Sermon: Good Friday

On this, most significant day of the Holy Week journey we are left at the foot of the Cross, watching helplessly as the Christ hangs upon the tree, nailed there by our sin, our doubts, our unbelief.

This Matt Redman sing draws heavily upon probably the finest lines in the letters of S. Paul, and scholars don’t even think that he wrote them!

In his letter to the people of Philippi, Paul quotes from a hymn which would have been known to them all, a common cultural reference, the equivalent of quoting from a current pop song. He speaks of Jesus ‘pouring himself out upon the cross’ – kenosis – a self-sacrificing, emptying of himself.

On this very cross, Jesus eschews all heavenly power in order to win the ultimate victory over sin and death for us. In his capacity as God, this would have been no trouble: we have already seen that Jesus is master over life and death – the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Widow of Nain’s son and Lazarus have shown that; but Christ overcomes sin and death not from his position as God, but from the lowliness of our situation – subject to death, but not defeated by it.

Each time we meditate on the Cross, as this song calls us to, we should be captured by the scale of that act of kenosis, to reach out from heaven into this earthly space and to walk through the very experiences that we have to, including death.

The Instrument of Torture becomes and instrument of freedom, and gives true meaning to his last words “It is accomplished!”

It is.

Sin and death are defeated on the tree. Life comes from death.

“Thank you for the Cross, thank you for the Cross, thank you for the Cross, my friend”