Good Friday Service: The Cross of Christ is what strength looks like. Jesus took the weight of our sins upon himself and bore the full wrath of God for those sins. He could have chosen to end it, but in his strength, he bore that for us. He gave himself for our weakness, and because he endured, we can run the race before us with his strength.
We are called to follow in the example of Christ and live as humble servants in our actions, but even more fundamentally in our attitude and nature. Scripture reveals several essential qualities to a true servant; the servant 1) serves as unto the Lord, 2) serves sacrificially, 3) walks in humility, 4) serves diligently, working hard, and 5) serves faithfully.
Baptism by immersion in water is an important doctrine and practice for God's church. Water baptism is significant because it is a commandment of Jesus—it serves as a picture of our salvation—and because it is a sign of the new covenant that God established through Jesus. Baptism is appropriate for all who have come to faith in Christ and are able to confess that faith, whether they are converted adults or children who have conscious faith in Christ. Baptism is a sign of new birth and not of maturity, so it is right for new believers to seek baptism promptly. The timing of baptism will naturally be uncertain for children, but parents are encouraged to faithfully work to ensure their children understand the gospel. Baptism is appropriate as soon as children are able to articulate the gospel and their personal faith in Jesus.
Jesus commands his disciples, and by extension his church, to preach the gospel to all nations, making and baptizing disciples. We preach the gospel, not to be intolerant or disrespectful, but out of love for others and because our Lord and Savior has commanded us to do so. He promises to pour out his Holy Spirit on us to empower us to preach the gospel and to care for one another. And in his ascension, he proves that he has completed everything necessary to satisfy God's justice, secure our acceptance before God, and provide for our every need. We belong to him!
Jesus died an authentic death and was raised in an authentic resurrection. His resurrection is proof of the satisfaction of his sacrifice and of the defeat of death. His resurrection means that he has secured the life and resurrection of his people.
The atonement made by Jesus in his death has innumerable facets. Considering four of these facets in particular, we see Jesus as the triumphant king (Christus victor); the mediator who bridges the gap of sin that separates us from God; the ultimate moral example for us; and chief of all, our own sacrifice and substitute suffering under and completely satisfying the wrath of God in our place and whose righteousness now clothes us.
The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark highlights the irony that Jesus is mocked as king, but he is in fact king of all. Jesus suffers not only physical pain, but also the very wrath of God, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and types, and to secure our salvation and life by suffering in our place. We are no longer separated from the presence of and fellowship with God, and in fact the crucifixion reveals clearly God's love for us. The only proper response is for us to worship in awe and gratitude.