what sin truly and finally looks like when its work is done…

Around this time back in 1995 I had occasion to reflect on the Lord’s passion and wrote a number of poems related to these days which we now celebrate. I looked at Jesus’s mental anguish in Gethsemane, Judas’ betrayal. Then looked at John, Mary Magdalene and Mary Mother of Jesus at the foot of the Cross. Tonight for the first time ever I would like to share the words I put into the mouths of the 2 Marys as they addressed Jesus.

MAGDALENE
Can you hear me?
Again my heartbreaks with You.
At Your touch,
Such calming ease
Radiating from core to tips
My soul did have.
So long to selflost.
Heart’s home You gave
To my demented soul.
Tormented You found
Me in distractions
And called my name.
In look and lovebounding,
You held my hand and being,
Giving tears of joy
And smootheased brow.
Beyond mindreach is
Now…

MARY , MOTHER.
Son…….
Minejoys fade
With each laboured breath,
Your weight stretched body makes.
I do not understand God’s promise,
That gave my womb life.
Can it be for these
Bloodfilled soulseared agonies?
Since youth my spirit
Rejoiced in God, my Saviour.
But dreaded dreams
Of Simeon’s sword,
My sleep, many mornings
Broke.
Nightmares now stalk this hill.
Relentless Death wrenches you.

This is Eternity’s womb,
Nature groans in expectation
Of my Son.
His breath exhaling
Life through Death.
Where nail and lance pierce.
Transforming fault
Pinned on timber!
Still labouring birthpangs,
Dwarfing forebirths.
Reeded gall’s no comfort.
‘Eli… Eli…!‘, he cries.
With shuddering spasm
Death dies.

From this driven stake
Newbirth’s Spirit flies.
Let go,
Let go,
Let go, my Son:
It is finished…

A short 3 years earlier when the Lord Jesus, who knew no sin, stepped into the Adamic sin-saturated waters of the Jordan to be baptised; it was not to be cleansed and forgiven but to get dirty… by taking the guilt, the burden of our sin totally upon Himself. Through baptism He sunk to become one with. In our baptism we became one in Him.

‘’For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’’

The believer is now in Christ…our Hope.

In Jesus we also journeyed to the cross.

In Jesus our old nature was crucified, die and buried.

In Jesus we were raised to a new and resurrected life becoming temples of the Holy Spirit, a royal priesthood.

Already in Jesus we are adopted children of God and actively alive to Him.

We are joint heirs with Christ, and seated with Him in the heavenly places.

Jesus Christ in us the hope of glory.

For we have a great high priest who knows the heights and depths of our humanity. He indwells us, since our spiritual rebirth, and knows all that we wrestle with…. Our highs, our lows; our victories, our triumphs and our vanquishing defeats. He was tested in all ways just as we are this side of eternity.

Sit, stand, be still and wait; for our Lord Jesus is faithful and preserves that which we entrusted to Him. All the while through The Spirit of Grace changing us ‘’from glory into glory until in heaven we take our place.’’

It may not appear so to the ‘natural’ eye, but we are caught up is the massive Mystical Love of the Trinity triangle. We were designed to square the triangle.

This Love is as relentless as it is eternal. As totally absorbing as it is satisfying.

Earlier today , aeons ago in eternity, the action plan for our redemption, salvation, sanctification and glorification was put into operation. It still proceeds. We indeed are still works in progress. It does ‘’not appear yet what we shall be but we know that at His appearing we shall be like Him : ))’’ Praise God!

Therefore brothers and sisters…‘’… Christ our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed .Let us therefore celebrate the festival…with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.’’ Amen