friday

Supplies: journal or index cards, Bible, pen, index cards

"Good Friday" is quite possibly the most difficult day in history.  This is the day when Jesus was arrested, tried, mocked, abused, and ultimately put to death.  In that agony and pain we are reminded of His unfailing love and glorious purpose. That is what makes "Good Friday" good.  

fight

Peter and the rest of the disciples experienced a very human response to Jesus' arrest and betrayal.  Peter's first reaction was to grab his knife and fight.  The problem was that Peter was fighting a spiritual battle with a physical weapon.

When have you fought a battle (ex. loss of a job, broken relationship, feeling of isolation) with only physical means within your control?  What if you fought back with spiritual weapons like prayer, fasting, scripture reading, and accountability?  

What battles are you fighting right now?  What spiritual weapons are at your disposal that are not being used? 

flight

When the fighting didn't work, they resorted to another instinct - flight.  In the midst of their fear and insecurity they felt they had no other option but to flee.  Even though they expressed undying devotion for Jesus just the day before, their fears took root, their insecurity set in, and they allowed their emotions to determine their direction.  

When have you allowed emotional instinct to determine your response to a fearful situation?  How can God's presence and strength help you regain clarity before making an emotional decision? 

silent

Arrest.

Insults.

Accusations.

Lies.

Betrayal.

Abandonment.

Through all this Jesus chose to remain silent.  He didn't fight to defend His reputation.  He didn't argue with the testimony given against Him.  He wasn't offended at the charges leveled against Him.  He knew who He was, what He had done, and that He was held by the Father.  That was enough.  When He did speak He only pointed to His identity in His relationship with the Father. 

When you are under attack, how do you respond?  Do you lash out?  Get defensive?  Argue?  Retaliate?  What if, like Jesus, you chose to respond to the situation from your true identity - as a son or daughter of the King? 

Where are you facing attack?  On an index card or in your journal, describe your natural inclination to respond to attack and persecution.  Then on another page or the other side of your card, write down what you know to be true about your Father's ability to handle this situation.  How will remembering who you are in Him change how you respond? 

denied

Read Mark 14:66-68

An innocent servant girl recognized Peter as one who was with Jesus.  In being confronted with the truth, Peter is forced to make a choice - self-preservation or guilt by association.  By admitting he was with Jesus, he would put himself in danger of being tried and accused along with Him.  Peter chose self-preservation, denied being with Jesus, and fled. 

denied

It's so interesting how overly self-assured Peter felt in the presence of Jesus during His arrest, but now that Jesus was no longer physically present, the accusation of a servant girl was enough to break him and cause him to betray the one he swore to protect.  

denied

Finally, the accusation moved beyond the servant girl and spread to the surrounding crowd.  Faced with a greater and stronger opponent, Peter denies even more vehemently, calling down curses and swearing. 

When have you denied your faith in Jesus in front of a crowd?  When have you given in to peer pressure and chosen to pursue acceptance of your peers instead of declaring devotion

to Christ?

 

In your journal write out a prayer of confession.  

Receive God's forgiveness.   

sentenced

More lies. 

More insults. 

More accusations. 

No proof. 

No answer. 

An offered trade. 

Pilate knew Jesus was not guilty of sin and offered a trade- a way to release Jesus and assuage the guilt he would feel over convicting an innocent man.  However, the crowds sided with the chief priests and called for Jesus' death.  Pilate released a man accused of insurrection against the government and sentenced an innocent man to death.  The irony was that Jesus would die for the sins of both Pilate and Barabbas- both of them truly guilty.   

In the same way, Jesus has given His life for our own guilt as well.  Ponder the guilty sentence you should have received because of your own sin. In your journal write out the sentence you deserve for your sins.  Then tear it out, crumple it up and throw it away.  Thank God that He sent Jesus to take the sentence we were meant to have. 

mocking

Read Mark 15:16-20

In their mocking, the soldiers actually foretold Jesus' future.  He would soon be dressed in a royal Heavenly robe and wear a crown befitting His title.  Everyone on earth and in Heaven will one day bow down in honor and worship Him.  

Consider how Jesus must have felt during their mocking, knowing the reality of His Kingship and power. In your journal, write about the reality of Jesus' kingship and the treatment He is entitled to receive. 

walking

What do you think was going through Jesus' mind as He walked toward His crucifixion? As He struggled to take these final steps, He might have been both dreading what was to come and eager for what was beyond the veil of death.  With each step He was walking closer and closer to the embrace of His Father and the welcome of Heaven.  

 

Prayerfully consider how Jesus must have felt as He stepped closer to the place where He would ultimately die for the sins

of the world.   

death

After six hours of agonizing pain, Jesus gave up His life.  The curtain in the temple was ripped from top to bottom, as if God had broken down the barrier between Himself and us through the death

of His Son.  

Even in this gruesome scene, we still see hope and redemption.  A thief came home to Jesus and a centurion believed Jesus was the Son of God.  Hope is always present in the pain.  

burial

Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the council that accused Jesus and had a part in sending Jesus to His death.  He didn't stand up for Jesus in life, but he did in death.  He petitioned Pilate for Jesus' body in order to give him a proper burial instead of letting His body rot during the rest of the Passover celebration.  He took care of Jesus' body and placed it in a tomb.  

As you read the story of Jesus' death and burial, what thoughts are going through your mind?  Gratitude?  Regret?  Grief?  Take a moment and write down your thoughts, feelings, and emotions in your journal.  

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Created by Anne Bosarge at www.brightideasforchurchleaders.com

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