The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

May 31, Ascension Day Holy Communion,
7 PM Centray Daylight Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday, 2016. 7 PM Central Daylight Time.



Good Friday Vespers, 2016 
7 PM Central Daylight Time

The hymn tunes are linked to the hymn name. The words are linked to the the hymn number.


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 172                 O Sacred Head             
The Order of Vespers                                             p. 41
The Psalmody                   Psalm 22                    p. 128
The Lections                         

The Sermon Hymn #143            O Dearest Jesus     

The Sermon –     Psalm 22 Leads to Psalm 23 and John 10
The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                           p. 45

The Hymn #151               Christ the Life    




Psalm 22  KJV

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.       

Isaiah 52 KJV
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.  14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:  15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: forthat which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?  2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 19 KJV
Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucifyhim, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. 7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; 9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and putit upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

For Holy Communion Preparation on Easter Sunday
O Lord Jesus Christ, we thank Thee, that of Thine infinite mercy Thou hast instituted this Thy sacrament, in which we eat Thy body and drink Thy blood: Grant us, we beseech Thee, by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not receive this gift unworthily, but that we may confess our sins, remember Thine agony and death, believe the forgiveness of sin, and day by day grow in faith and love, until we obtain eternal salvation through Thee, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



Psalm 22 Leads to Psalm 23 and John 10

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Jesus' words on the cross are first of all a quotation from this Psalm, and secondly a way of saying this Psalm was a Messianic prophesy from the beginning. Many passages, like Isaiah 53, are impossible to understand apart from the cross and resurrection.

That is really significant, because the first impulse of the liberal apostates is to deny the Messianic prophesies in the Psalms. Left unsaid is why the Old Testament was compiled, if not preparing the world for the Messiah. But those who attack in this way have nothing of substance to say, only a big target to aim their wrath against.

One can find Lutheran commentaries that engage in this too. I would cite them but I have little use for commentaries. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible, as the true Church has always taught - Scripture interprets Scripture. The second best commentary is the Book of Concord. Too often people are impressed by a publishing house (ours!) or an author (my professor!) rather than the truth.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

First lines and first paragraphs are titles and introductions. We still practice this in literature (often lamely). This statement in the Psalm tells us how utterly desolate the Messiah will be upon the cross, the ultimate pain, being alone and isolated, rejected, jeered at, the emotional pain piled on top of the physical pain.

It is not an accident we use this Psalm on Good Friday, a day on which we recognize how completely Jesus paid for the sins of the world.

O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Many Psalms are complaints, and this one is the deepest or the greatest one of all, and yet this is united with praise and acknowledgement. We can see why the Atonement remains a mystery revealed by the Holy Spirit. Man cannot grasp it, and therefore the modernists mock it. Various heresies have denied that the God-man Jesus truly suffered and died on the cross. They are the ones who cannot listen to the plain words of Scripture. They substitute something else for the truth and then obsess about their own vision, which takes them farther and farther from the truth. As one Jehovah's Witness said to me, "You say Jesus prayed to God and is God. How can God pray to God? I cannot understand that."
I said, "Neither can my dog." That upset him and made him even angrier than before. Another one denied the Trinity in a written article. I kept the article to show others. The woman asked, "I would like it back." I said, "No. I know the author from my doctoral work. It proves what you really stand for, denial of the Bible."
The Atonement means that God gives us this truth, this revelation, so we can see His gracious love completely and live accordingly. When someone is offended by what the Word teaches, the problem is not with the Word but with the individual who resists the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
This is a complaint that also expresses faith, so the suffering of the crucified Messiah is a comfort to anyone in distress. Trust leads to deliverance. There is no sin in crying out to God for help, in feeling the utter lost and lonely feelings expressed here. That is why the Gospel itself gives people peace in the midst of turmoil, because believers are united with each other in that trust, and even more so - united with Christ in His suffering.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
This is the perfect description of the cross, in a few verses.
First of all - the rejection of all, despising Him as no man at all, a worm, a complete reversal from the crowds that praised His raising of Lazarus and the sight of Lazarus with Him. So many say, "If only I could see one miracle from the New Testament." But the crowds did see the conquest of death with their own eyes, the proof of it while Lazarus walked with Jesus and dined with Him and the disciples. These same people jeered at Jesus at the cross.
The jeering is especially painful because God is named in this supposed irony. God delights in you, why not let God deliver Him from this torture and pain?
The same sneers are aimed at those who bear the cross. Nominal (in name only) Christians will wonder aloud why Christians suffer so much, getting some enjoyment from this reflection. Anyone who has suffered great loss will experience this too, and it shows how fickle people can be.
For many the experience of the cross is that moment when the truth has been confessed and the positive reaction we expect is turned upside down. And while it seems romantic to say, "Now I know," that is not the experience at all. It is more like, "How can friends and family turn against the Gospel in the name of institutions, traditions, etc" The last Beatitude does not seem so pleasant or much of a medicine against the darkest moments.
And that is why it is called bearing the cross, which we must do in following Jesus on the Way of the Cross. My Roman Catholic boss said, as a joke, "I guess God really hates you." 
We cannot really understand bearing the cross until we can say "the blessed cross," which can take a long time. 
So, in the process of fulfilling the Messianic Psalms, Jesus also showed us what we must face and also how we are strengthened and helped by the cross.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.

10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
This is considered one of the best statements of infant faith, but it also expresses the faith of Jesus, by which we are justified.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
These are incidental descriptions of the crucifixion, fulfilled in every detail. When the Spirit inspired David, there was not Roman Republic, no Roman Empire, no system of crucifying criminals. But this long, drawn out torture is described in detail.  That by itself is remarkable. The next section is even more astonishing.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
The Psalm seems to be random in content and yet this is fulfilled in the Word of God. What seemed odd and quirky is in fact a confirmation of the historic connection between the Old Testament and the Gospel.
The Western tales of Louis Lamour taught me about how precious clothing was in the olden days. People had one change of clothing. The former Union soldiers wore their uniforms long after the war because it was their only outfit. A good garment was valuable, so the Roman soldiers wanted that robe in one piece, which inspired the book and the movie. (The Shroud is a forgery promoted by the Catholic Church, but another matter altogether. It shows how people cling to physical objects when the Word is our anchor, our light, our truth.)
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
This is a prayer worth remembering in times of difficulty and affliction. In praying this we strengthen our trust in God to give us the help we need in the time of need.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Jesus did this time after time and built the foundation of the Christian Church by going into opposition and teaching the Gospel of faith in Him.
23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
All Jewish people who believe in Jesus the Messiah are the True Israel. They glorify and praise God, in spite of ethnic and family opposition.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
God always honors those who believe in Him and His Son, and the Spirit teaches them through the Word.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
We remain with the faithful to praise God and receive grace from the Means of Grace, the Word and Sacraments.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.
This shows the triumph of God in the midst of affliction and persecution.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
This Psalm climaxes with the victory of the Gospel. A seed is Christ, the Son of God. When we teach the righteousness of faith, we are delcaring His righteousness to people not even born, to areas never civilized until many centuries later.
This is the Gospel, declaring how all these events took place and were predicted in advance, that Christ might die for our sins and rise from the dead, to be the first fruits of all those who would rise through Him.