Sarah Brown – ‘I AM’ (watercolour). Click to read her explanation of the picture.
Jesus said of those who crucified him, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23 verse 34a NIV
Today at our Good Friday morning worship at St Luke’s this picture provided a powerful starting point for those considering this verse. The service took the form of liquid worship, using the seven words of Jesus from the cross. Those in church spent some time with each of the phrases spoken by Jesus, thinking, praying and in some cases taking part in a simple activity.
Three additional passages were displayed:
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Isaiah 59 verse 2 NIV
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, …
Romans 3 verse 23 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5 verse 8 NIV
On a nearby table there was a large sheet of paper with a palm cross in the centre, round which had been written well known famous – and infamous – names (Mother Theresa, Robert Mugabwe, Ghandi, Hitler …) plus the names of the leaders of our church. We all added our names amongst those around the cross to show that Jesus died for everyone on that first Good Friday.
When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery his response to those who would seek to condemn her was:
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8 verse 7 NIV
We are reminded that sin is hateful to God and that, rather than looking at the sin of others we ought to look first at our own need for forgiveness.
My Lord, what love is this?
That pays so dearly,
That I the guilty one,
May go free!
Amazing love, O what sacrifice,
The Son of God giv’n for me.
My debt He pays, and my death He dies,
That I might live, that I might live.
(Graham Kendrick © 1989 Make Way Music)