A Funeral For A King
Last night I led our congregation in a Good Friday service. I was asked last week if I would be interested in preaching, and given the option of either crafting the service myself or plugging in a sermon into a service that our senior pastor would put together. I decided to go ahead and plot out the service on my own (following the leading of God of course. I can take no credit for the results of my plotting and crafting).
I decided to take the route of a funeral service. We tend to forget the humanity of Christ and focus so much on His divinity that we miss the pain and torment that He endured on and leading up to the Cross. There were times of sharing from the congregation about how Jesus had impacted their lives to this point. There were a couple of pieces of special music. We opened with the video of Kristian Stanfill’s Jesus Paid it All (from the Passion: Everything Glorious DVD), and I closed the evening out with a eulogy and The David Crowder*Band’s Come Awake (perfect for a funeral).
In my eulogy I felt that my limited words would fall so far short of anything worthy of honoring Jesus (as our words far too often do), so I searched for His words about Himself, His life and His mission here on earth (and beyond). I lifted many passages from the Gospels where Jesus spoke about Himself or His plan. And during Come Awake, God decided that instead of finishing the song, we would cut out about 40 seconds early, giving us an interesting, abrupt end that served to almost act as a symbolic tie to the same abruptness that the disciples must have felt when (despite being warned many times) Jesus was arrested and crucified.
Even from my perspective as the leader, it was a powerful evening. It forced us to acknowledge the humanity of Christ, to realize the depth of His death, and to hope in our futures that only He can give us.