Sermon for Good Friday
Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God the Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Not only is Jesus alone the way, the truth ,and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him, but no one comes to the Father except through His cross. The wood of the cross is the narrow door through which paradise is opened to us, stained with the Blood of the Lamb so that death passes over all who gather under this sign.
The wood of the cross is the tree of life which bears the life-giving fruit of God’s body and blood given and shed for us.
The wood of the cross is the ark which bears the believer through the chaos and turmoil of this corrupt world and shelters us from the just judgment of God.
The wood of the cross is the branch cast into bitter waters of a Baptism of repentance to turn them into the sweet water of lavish washing of rebirth and renewal in the Holy Spirit.
The wood of the cross is greater than Aaron’s staff, which, though long cut from the ground, bears buds, flowers, and ripe almonds. For the wood of the cross grafts us into the life of Christ.
The cedars brought to Jerusalem for Solomon’s Temple gave it the aroma of preservation. The cross gives us the aroma of righteousness before God in heaven so that we are preserved for eternity.
God gave Oholiab and Bezalel the skill to take the Israelites’ offerings and fashion furniture fit for God’s tabernacle. Jesus takes the rough wood of the cross and fashions you as a people fit for God’s eternal temple.
The wood crackles and burns in the fiery furnace, yet the three young men are saved, by one like the Son of God. Jesus bears the fire of God’s wrath on the cross. His life is offered up as the whole burnt offering, so that you may be saved.
Like the burning bush that was not consumed, the cross reveals the presence of God who hears the cries of His people.
Like Moses’ staff over the Red Sea, the cross is lifted up that we would be brought out of the prison house of slavery to sin and death.
Beloved in Christ, what Jesus has done, what you have heard again this night, know for certain: He has done it for you.
It is finished.
Faithful cross, true sign of triumph,
Be for all the noblest tree;
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thine equal be;
Symbol of the world’s redemption,
For the weight that hung on thee!
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria