Summary: Everything you need for a memorable Good Friday message. 6 reponses to the cross.
“COME TO THE CROSS” (A MEMORABLE GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE)
Six Responses To The Cross Of Christ
An Interactive Sermon By Martin Wright
(RESPONSE CARDS: You will want to make sure you have distributed response cards prior to beginning the sermon. Our cards were 5.5” X 8.5”. One side had an image of the cross and the words “Come to the Cross.” The other side read as follows:
Come To The Cross
The cross commands our attention and challenges our spirits. As we examine the responses of various individuals to the cross, think about your own response. Which of the six responses is most like your own this morning? Perhaps the cross evokes another response in you, if so; use the space at the bottom to write out your own response.
_____ The Centurion: Moving From Doubt to Faith. “I’ve been a skeptic when it comes to Jesus, but I’m starting to wonder about him. Maybe he is more than a good teacher. I’d like to get to know more about Jesus.
_____ The Thief: Moving From Sinner To Saint. “I am ready to place my faith in Jesus for my salvation and become a Christian. I want to follow Jesus and be saved.”
_____John: Moving From Friend To Family. “I am already a Christian, but I need to connect with a church family. I would like to become a part of this spiritual family and become a member of this church.”
_____The Bystander: Moving From Spectator To Servant. “It’s time for me to quit sitting on the sidelines and get involved. I want to do something for Jesus. I would like to find an area where I can use my talents and serve the Lord.”
_____Joseph: Moving From Secrecy To Boldness. “I’m a Christian, but I’ve been hoping no one around me would notice. I guess I’ve been afraid of what they might think. I see now, I need to be bolder. I want to publicly declare my faith in Jesus, both in the church and in the world.”
_____Nicodemus: Moving From Spiritual Infancy to Spiritual Maturity. “It’s time for me to take my faith to the next level. I want to learn more and grow deeper and closer to God. I want to get into a study group or discipleship group.”
_____My Own Response:
At the conclusion of this message you will have an opportunity to “Come To The Cross” with your response and drop it in the response basket at the foot of the cross. Feel free to kneel to pray around the cross and talk with the Lord about your response if you wish. You are under no obligation to sign this card, however you may want to, especially if you are making a decision for Christ, so that our leadership can pray with you and arrange your baptism. If you would like a member of our staff to follow up with you about your response please write your name and phone number below:
My phone number:____________________________________________ )
(CROSS AND BASKET: This sermon works best if you place a large cross on the stage or on the floor at the front of the room. The more accessible the cross the better for the conclusion of the sermon. Before you begin speaking you might drag the cross in or stand it up, we began with a large cross just lying on the ground. You can go a lot of places with this but the key is to be touching the cross as you begin, and throughout the talk. Have a large basket nearby the stage that you can place at the foot of the cross during the response time.)
Introduction: “This Old Cross”
[Lift up the cross and set it in it’s base.]
“I love this old cross. It feels so authentic. Its’ timbers are weathered and grayed with age. Its’ edges are worn down after years of use. And its face bears the scars of the many services in which it’s been used over the past two decades.
I understand that this particular cross was created for an Easter sunrise service in the early eighties. During the outdoor service a young man, acting the part of Jesus, was raised up on this cross wearing the traditional loincloth and little else. The only problem -- the temperature was hovering around freezing that morning. Those who were there tell me it was quite memorable.
If you look close you will see hundreds of tiny nail holes on this cross. On one occasion everyone present nailed black ribbons representing sin to it. Then red ribbons representing the blood that Christ shed to cover our sins were nailed on over the black. Finally, white ribbons were nailed on over the red and black to represent our cleansed condition in Christ.