Bible verses about Good Friday

good friday

Accounts of the crucifixion:

Bible Verses about the cross and the purpose of Good Friday

  • Psalm 22:1, 14-18 ESV
    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
        Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

    I am poured out like water,
        and all my bones are out of joint;
    my heart is like wax;
        it is melted within my breast;
    15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
        and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
        you lay me in the dust of death.

    16 For dogs encompass me;
        a company of evildoers encircles me;
    they have pierced my hands and feet—
    17 I can count all my bones—
    they stare and gloat over me;
    18 they divide my garments among them,
        and for my clothing they cast lots.

  • Isaiah 53:3-6 ESV
    He was despised and rejected by men;
        a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
    and as one from whom men hide their faces
        he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    Surely he has borne our griefs
        and carried our sorrows;
    yet we esteemed him stricken,
        smitten by God, and afflicted.
    But he was pierced for our transgressions;
        he was crushed for our iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
        and with his wounds we are healed.
    All we like sheep have gone astray;
        we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all.
  • Zechariah 12:10 ESV
    “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
  • Mark 9:31 ESV

    for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”

  • John 3:16-17 ESV
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
  • Romans 5:6-10 ESV
     For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV
    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
  • Philippians 2:8 ESV
    And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
  • Colossians 1:20 ESV
    and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
  • Colossians 2:14 ESV
    by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
  • Hebrews 12:2 ESV
    looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • 1 Peter 2:24 ESV
    He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
  • 1 Peter 3:18 ESV
    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous,that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit
  • 1 John 3:16 ESV
    By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

Did Jesus Get Splinters?

“Mom, did Jesus get splinters from the cross?”

My daughter doesn’t really know how to whisper.  She somehow manages to make her voice breathy and full of air, but still push the words out with a great deal of volume.

I mentally apologized to the audience members in front of us and behind us, who had come that night to see the Ballet Magnificat dance in worship and to tell the Exodus story.

But then the dancers surprised us.  They fast-forwarded in time to our ultimate Deliverer, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed Himself to give us freedom from slavery to sin.

There He was mocked and scorned by the crowd.
There He was beaten and nailed.
There He was hoisted onto the weathered wood and left to die.
There He cried out in pain.
There He died.

You never know what might make an impression on a child. I had already answered  whispered questions about slavery in Egypt earlier in the program.

Because, as many times as we had talked about the story and read the account in the children’s Bible . . . . and as often as my daughter had heard it in Sunday School and Children’s Church and Awana . . . somehow she had missed the part of slavery where it’s horrible and evil and frightening and relentless and hard and unfair and cruel.

So, the sound of the whip cracking and the way the slaves dropped to the ground in fatigue and despair shocked her.

You mean “slavery” is this?  It’s not just a happy little Jewish community living in tiny houses on the outskirts of Egyptian cities?

No, my baby girl.  Slavery is a pharaoh ordering that every male baby be killed at birth.  It’s waking up every morning to labor hard and long for someone else, no freedom to worship or rise above or choose for yourself or provide for your family.  It’s whips and rods and beatings and shame and being less than.

Why are the slaves working so hard, Mom?  Why is he beating them, Mom?  Why do they look so tired, Mom?

All whispered in my ear and what to say in that moment of hushed conversation other than, “That’s what slavery is, honey.  Didn’t you know?”

But how could she know?  We have a way as humans of protecting ourselves from knowledge that hurts.  And we have a way as parents and teachers of watering down the truth so we don’t frighten kids (or ourselves).  And we have a way as adults of sanitizing reality so we don’t have to face the ugly horror of it.

But when Jesus told the crowd that the truth would make them free, they didn’t understand: “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (John 8:34).

They had forgotten their people’s four-century-long history, of slavery in Egypt, and how God sent them the deliverer Moses.

Jesus reminded them: You, yourself, have a lifelong history of slavery to sin and “a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:35-36).

I explain this later to my daughters, when whispering is no longer mandatory, and we have the time and space to talk.

Did you see how terrible slavery was for the Israelites?  Jesus says we were slaves to sin in the same way.

And did you see what Moses had to give up in order to deliver the people out of Egypt?  He couldn’t keep his fancy room in the palace, his princely clothes, his royal position, his delectable foods.  He sacrificed all that to lead his people out of slavery.

