Friday, April 06, 2007

Experience The Cross - John 3:16

I just wanted to let you know our Good Friday Worship was awesome! Our Youth Pastor Gezer and his wife Kaci have been working really hard for several weeks on this (and actually made up the prayer stations based on John 3:16 to follow through with our Easter service). The youth did an amazing job leading us through the service! They prayed, led worship, and instructed us on the prayer stations. Wow! I think we had about 150 people attend - not a lot, but a good turnout for Good Friday. Here's a run-down on the service:

- CD: Christ His Passion: Remembering The Sacrifice
- The Cross Countdown from Saygiun Designs (Ordered from

- Empty Me from Jeremy Camp - Guitar, Keys, & Djembe

John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." Tonight we’ve set up prayer stations to help you connect with Jesus’ sacrifice. Let us explain how you’ll experience this verse, John 3:16, as you move through the stations.

Station 1: For God So Loved
"For God so loved the world..." Station one is called "For God so loved." At this station, at the back of the room, there will be a large poster, with the words “For God so loved”. Take a marker and trace your hand onto the poster and then write your name in your hand. As you pray, thank God for His love for the world and His specific love for you.

Station 2: He Gave His Son
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son..." Station 2 is called "He Gave His son." Philippians 2:5-8 says that though Jesus was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He took a humble position and appeared in human form. Jesus, the Son of God, suddenly became a man and suffered all that men suffer. He felt pain, hunger, fatigue, and sorrow. He truly walked in our shoes.

At this station, located out in the fellowship hall, there are several trays of sand on the floor. Remove your shoes and socks and walk through the sand. As you pray, think about Jesus’ sacrifice to become human for you and thank God for giving His Son for sinful earth.

Station 3: Whoever
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever..." Station 3 is called "Whoever." John 3:16 promises us that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, if you believe in Jesus Christ, you will have eternal life. At this station, look at the many people in the pictures. Think about the people in your life who haven’t yet believed in Christ. Take a moment to pray for them and to thank God for the opportunity He gave you to know Him.

Station 4: Believe
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him..." Station 4 is called "Believe." What does it mean to truly believe? Jesus said in Luke 9:23 that if you want to follow Him, you must lay aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow Him.

At this station, in the fellowship hall, there are two paths: one wide path that many people choose in place of Jesus, hoping what they believe will lead to life; and one small narrow path that leads to the cross. As you choose what path to follow and walk down the path, think and pray about what it truly means to believe in Jesus. Confess to God the things that you’ve allowed to take the place of following Jesus in your life.

Station 5: Shall Not Perish
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish..." Station 5, located at the back of the room, is called "Shall Not Perish." Jesus took our punishment on the cross. He perished for us. At this station, hammer a nail into the cross/wood. Confess your sin and thank Jesus for taking your punishment. Thank God for freedom from death and sin.

This room now a sanctuary. You are free to experience the stations in any order. The only rule is that you must remain silent. This is a time for personal experience and reflection. May God bless you in this time of prayer.

- Stations video from Sacramentis (Ordered from
- Where Would I Be? from Harvest - Piano & Cello (solo by Andrea)
Communion was available for people to come up and serve themselves.

Jesus cried out in a loud voice "Father, I give you my life." After he said this, he died. (Pause)

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus. Jesus became man and died on the cross in place of all mankind, but that wasn’t the end of the story! Three days later, Jesus was raised from the dead. He came back to life – so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Light is a symbol of eternal life. In John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. (Light the Christ candle.) The person who follows me will never live in darkness but will have the light that gives life."

At this final station, take one of the small candles and light it from the large candle as a sign of your new life and new light in Jesus. (Light a small candle from the Christ candle.) As more and more candles are placed here, we’ll see how Jesus’ light and love spread through Him to all of us.

- In Christ Alone by Stuart Townsend - Keys, Guitar, & Djembe

Well, it was truly a "good" Friday service with a strong focus on Christ's sacrifice. I am very excited about the experience we have planned for Easter as well: The Greatest Day. I will report on our worship after Sunday. For now, we are praying this prayer from Highway Video, posted by Greg Atkinson on Church Video Ideas. We look forward to what God will be doing. May you have blessed Easter yourself!