First Focus


First Baptist has a long tradition of Good Friday services. Setting aside this day on the calendar to remember and meditate through scripture and music has become a sacred tradition for us. For many years, First Baptist has observed Tenebrae (A Service of Shadows) which features the extinguishing of candles as we move through Christ’s journey to the cross. In recent years we have interspersed other types of programs on Good Friday such as, “The Living Last Supper” and “The Last Words from the Cross.” This year’s Good Friday service will be similar to all of these, but also unique.

At Christmastime, we proclaimed the good news of God Incarnate — Behold Our God — Deity in a Manger. We affirmed Colossians 2:9 which tells us “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” This Good Friday, we turn our focus to the cross with Behold His Love — Deity on a Cross. Jesus, our (completely human, completely God) Savior, willingly laid down the life which he took on as the baby in the manger. In so doing he performed the greatest sacrificial act the world has ever known, motivated by the greatest love the world can ever know. In fact, as John says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.” In other words, Jesus defined love. He set the bar. When Jesus tells us to love one another this is what he means. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

The story told in the Bible, both old and new testaments, is a love story. It is the story of our God pursuing us, longing for us, forgiving us again and again, and ultimately providing a way for permanent salvation for us — His beloved. It is the story of a God who is completely just and yet completely merciful to those who seek Him. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16 MSG). This is the incredible news of Good Friday and it points us to the indescribable joy of Easter.

Come and rediscover what love is. Invite your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family.

Friday, March 30, 6:00PM–7:00PM in the sanctuary. Preschool childcare will be provided.

The service will be interpreted for the Deaf.

—Penny Folsom