But Jesus gave up more.  Paul tells us that Jesus “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

My daughter knew about the nails and the crown of thorns.  She knew about the cross.  But the scornful cries of the crowd, that she couldn’t understand.

Then, while watching the dancers portray Jesus’ crucifixion, she thought of the most horrible thing she could imagine, the thing that terrifies her into wearing shoes on our deck and the thing that has sent her into fits of screaming on our couch when we pull out the tweezers.

Did Jesus get splinters from the cross?

Why yes, baby girl, he probably did.  But he did it for you and for me.  He hung bare-skinned on a rough wooden cross so He could deliver us and set us free.

That’s the truth of costly grace and the Savior who paid the ultimate price: splinters, whips, mockery, the weight of sin, separation from God, and death and all.

How can you keep from forgetting what Christ has done for you?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

Orange Makeup/White Shirt

“I’m so grateful we never have to stand at a distance from Christ. Not only is He incapable of catching our ‘disease,’ but also He is never reluctant to embrace us”
(Beth Moore, Jesus: the One and Only, p. 242)

I love my kids.  Normally, I’m eager to accept their hugs and I’ll wrap them up in my arms at the slightest whim.

The other night, though, my daughter was fully decked out in her costume as an Oompa Loompa in a production of Willy Wonka, Jr, complete with thick, bright orange makeup all the way to her hairline and down to her neck.

…And she wanted to hug me.

…While I was wearing a white shirt.

…A really, really white shirt.

Did I mention she was orange?  Really, really orange.  In fact, I think Crayola should consider naming a new color “Oompa Loompa Orange” in her honor.

So, I hugged her at first with an intricately choreographed dance, making sure her orange head never made contact with my clothing. She bobbed; I weaved.

Then, I stood still for a moment and tilted her face to the side so that only the top of her head touched me.  (Her hair, thankfully, wasn’t orange!)   I gave her what I’ve decided to call “the sideways head hug.”

My goal here was a kind of sterile affection: Showing love without staining my clothes.

I’ve learned this dance over years of practice as a mom.  Kids, after all, come at me every day with Oreos on their hands and spaghetti sauce oozing from their fingers. More paint makes it onto them than every makes it onto paper and then they reach out and touch me to get my attention.

In fact, most of my clothes bear the marks of their hands on my thighs (where they could reach when standing up as toddlers) and on my shoulders (from the times I picked those little ones up).

When I read through the Gospels, I’m amazed at how Jesus essentially wore a white shirt and yet never failed to hug, squeeze, lift up, and cherish all those who came to him—even when they were covered in stains of sin, death, and all that was unclean.

He never dodged them in attempts to escape the messiness of their lives.

When the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years braved the disapproving crowd in order to reach Jesus, she was unclean.  Continual bleeding meant continually being cut-off from public worship and physical contact with others.

One brush of her skin against your arm and you’d be unclean, as well.

Yet, she touched Jesus and He didn’t flinch or condemn her.  He didn’t sidestep her presence.  He healed her and set her free.

When Jesus saw the coffin of a widow’s only son pass by surrounded by wailing mourners and his mother in despair, Jesus could have slipped away and ignored it all.  Touching a dead body was a guaranteed mess, making you unclean by the law’s religious standards.

Jesus did it anyway, though, telling the dead boy to arise and then watching this only son embrace his mother again.

Jesus ate with the rabble, touched the eyes of the blind, and laid hands on the demon-possessed.  His was a physical affection, the real and true fingerprints of God placed on undeserving lives and unclean situations.

Yet, instead of being tainted or stained Himself, He brought purity to others.

Paul put it this way:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Too often we miss the significance of this fact: Jesus did what was unclean and yet nothing could penetrate the purity of the Son of God.

He was sinless, blameless, totally righteous before God, but He didn’t use that as an excuse to separate Himself from others.  Instead, it was His joy to absorb their stains of sin, now bleached white when laid at the feet of the Messiah.

It’s what He did on the streets of Galilee and Judea and Samaria.

It’s what He did on the cross.

It’s what He does even now when we let Him get involved in the dirtiest, muckiest, and most sin-plagued aspects of our lives.

