Pohutukawa Coast Presbyterian Church
Clevedon Presbyterian Church
Kawakawa Bay
Clevedon Kidz

Good Friday

April 2, 2021
Mark Chapman



Good Friday 2021

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of our hearts be acceptable in

your sight O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen


He died

Joseph of Arimathea took his body and he and some of the women have  placed it in a

tomb -

they say that because time was short they would have to return on Sunday morning

and wrap His body properly -

because you see we were unprepared.

We didn't have the spices we would need because

we didn't believe it would happen

we believed in him

we thought he would be the one to liberate Israel.

So we are still in shock back here in 32 AD

and the last day seems something of a nightmare

it all happened so quickly.

One moment we were celebrating

at a table,

Remember how he washed our feet

and we were embarrassed because that is the kind of thing a slave does

and we would have had him King -

and then there was the thing with the bread and the wine

talking of a new covenant a new relationship

a new agreement with God

the wine being his blood and the bread being his body.


And then the party began to break up -

Judas had left

and we made our way up to the garden of Gethsemane

and remember he called Peter and a couple of the others to go with him

and I remember waking and hearing Him crying.

And you and I had gone closer and

it was almost as if some battle was going on -

some struggle

he was praying that this cup might pass from him

and remember how we wondered what he could


and he spoke about his Father's wishes being carried out.

Peter and the others were asleep

- remember how he went and woke them

almost as if He wanted someone to stay awake with Him

almost as if

He was somehow .... lonely and needed company.


And then remember, there were lights coming

and Judas was there

because he came and kissed Him

and then the garden was full of guards -

and there was noise.

They grabbed Him

and we saw they had ropes

One of our group tried to use a sword

and then something was said and we all began to run

running into the night

running hiding

somehow the uneasiness of the last months breaking in

remembering the sight of the Roman soldiers

that night on the way to Bethany.

And the picture of a crucifixion that crossed our  minds then.

And as a cold shiver ran down our spines

We ran

ran away from the lights of the soldiers

and away from Him

running away into our darkness

and our fear

running, leaving Him with them as terror overwhelms us.


Suddenly no longer wishing to be associated with Him

no longer wanting the others to know we were with Him

afraid now that someone will hear that we had been with Him

that we had been His friend.


We heard that they took him to the high priest's house

John was there and Peter

had gone into the courtyard

and I believe he was talking too much for someone twigged by his accent he was from

Galilee and was therefore possible a friend of Jesus.

and it scared him for we have heard that he denied all knowledge of Him and he was

cursing and swearing


Someone said that Jesus just happened to catch Him in the middle of his last outburst


all the pain and the fear and the sense of betrayal broke out in Peter

and he left in tears -

Jesus was dragged across town to the Roman Procurators palace

Pilate was angry about being woken

The high priest wanted the death penalty and only Rome can

pass that sentence -

Pilate sent him even farther off to Herod's Palace

and Herod sent him back to Pilate.


But Pilate didn't want to have him killed.

He had Jesus given the 39 lashes

and then dragged back before the high priest and his people

I think he hoped that they would see how pitiful he looked

naked, no skin and very little flesh left on his back.


But they still wanted him killed

demanding that Pilate have him crucified

and when Pilate tried to talk to Him he wouldn't answer.

Almost as if he didn't know what was about to happen

someone laughed and said - something like he was a sheep going to be slaughtered.


It was morning - and we were trying to get near

when we heard he was to be crucified.

The guards had taken him below

a detachment would take him to one of the garbage dumps outside the wall

and crucify Him there.

When they came out of the fortress

they had made a crown for him

a hideous thing

thorn branches

and they pushed it down as hard as they could

to make sure it wouldn't come off.


They put a cross beam on his shoulders

but you see his back was so damaged he would collapse at

every step

they grabbed a passerby and dumped the beam on his back.


I remember that all they time we were thinking -

maybe now

maybe some show of power

maybe he will shake himself free

he made the blind to see -

he spoke and a cripple was healed

we have heard that he even brought Lazarus back to life

he seemed to have power over the darkness in people's lives

and so any moment

we thought -

now at this point Jesus will do something.


But then we were there and it was happening

the soldiers wanted to get back to barracks

the stench out there was awful

and so they did it

stripped them naked

held him and two others down

hammered spikes through their wrists

pulled the cross beam up on the upright

one spike through both feet

and it was done.

And we kept thinking and hoping - Jesus show your power now

but He just hung there trying to breathe

covered in blow flies

That was at nine.

By 12 great clouds covered the sky

some said they felt earthquakes

the soldiers wanted to hurry the process up

and so they smashed the legs of the other two

but when they got to Jesus

they found he was dead already

someone had said that he used that prayer he had learned as a child

before going to sleep at night:

Father into your hands I commit my Spirit

Then He died.

Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus' body

and he and some of the woman

took it and they wrapped Him as best they could

and put Him into Joseph's own tomb.


The Kingdom didn't come

and we wonder now what we will do.

There is a lot of embarrassment as we meet

I can see that some of us are feeling angry at this time

There is talk of  we should have, if only

Peter is strangely quiet ….

Some are talking about getting out of Jerusalem -before they do the same to us.  The

fishermen are talking about going back to fishing

and I guess a lot of us feel that way.

You see he died.


Despite our prayers despite His prayers, He died.

Why wouldn't God let Him live?

Why didn't He speak up for himself?

No - you see this makes no sense.

Why should this good man have had to die so?

And we were duped were we not - we thought

he would usher in a Kingdom

we had plans

and they all died on the cross.  For a moment he had us thinking that he was

the messiah - the Prince of Glory.

Sometimes when we saw Him He seemed to transcend human barriers

like that time on the mountain -

but it's obvious now - He was just a man.


We will go back fishing -

at least some of us -

There is talk of opening his tomb on Sunday morning when the Sabbath is over,

to wrap His body properly

and we will wait until then and maybe help the women

and then we will go back.

But back to what? You see  - even if He has failed - life before Him

life before He came and called us - was so boring

so pointless - when he was with us remember there was always hope

always joy even in impossible situations.  


how he could somehow talk to our hearts

that His words kind of got us at a depth no one else had

Go back is the last thing I wanted to do

and I can hear already the jibes of those back in Galilee

back home who told us we were crazy to follow him.


But you see life even with His misguided ideas

even now it seems was better than life without them.  

Still now it's over

And we are thinking back here in 32 AD  let’s get Sunday morning out of the way and

then, who knows what we will do.

You know - something He said - wouldn't it be odd

what if we went to the tomb and he ....

But that's crazy talk - isn't it?


Now unto God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, be all honour and

glory. Amen

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