The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


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, April 14, 2017

Good Friday Vespers Service, 7 PM Central Daylight Time


Good Friday Vespers, 2017 
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 –     The Meaning of Christ's Suffering
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, Crucify him, 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.


The Meaning of Christ's Suffering

John 19 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.

1. As we heard while explaining the meaning of Christ’s passion, that it was not enough to know its mere narrative and history; so it is not enough to learn only how and when Christ our Lord arose from the dead; we must also preach and understand the benefit and use both of the sufferings and the resurrection of Christ, namely, what he thereby acquired for us. For if we preach only its history, it is an unprofitable sermon, which Satan and the godless know, read and understand as well as true Christians; but when we preach to what end it serves it becomes profitable, wholesome and comforting.

When Luther considered this issue in his sermon on the suffering of Christ, he pointed out how Christ suffered and died for those who largely abandoned Him. How can they be brothers to Him when they were so weak at the most important time? And yet, as John's Gospel says in John 13, "Having loved them, He loved them to the end."

On one hand, we could use this contrast to speak about how horrible all these people were. They were warned. They were taught. They saw the miracles of healing, even of raising the dead. 

The comfort of the Passion narrative is showing us the great love and compassion of the Father and Son, revealed by the Spirit, that all this suffering, rejection, mockery, torture, and death was for full payment of our sins. 

This did not absolve the world of its sins. If that were so, then Jesus would not have admonished Peter three times for denying him three times. Just as Peter denied his Savior by a charcoal fire, so he was shriven (the confession of sins) and absolved beside  another charcoal fire, after the Resurrection. 

The Passion story is one of Redemption rather than Absolution, because Redemption is the Gospel message. To speak of any part of the Passion story is to say, "Jesus did that for all people, but especially for us as individuals." Those who cannot see this Redemption also have no share of it. Many of them are mainline professors and leaders. The cross embarrasses them terribly. It is gross or crude or old-fashioned.

One escape is to say "Everyone is already forgiven, because Jesus said - It is finished." But the same fanatics say the angels pronounced the world forgiven when Jesus was born - Peace on earth, good will to men, with whom He is well pleased. That bizarre claim would negate the meaning of the Passion.  

And Abraham would be left an orphan. He believed the Promises of God, and he was justified by his faith. Genesis 15. Abraham did not simply believe he would be a father, but that he would be the beginning of an eternal and growing kingdom from his descendants, from the Messiah. Therefore, the fanatics rob Abraham of his role as the example of faith in Romans 4, Galatians, Hebrews 11, and James.

The rationalists are no different from the UOJ fanatics in denying Justification by Faith. They have the same result. These modern theologians must rest their confidence on their works, from Missions to Marxists around the world to giving away clean needles to drug addicts. The Left-wing activists are no different from those who said, "We have Abraham for a father," or the Lutherans who say, "We have Robert Preus as our father." They glory in their works, especially when those works are unimpressive.

Dame Reason has everyone saying, "I want to make the world a better place," but the Scriptures admonish us to believe in Christ and receive forgiveness through Him.

The fruit of the Gospel has made many regions of the world better, but in the same way, abandoning the Gospel has brought chaos and misery to people, as  World War II showed so dramatically.

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, Crucify him, 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.

Christ is rejected cleverly by Pilate and crudely by the religious opponents. Pilate finds no fault but sends Him to a beating and death anyway. The Jewish leaders want the One who terrifies them silenced and killed to show their victory. 

This should be a source of comfort to all believers, because we can identify with rejection and abuse, with abandonment by those who should know better, and by exile and shunning.

We suffer because of our sinful nature, but Christ suffered for us. Rather than focus on blaming others for the death of Christ, as Luther warned, we are to see each and every point of His trials, punishment, and death as paying for our individual sins.

The least heard message about the Passion is faith. Believing is forgiveness, so endless regret and pain over past sins is a rejection of this simple truth from the Bible. 

John's Gospel is especially comforting because the message of the love of Christ is constant, yet no one is spared about the wrath of God - it remains on unbelievers. The world lives under the wrath and condemnation of God except for those who believe in Christ, receive His forgiveness, and become part of His family. He is in us and we are in Him, just as He is in the Father and the Father in Him.  If we read the Gospel of John carefully, we see how the Spirit is always witnessing to this Father-Son relationship, so the Holy Trinity is speaking to us - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.