That’s what John assures us when he writes: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

This means we don’t need to hide away or shun his society.  We don’t need to pretend the unclean blots on our lives don’t exist.

It also means that we can follow his example by no longer worrying about our clean white shirts and start doling out affection without restraint, not avoiding the mess of others when it makes us uncomfortable.  Like Jesus, we “walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us” (Ephesians 5:2).

Sometimes real love means getting messy, maybe even orange.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Rigging Candy Land

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
   he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all
(Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG).

When my kids were younger, I used to rig the Candy Land cards.

Not so they could win, you understand, because I don’t believe in just letting a child win at games.

I simply hated the cruelty of the setback.  The thing about Candy Land is that you could be two rainbow-colored squares away from the magic candy castle and then draw the card for the Gingerbread Man.

At first, this seems harmless enough.  Who doesn’t want the Gingerbread Man?  Then you realize that it’s just evil fate and lessons in the futility of life sugar-coated and handed to your three-year-old child.

That’s because the Gingerbread Man is all the way back at the beginning of the game.

So, you have to watch this sweetly innocent toddler who was an inch away from cheering in victory move her red Candy Land piece all the way back to a position of certain defeat.

Sometimes life seems just as sadly confusing with unexpected twists and turns and a few disappointments and setbacks.

Yet, surely these are lessons best learned when you’re a little older and wiser?

My solution was simple.  As I shuffled the cards before setting up the game, I made sure the dreaded Gingerbread Man and the peppermint stick guy and sometimes even the gumdrop were in the front of the stack.

Thus, anyone who drew one of those cards would never have to fall back more than a few squares.

Sometimes I wish God would rig the cards every once in a while so life never involved steps backwards or feeling stuck in place (on something less soothingly delicious as a licorice stick).

While He’s at it, wouldn’t it be nice if He gave the game board a big yank and straightened the path?  No more zigzags across the board.  Geometry tells us the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  How about a straight line, God?

Yes, it’s true, sometimes the directions God takes us and the interruptions, setbacks, and seemingly pointless diversions we experience just don’t make sense.

In her book Nehemiah: A Heart that Can Break, Kelly Minter shared: “…I have a friend who regularly says to me, ‘Lean not Gal!’  As in, ‘Lean not on your own understanding, but all your ways acknowledge Him, ‘Gal!'” (p. 97).

I love this.  I certainly have the tendency to lean on my own understanding and raise a ruckus of discontentment when God leads me in unexpected directions.

Jonah also needed someone to tell him, “Lean not, Guy!” when he, a highly successful, well-respected prophet of encouragement to God’s holy people got God’s disturbing message: Go preach repentance to an enemy nation that has persecuted and killed your neighbors and family friends.

The disciples similarly needed a “lean not” reminder when Jesus told them they were going up to Jerusalem where He would be persecuted, imprisoned and crucified.

In the same way, Paul challenged his friends and followers to “lean not” when he traveled to Jerusalem, despite being warned that he would be placed in chains and taken captive there (Acts 21).

Jonah, the famous runaway, tried to avoid the path that didn’t make sense.

What if he had succeeded? Nineveh would have missed out on experiencing what “many historians cite …as the greatest revival in human history” (Priscilla Shirer, Jonah, p. 114).

In fact:

When Jonah chose to walk in obedience to the word of the Lord, the result was a harvest of amazing fruit he’d probably never seen coming.  Not just one community in the city or even a handful of the city’s important people believed in God.  Every citizen of Nineveh, from the greatest to the least, immediately believed.  Conviction was so complete that even the animals were made to participate in the government-mandated fast.  ‘Even the great Apostle Paul never experienced anything comparable to what Jonah saw.  Paul never saw an entire city turn to God'” (Shirer, p. 118-119).

Yes, and without Jesus’ journey to the cross, we would not have the resurrection or a plan for salvation.

And if Paul chose the easier road away from Jerusalem, he would never have preached about Christ in Rome—even to Caesar himself (Acts 28).

It’s frightening not to know exactly where we’re going.  It’s terrifying not to know what will happen when we get there.

It’s disappointing when God asks you:
to step aside
to stop
to walk away
to turn around
to go back
to take a break
to cease activity
and to put aside our own plans and visions and understanding of how this crazy life should work out and make sense.

