Good Friday celebrations were held across Shanghai, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Sichuan, and Fujian churches.
On April 7, Good Friday, Hudong Church in Shanghai conducted a service to commemorate the passion of Jesus Christ, in which Pastor Ruth Zhang shared a sermon titled "Jesus on the Cross", citing Luke 23: 33-49.
She first explained that Jesus’ death was a sacrifice, saying that as the wages of sin was death, sinful people had no access to God and no hope of life. Jesus is a lamb without sin, and He can forgive people of their sins. By one sacrifice, He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. God gave Christians victory through Jesus, whose death was His perfect plan of redemption, the pastor added.
Adorned by candles on the altar, Huxi Church in Shanghai held a special gathering of the Youth Fellowship to meditate on the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross.
Changtu County Church in Tieling City, Liaoning Province, held a worship service with two "unexpected harvests."
After reading Matthew 26:57-68 and Isaiah 53:4-7, Elder Chen Yu, the person in charge of the church, preached a sermon titled "Christ-Silent Lamb", hosting a baptism and communion service later.
Two believers, who once sued the church and church leaders and were sent to the detention center for petitioning the town government for trouble, were inspired by the redemption of the Lord on the cross. They cried their eyes out and took communion after prayers. They rarely came to church to attend meetings before, and even if they did, they didn't listen to sermons or take communion.
Before the baptism, originally for one female church member, three seekers asked to be baptized because they intended to accept Jesus Christ as their savior. The family of God has added three more members.
Sicheng Church in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, held a service recalling the 14 stations of the cross that Jesus Christ experienced. Through reading the Bible and praying, churchgoers commemorated His crucifixion and sacrifice as white candles were lit in the front.
Banshan Church in Hangzhou held a special service with spiritual reflections on the "Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross" from pastors, elders, and staff workers, followed by a communion service.
Gracious Light Church (or Enguang Church) in Chengdu, Sichuan, carried out a prayer meeting with a meditation on "Fourteen Stations on the Way of the Cross."
At the beginning of the meeting, church staff distributed card paper and pens to attendees, who were invited to write down what they most needed to change and break through. In the next session, by candlelight, church staff recited the fourteen stations of the cross and related scriptures in turn.
At the end of the prayer meeting, the leader guided worshippers to go to the altar and nail the cards to the cross in front of the altar, implying to crucify the old self with Jesus on the cross again and to live a life for the Lord.
During the service held at Zhushu Church in Xiamen City, Fujian Province, Rev. Yang Yingping shared a sermon with the title "Meditate on the Lord's Cross", citing 1 Corinthians 1: 22-23.
Starting with the topic "The Cross-Symbol of Redemption," Pastor Yang claimed that in the Roman Empire at that time, the cross was originally a shameful symbol of sin and death, but because of the Lord Jesus, the cross became a symbol of redemption and a glorious sign of eternal life and victory.
Then, the pastor explained to believers the next topic "The Cross-Sovereign Love of God", stating that Jesus was crucified not for others, but for each of them.
After the communion service hosted by Senior Pastor Wu Ruizhang, the worship service concluded with a hymn in the southern Fujian language.
- Translated by Abigail Wu