SCRIPTURE TO READ
John 19:16b-18, 28-30
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
CHILDREN’S BIBLE READINGS (OPTIONAL)
- Big Picture Story Bible (pages 362-373)
- The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible (pages 248-253)
- Jesus Storybook Bible (pages 302-307)
- The Gospel Story Bible (pages 230-233)
APPLICATION: A GIFT TO RECEIVE
Good Friday is a great day to consider what the death of Jesus on the cross means for you. Actually, most of the New Testament is about what the cross means. For example, consider Colossians 3:13-14, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
The cross of Jesus makes it possible for us to be part of the King’s family, to be set free from destructive behaviors and for our sins to be forgiven by God.
Jesus’ message, “It is finished,” means that salvation is a gift to receive, it’s not a status to achieve. So, God wants us to stop trying to earn his forgiveness, and to stop trying to deserve salvation.
The identity marker of a Christian is not forgiveness or goodness; it’s that we trust in Jesus’ work on the cross alone to make the gift of salvation possible. So, receive the gift of forgiveness, freedom, and reconciliation by faith. Tell God that you are finished with trying to earn his forgiveness and favor. Rather, you will serve God and others out of gratitude for the finished work of Jesus.
Rejoice on this Good Friday in what Jesus has done for you!
Jesus, our Lord and Savior, thank you for taking the punishment for sin that I deserve. I believe in you, and I trust you with my life. Save me, O God, from my sin. Help me to turn from serving myself in life to serve you and others out of gratitude for your love and mercy. And remind me that I don’t have to earn your forgiveness, your love, or your favor because you give it freely through the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
OPTIONAL FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE
- How does it make you feel to know that Jesus experienced pain and suffering when he didn’t do anything wrong?
- How does it make you feel knowing that this was God’s rescue plan all along?
- Why was such a bad day called Good Friday? (On that day, they didn’t call it Good Friday. We call it Good Friday today because we know the end of the story. On that day, Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross. This allows us to have a relationship with God.)
- Salvation is a “free gift”. Just like when it’s your birthday, and someone brings you a gift. Do you have to do something to get that gift? No. It is a free gift. Jesus is the free gift that God gave to us.
- Talk about what Jesus dying on the cross means to you.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”