“In His prayer, Jesus calls us not only to reach out to God for His forgiveness, but also to reach out to others and extend to them our own. That is the only ultimate way to conquer evil. Our willing sacrifice is required. Evil will be healed only through the love of individuals – that is, through you and me.”

david jeremiah, prayer: the great adventure, p. 52.

Good Friday Service: Please join our church family today at 6:30pm for a solemn and reflective Good Friday Service, where communion will be served. Childcare is available for babies and toddlers up to age 3. 

Daily Devotionals: Ascent’s Mission – Loving God, Loving People and Impacting Our World. Each day’s devotional has guided us through a scriptural thought based on the mission God has called us to follow. 

There is no greater impact in all of human history than what Christ did for us on the cross and in His resurrection.

Today, in this Holy Week, is Good Friday: the day our Savior was brought through a sham of a trial, flogged and beaten, and forced to carry His own cross to Golgotha, “the place of the skull.” This is where He would be crucified on our behalf. We look today at this narrative in the Gospel of Mark that takes us through the darkest hour in all of history.


Engage the Word: Impacting Our World

Read Mark 15:1-39

And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

The Death of Jesus

33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Connect the Heart

The crowd that hailed Jesus as their king as he entered Jerusalem turns on him a few days later. But all according to plan. Jesus is the perfect, spotless Lamb required for the Passover sacrifice. As He breathes His last, the curtain in the temple that separated man from God is torn in two, from top to bottom, forever providing free access to God through Christ. But it requires God the Father to turn His face away from His Son, who takes on the sin of humanity to be that sacrifice that God requires. He becomes forsaken and breathes His last. For you. For me.

Reflect on the Truth

  1. This passage reflects the reality of His becoming sin on our behalf and being abandoned by His Father, who cannot look upon sin. The Father forsakes the Son. Jesus becomes the ultimate sacrifice. Is your heart – your words, your actions, your desires, your motivations – in a posture to reflect on this act of love and sacrifice? How might Jesus’ example of selfless love be an invitation for you to experience a deeper intimacy with your Savior?
  2. Jesus died so that we could live. What might you express to Him in this moment?
  3. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. What an example to us. Is there someone God might be prompting you to forgive, even if it seems like they don’t deserve it? Take a moment to ask the Father to show you.

Depend on the Spirit

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (For example: you may write down, “Father, it is difficult to fully comprehend the sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf. Help me better understand.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His word, His Spirit, His people.


For Prayer
As you conclude your devotional time, pray for our church family as we all reflect on Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf today. Pray that everyone who calls Ascent “home” would be able to pause sometime today, reflect and make a personal connection with our Savior who suffered so that we might live, and have eternal hope.

Please read the first blog post entitled “Why Fast?” This explains what fasting is and why we follow Jesus in this spiritual discipline as, together, we seek the heart of God.


Some parts of our 21 Days devotionals are adapted using various resources on scripture and prayer like The Bible Exposition Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, The New Bible Commentary, Logos Bible Software and other resources.