Good Friday

Citations all over the place! If you preach on Good Friday, hopefully you can find a trove of ideas to stash away and slowly draw out over several years.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Chapter 53, verses 4-5 are quoted in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 5: Law and Gospel (SD 5:23) near the end of a paragraph noting the continual proclamation of law and gospel, especially in the hope for the one "through whose wounds we have been healed" (SD 5:23).

Chapter 53, verse 5 is quoted in Smalcald Articles, Part 2 (SA 2.5) in passing as part of the reason why we believe in Jesus and cannot be swayed from this faith.

Chapter 53, verse 6 is quoted in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 20: Good Works (AP 20.5) speaking against the understanding of what happens to our sin--are our iniquities placed on our works or on Jesus? Melanchthon says, using this verse, the answer is Jesus.

Chapter 53, verse 6 is also quoted in Smalcald Articles, Part 2 (SA 2.2) as part of the same argument from SA 2.5 noted above.

Chapter 53, verse 10 is quoted in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 24: The Mass (AC 24.23) to show that Jesus is the victim offered up for our sins "in order to make satisfaction for our sins and reconcile us to God, so that people might know that God wants to be reconciled to us not on account of our righteousness but on account of another's merits, namely, Christ's" (AP 24.23). This same verse is quoted again a little later in the same article (AP 24.55) to argue that even the sacrifices prescribed by the Law did not merit forgiveness but only served to foreshadow Jesus' sacrifice.

Chapter 53, verse 11 is quoted in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 4: Justification (AP 4.101) to argue that to know Jesus is "to believe that God will keep the promises which he makes on account of Christ" (AP 4.101). A simple, but important point.

Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Chapter 4, verses 14-16 are cited with excerpts in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 4: Justification (AP 4.82) as evidence that we are urged "to approach God, not with confidence in our own merits, but with confidence in Christ the high priest" (AP 4.82), emphasizing faith.

Chapter 4, verse 16 is cited in a footnote in The Large Catechism, Fourth Part: Baptism (LC 4.86, n. 225) to explain the reference to Christ, the mercy seat.

John 18:1-19:42

Chapter 18, verse 6 is cited as an editorial insert in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 8: Person of Christ (SD 8.25) as an example of Jesus revealing some of his divine nature.

Chapter 18, verse 36 is quoted in The Augsburg Confession, Article 28: Bishops (AC 28.14) as a reminder that those with ecclesiastical authority should not also hold positions of secular authority. The two different authorities are too easily confused and mixed. This same verse is also quoted in Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope (Tp 31) to take this argument further and denounce any secular authority the pope would claim over any worldly kingdoms.


How do we atone for our sins? We don't. Any time we forget this and try to reconcile ourselves to God through our work, we deny what God has done for us in Jesus.

  • How do we talk about the biblical idea of sacrifice without connecting our work to Jesus' sacrifice?
  • How do we both announce the gospel and live in the secular world without confusing our rights and responsibilities?