While our chapel services and many other public worship gatherings are temporarily canceled, we invite you to gather with those in your home or small communities, similar to the early church. We will be providing liturgies to guide your worship gatherings centered on Mark 14-16 written by Cornerstone University staff and students. We will post a new one each week as well as one for Good Friday.
Though we may not be gathered together physically, the Campus Ministries team anticipates seeing how the Spirit will convict, encourage and guide us, through the illumination of the Scriptures, as we journey to the cross during this season of Lent.
This week’s liturgy is written by CU student Alyssa Kaiser.
THE CRUCIFIXION AND BURIAL: A LITURGY FOR MARK 15:21-47
As the narrative of salvation continues to unfold in Mark 15, confusion is heavy as it clouds the understanding of His followers and His enemies alike. The inscription above Him calls Him “King of the Jews,” though none claim Him as king (v. 26). Passersby and priests ridicule Him, refusing to believe in His power to fulfill prophecies (v. 29-32). Women watching from a way off were filled with hopelessness, their eyes not yet opened to the plan of redemption (v. 40-41). Joseph of Arimathea had been seeking after the kingdom of God and no doubt questioned the hand of God in such suffering (v. 42-43).
Yet in the midst of overwhelming uncertainty and grief, Jesus decisively carries out the Father’s will, tearing the curtain of the temple in two, and making it possible to approach a most holy God (v. 37-38). In response, a certain centurion’s eyes are opened, and he declares, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (v. 39).
On this Good Friday, ask God to open your eyes to the truth of who He is, like this centurion. Ask Him to reveal His character and to illuminate any sins that need to be surrendered in the light of His holiness through this next song.
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 15:21-32
In reading this passage, an easy response is to be disgusted with the soldiers who cast lots for His clothes; the passersby, priests and scribes who mocked His power; and the other crucified men who also reviled Him. And yet, if we were to imagine ourselves in this story, watching the crucifixion take place, would we also be speaking untruths? Our hearts are easily wooed into believing lies about God, lies that are so subtle that they can be difficult to detect. Jesus’ work on the cross was to liberate us from the power of sin, lies and death.
Scripture Reading: Mark 15:21-32
As you listen to this next song, reflect on Christ’s suffering and the liberation from the power of sin that He accomplished.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 32:1-7
Song: “Gethsemane Hymn”
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 15:33-39
As Jesus took on our sins and bore them Himself, He experienced separation from God. During our current time of uncertainty and isolation, maybe you have found yourself crying out like Jesus, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Our current circumstances give us a small taste of how nightmarish isolation can be. But as Jesus bore our sins, He experienced the worst kind of isolation, separation from God, so that we can be reconciled to Him. When Jesus breathed His last, the curtain of the temple was torn, symbolizing that any sinner who is covered by the blood of Jesus can approach a holy God.
Scripture Reading: Mark 15:33-39
Spend time silently asking God to illuminate any sin that needs to be confessed, knowing that Christ’s death brings freedom from its bondage.
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 15:40-47
As Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus and the women watched, they grieved as it seemed as though hell truly had won the victory. They had buried their Lord, their teacher, their loved one. Their hearts ached with grief.