A sequence of reflections based on characters who were present at the Crucifixion of Jesus:
John
Mary Magdalene
Mary Jesus' mother,
Dismas (the name traditionally given to the Good Thief)
the Roman soldier.

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Narrator    When Jesus was crucified, most of his friends and disciples abandoned him.     
Only a few people were there to witness the last hours of his life.
As they gazed upon Jesus in those final moments, what did they see?
What thoughts and feelings might have weighed upon their hearts?
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John He had called me and I followed him.                     
Last night, I leaned my head against his shoulder and listened to his words -
words that came from God.
His words always spoke of the love of the One who sent Him.
But, He wouldn't speak to those who accused Him -
there were no words of hatred or revenge.
He spoke the words of God -
and now those words are being silenced by the violence of men.
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Narrator The Word of God is still silenced by violence and cruelty.
The Word of God is stifled by fear and embarrassment.
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For the times when we have stood by
and allowed the Word to be suppressed and silenced....
let us ask the Father's forgiveness.
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Response (preferably sung)
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Mary Magdalene   He called my name and He loved me.              
His touch brought me back to life.
To touch Him now would only make His agony worse.
I cannot say good-bye.
They have wrenched Him away from me - and nailed Him ....
nailed Him...
nailed Him to a tree.
My heart breaks with the pain of such a parting from the One I love.
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Narrator Those who love are still wrenched apart by cruel hands.
There is no chance to say good-bye.
There is no way to ease the pain of parting.
For the times we have been immune to the pain of refugees,
ignored the cries of those in an agony of separation,
we ask the Father's forgiveness.
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Response
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Mary A sword shall pierce my heart -
where did those words come from-
echoing round and round in my head?
A sword shall pierce my heart -
yet the Almighty has done great things for me...
I do not understand.
My spirit rejoiced in God, my saviour -
for He looked on my lowliness and raised me up..
Now my son, the promised one is raised up...
he cries out in agony and abandonment:
My God, my God, why have You forgotten me?
God, our God, why have You forgotten us?
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Narrator People still stand at the foot of the cross,
sharing the agony of those they love;
witnessing the anguish of abandonment by those who could make a difference
the people with power and authority.
They wonder where God has gone.
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For the times when we have allowed people to be abandoned to evil forces;
when we have failed to act or speak on their behalf,
we ask the Father's forgiveness....
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Response
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Dismas I hurt.
Nails through my hands and feet.
Death, come quickly.
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The one they call Jesus-
he doesn't deserve this.
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It ends here...no hope.
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I don't want to die....I don't want to be lost forever...
Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.
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Narrator To lose hope is the worst agony.
To be afraid of oblivion, part of the human condition.
To call on the name of Jesus
is a sign of hope in despair.
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For the times when we have lost hope
and given way to fear,
failing to call on the name of Jesus,
we ask the Father's forgiveness.
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Response
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Soldier It's just a job - not the best sort - but part of the job of keeping order.
We can't have people going around preaching revolution.
If they won't keep quiet, then the law has to take its course.
My job is to make sure the it's done efficiently.
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This one's different, though. I'm not sure how.
Not many of them ask for us to be forgiven - makes you think....
It was when he did that - asked his father to forgive us...
this one's different....
Maybe he really is the Son of God...
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Narrator God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.
For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world,
but so that through Him the world might be saved.
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Song
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John The Word became flesh and lived among us...
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But the world, though it had its being through Him, did not recognise Him.
But to all those who do recognise Him,
He gives the power to be children of God.
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Narrator The Word of God is alive and well - in Bibles, songs and prayers.
In the face of bitter persecution
or the world's apathy,
Christians still find ways to hear and live the Word of God.
The Word cannot be silenced:
Blessed be the Lamb of God.
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.Mary I will not leave him.
I will hear him call my name for ever.
We will walk again in a garden
He and I
We will walk - and never be parted.
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Narrator Soon, very soon, children will be returned to the arms of their parents,
the loved and lost will be reunited.
Soon, very soon, the forgotten prisoner will receive a letter
and know that someone knows his name.
Soon, very soon, the pain of parting will give way to radiance of joy in reunion:
Blessed be the Lamb of God.
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Mary My beloved Son, whom I loved as only a mother can love.
Walking alongside Him through the valley of the shadow of death-
so that He should know that He was not alone.
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Narrator Only one who has suffered can walk alongside those who suffer;
only one who has known the anguish of seeing the suffering and dying of a loved one can understand the depths of pain and grief.
One woman, gentle and humble in heart,
walks eternally alongside her suffering children,
until the day all are reunited in the City of God:
the new Jerusalem, lit by the light from the throne of the Lamb:
Blessed be the Lamb of God.
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Dismas He promised that I would be with Him in paradise.
I was a waster - a failure,
scum of the earth,
yet He didn't turn me away.
Lots of people thought He was a failure too,
that He was scum too.
They were wrong, though -
and some of them will never even realise just how wrong.
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Narrator Jesus came into the world,
not to condemn the world but to save it.
He was despised and rejected,
and shared the lot of the poor and wretched.
But His humility, His obedience, even to accepting death
death on a cross,
means that God has raised Him high
and given Him the name which is above all other names;
so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord.
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Reader Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne
and the living creatures and the elders;
they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands and thousands,
singing with full voice,
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing."
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth
and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
"To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
forever and ever!
Amen."

2000 Wellspring

 

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