Yet, even when we spend some time standing still or making the disheartening trip apparently backwards, we can trust that God has a plan—a better plan (yes, even better than the magical candy castle!) and maybe a surprising plan (to us, not to Him)—as long as we obey.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

VBS Lessons: No Matter What Happens

All week long I’m thinking about the Bible points for our Vacation Bible School and what they mean for adults.  This week will be a mix of some old and some new as I share these lessons.

Tonight at Sky VBS! (Group Publishing), we’re learning: No Matter What Happens…Trust God!


“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love”
Romans 8:38

There are times when I take prayer requests at the close of a meeting almost reluctantly, not because I don‘t care or because I don‘t want to pray.  It’s just that the requests seem so big and I feel the heaviness of them.

That perpetual litany of need, of cancer; mystery illnesses; the death of babies, husbands–and marriages; lost jobs and shattered finances seems like darkness with light, pain without hope.

I feel an affinity for the disciples in the three dark days between the cross and the resurrection, a silent understanding of their pain.  In “Valleys Fill First,” Caedmon’s Call sang: “It’s like that long Saturday between your death and the rising day, when no one wrote a word and wondered is this the end.”

Yes, that was the terror of looking at the cross and standing at a grave and thinking it was all over.

Days after riding through the streets of Jerusalem cheered by the crowd, Jesus had been captured, put on trial, crucified, and shut up in an impenetrable tomb, leaving the disciples overwhelmed, confused, and without hope.  They questioned everything they had seen, heard, and believed about Jesus just days before.

Then, they had confessed Him as Messiah.
Now, their Messiah was dead.

Then, they had seen Him raise Lazarus and others from the dead.
Now, His own death seemed unconquerable.

They had been catapulted into darkness and all of God’s promises and even their personal testimonies were called into question.

In the dark places, we too forget.  Surrounded by pain and despair, we allow circumstances to determine our view of God.  The physical “reality” of death, sickness, financial insecurity, and broken relationships tells us God isn’t loving, God won’t provide, God isn’t at work on our behalf.

When faced with tough circumstances, David also asked God some tough questions: “Will the Lord reject forever?  Will He never show His favor again?  Has His unfailing love vanished forever?  Has His promise failed for all time?  Has God forgotten to be merciful?  Has He in anger withheld His compassion?”  (Psalm 77:7-9, NIV).

Ultimately, though, David fought against these doubts by returning to what He knew was truth: “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:11-12, NIV). 

In the same way, we remember who our God is.  No matter what happens, we trust God.

Because He is a Creator, who can bring forth something altogether new out of nothingness.

Because He has Resurrection Power, the ability to take what is utterly dead and bring new life.

Christ’s resurrection gave the disciples new hope, real hope, true absolute belief and confirmation that their faith was more than a fairy tale, whim, emotional crutch or delusion.

So often, we use “hope” to mean little more than “good luck” or “best wishes.”  We give a friend a hug and say, “I hope you have a good day” or pat them on the back and say, “I hope you get that job you want” or “I hope your treatments work.”

We might as well be calling “heads” as we toss a coin.

Instead, because of Christ’s resurrection we have real hope for eternity.  We can have full, confident assurance in what Titus 2:13 calls “the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (NIV).  

Because of the Resurrection, we also have hope in the present.  After all, nothing is too big for a God who has power over life and death.  Jesus proved that no matter how bleak our physical reality looks and how much our five senses tell us God is not in control, He is still Lord and He can do all things.

Fortunately, our hope is in His strength and not our own.  It’s too much for us to carry around the weight of our problems and our dead circumstances.  We’re not creators. We don’t have resurrection power.  A world that relies solely on us is a hopeless place indeed.

Yet, no matter how dark our circumstances, even when we are in the closed tomb with every sign of death, we can have hope in Christ.

God, who conquered death and the grave, is working on your behalf in the here and now and also in preparation for our eternity with Him.

Instead of struggling to handle things on our own, we need to do something that is sometimes far more difficult–yield.  Cry out to Him that this weight is more than you can handle, allow Him to carry the load, and have renewed hope in God’s ability to care for you no matter how insurmountable the circumstances appear.

Would you like to hear the Caedmon’s Call song, Valleys Fill First?  Click here to follow the link or play it directly from the blog:

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King