176

The Wonderful Cross

176

The Wonderful Cross

Introductory/Framing Text

Let us remember Jesus,
who, though rich, became poor and dwelt among us;
who was mighty indeed, healing the sick and the troubled;
who, as a teacher to his disciples, was their companion and servant.
May we ever be grateful for Jesus the Christ
and what he has done for us.
Let us remember Jesus,
who prayed for the forgiveness of those who rejected him
and for the perfecting of those who received him;
who loved all people and prayed for them,
even if they denied and rejected him;
who hated sin because he knew the cost of pride and selfishness,
of cruelty and hatred, both to people and to God.
May we ever be grateful for Jesus the Christ
and what he has done for us.
Let us remember Jesus,
who humbled himself, obedient unto the cross.
God has exalted him who has redeemed us
from the bondage of sin and given us new freedom.
May we ever be grateful for Jesus the Christ
and what he has done for us and continues to do for us.
[Silence of remembrance]
[Reformed Worship 18:15]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Call to Worship

God so loved the world that he gave his own dearly beloved Son
so that everyone who believes in him
will not perish but have everlasting life.
On this day of remembrance and hope, we declare with joy:
God did not send his Son into the world
to condemn the world but to save it.
Let us worship God.
—based on John 3:16-17
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

In Christ all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven,
by making peace through the blood of his cross.
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death,
so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him.
Brothers and sisters: through the cross of Christ
we are forgiven and reconciled to God. Praise be to God!
—based on Colossians 1:19-22, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

When you were dead in trespasses
and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
God made you alive together with him,
when he forgave us all our trespasses,
erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands.
He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.
He disarmed the rulers and authorities
and made a public example of them,
triumphing over them in it.
Brothers and sisters: through the cross of Christ
we are forgiven, and the power of evil is broken. Praise be to God!
—based on Colossians 2:13-15, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

May God the Father, who so loved our world
that he gave his only Son;
may Jesus Christ, whose love for us
made him obedient to death, even death on a cross;
and may the Holy Spirit,
who enables us to love God and each other,
comfort, encourage, and protect you.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus Christ is our peace;
in his flesh he has broken down the dividing wall,
that is, the hostility between us.
He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances,
that he might create in himself one new humanity
in place of the two, thus making peace,
and might reconcile both groups to God
in one body through the cross,
thus putting to death that hostility through it.
So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off
and peace to those who were near;
for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Christ is the sure source of our peace.
May Christ’s peace be always with you.
And also with you.
—based on Ephesians 2:14-18, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

May God the Father, who so loved our world
that he gave his only Son;
may Jesus Christ, whose love for us
made him obedient to death, even death on a cross;
and may the Holy Spirit,
who enables us to love God and each other,
comfort, encourage, and protect you.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

The following is a script for a dramatic reading of a portion of the passion narrative. Ideally
Good Friday worship can include the entire passion narrative from John 18-19, which can
easily be used as a dramatic reading, following this model. The reading itself may be simple
and stark.
Narrator: They took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out
to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called
Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one
on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription
written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the
King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because
the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was
written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of
the Jews said to Pilate,
Chief Priests: Do not write, “The King of the Jews,” but, “This man said, I am King
of the Jews.”
Narrator: Pilate answered,
Pilate: What I have written I have written.
Narrator: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and
divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his
tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.
So they said to one another,
Soldiers: Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.
Narrator: This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes
among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that is
what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus
were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple
whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,
Jesus: Woman, here is your son.
Narrator: Then he said to the disciple,
Jesus: Here is your mother.
Narrator: And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After
this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to
fulfill the scripture),
Jesus: I am thirsty.
Narrator: A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full
of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When
Jesus had received the wine, he said,
Jesus: It is finished.
Narrator: Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
—from John 19:16-30, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
176

The Wonderful Cross

Tune Information

Name
THE WONDERFUL CROSS
Key
D Major
176

The Wonderful Cross

Hymn Story/Background

This praise chorus was written by Chris Tomlin and J.D. Walt while both were working at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. Their hope was to break Watts’ hymn into the younger generation so they could own it and feel like it was their hymn, not just the hymn of their grandparents. It was performed for the first time by Tomlin and Matt Redman at the first One Day Passion event for college students outside Memphis, Tennessee. As they were singing, two men started processing through the crowds of 30-40,000 people with a large cross. As they brought it to the front, people started running out behind it and throwing themselves down before it, or reaching up to touch it. Hundreds gathered around the cross as the music continued, and J.D. Walt claims it was one of the most powerful worship moments he has ever been a part of.
 
— Laura de Jong

Author and Composer Information

J.D. Walt has spent much of his life as a mentor to musicians. He has served as a pastor and mentor for the Passion Movement, and is involved as a theologian at Worship Central, the worship equipping and training ministry of Tim Hughes and Al Gordon in London. A licensed attorney, he now serves as Associate Vice President of Advancement at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he has served on the administration for eleven years. He now lives in Wilmore with his wife, also an Asbury graduate, and their four children.
 
Chris Tomlin (b. 1972) grew up in Grand Saline, Texas. He wrote his first worship song at age fourteen, and has gone on, according to CCLI, to become the most-often sung Christian artist on Sunday mornings. He joined Louie Giglio in leading the Passion Conferences in 1997, and has toured with contemporary artists such as Matt Redman, Delirious?, Steven Curtis Chapman and TobyMac. Tomlin released his first solo album, The Noise We Make, in 2001, and his 2013 album Burning Lights debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200, the 4th ever Christian album to do so. His more well-known songs include “How Great is Our God,” “Jesus Messiah,” and “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone).” Tomlin and wife Lauren have one daughter.
 
Jesse Reeves has travelled and recorded as Chris Tomlin’s bass player since 1997. Born in Arlington, Texas, in 1975, he became interested in music at age 15. He has now co-written nearly thirty songs, mostly with Tomlin.
— Laura de Jong
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us



Advertisements