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Summary: There are many ways we fail Jesus, and we need to ponder on these failures, so that we can mature into what Christ calls us to be.

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Bulletin and Sermon Notes/Outline: This is the full service outline for Good Friday , with several mini devotions inserted, instead of one long sermon.

Atmosphere - Service is to start out: 1. joyful (disciples singing praise songs while leaving Passover/Seder meal), then turn to 2. confusion, and then 3. ending in dispair and darkness. Lights are dimmed during last Scripture reading from Luke.

Songs and Responsive Reading chosen from "The Untied Methodist Hymnal."

Opening Song: 575 – Onward Christian Soldiers

Great Week =

A. Triumphal entry

B. Week of teachings/healings

C. Major victories over religious leaders

D. Extreme passover - unsure of meaning, but know it’s major

E. Leave for Mt. Olives, Singing Seder praise songs

=Great paralelles to our lives as we participate in the service tonight.

Read Matthew 26:30-39

Illustration ***Mau Mau – Power of prayer- (see below), or other powerful prayer example

Song: 264 – Silence Frenzied Unclean Spirit

Read Matthew 26:40-54

Disciples Failures 1-7.:

1. Pray –

A. Didn’t see depth of trouble coming

B. Slept thru times when God warns to pray lots

C. we sleep thru times when we should stay alert

2. Doing Good becomes Bad??

A. Peter thought he was defending God by actions (sword)

B. We instead are often going against God’s will

Read Mark 14:48-52

3. Fleeing from conflict

A. They ran when confronted and confused

B. Fleeing leaves us naked - spiritually

C. They didn’t keep their promise to stay & die with Jesus

Song: 290 – Go to Dark Gethsemane (v. 1-3)

Read Luke 22:54-62

4. Peter verbalizes his rejection of God

A. All fled at swords earlier, BUT…

B. Peter speaks out of fear of being labeled and associated

C. When have we spoken falsely about faith?

D. Worse, when have we avoided speaking our faith??

Song: 292 - What Wondrous Love is this (v. 1-2)

Read Matthew 27:1-10

5. Judas - the only one who has remorse Before Jesus dies

A. Knew what he did was wrong

B. tried to make it right – but too late to change ’events’

C. entered dispare – hung self, instead of repentance and changing self

Song: 298 - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Read Matthew 27:11-26

6. Pilate judges Jesus

A. Realizes that Jesus is innocent

B. Even warned randomly by wife to avoid judgment

C. Sort-of tries to set Jesus free

D. Gives in to peer pressure, even though he is stronger and more powerful

Read Mark 14:55-65

7. Even the “Spiritual Leaders” miss God

A. Stuck in their own beliefs & traditions

B. Judge by their expectations

C. Are looking for ways to condemn, instead of testing to see if there is truth about God

D. We may know something about God, but aren’t we the same when something doesn’t fit our background and experiences.

= We judge it as wrong and not as spiritually good as us/our beliefs?

E. Have we knowingly, and unknowingly, crucified Jesus all over again by our sins, and spiritual preferences??

F. Disciples didn’t get it right, till after fully facing cross

Responsive Reading: #752 -- Psalm 22:1-18

Song: 288 - Were You There

Read Luke 23:32-37, 44-48

"Disperse into the Darkness in silence, reflecting on the Disciples failures, and ours.

PRAY HARD - the time of darkness is here."

(LEAVE IN SILENCE)

Possible Prayer Illustration (from other contributor):

***During the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in 1960, missionaries Matt and Lora Higgens were returning one night to Nairobi through the heart of Mau Mau territory, where Kenyans and missionaries alike had been killed and dismembered. Seventeen miles outside of Nairobi their Land Rover stopped.

Higgens tried to repair the car in the dark, but could not restart it. They spent the night in the car, but claimed Psalm 4:8: "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." In the morning they were able to repair the car and continue their trip.

A few weeks later the Higgenses returned to America on furlough. They reported that the night before they left Nairobi, a local pastor had visited them. He told how a member of the Mau Mau had confessed that he and three others had crept up to the car to kill the Higgens, but when they saw sixteen men surrounding the car, the Mau Mau had left in fear.

"Sixteen men?" Higgens responded. "I don’t know what you mean!"

While they were on furlough, a friend, Clay Brent, asked the Higgens if they had been in any danger recently. Higgens asked, "Why?"

Then Clay said that on March 23, God had placed a heavy prayer burden on his heart. He called the men of the church, and sixteen of them met together and prayed until the burden lifted.

(Contributed by Randy Aly “How to Pray,” Feb. 2004 )

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