Announcements for the Week of March 25, 2018

3Crosses“They contemplate Christ’s passion aright who view it with a terror stricken heart and a despairing conscience. This terror must be felt as you witness the stern wrath and the unchanging earnestness with which God looks upon sin and sinners, so much so that he was unwilling to release sinners even for his only and dearest Son without his payment of the severest penalty for them.” (Luther)

 

18-03-25, Palm Sunday, Sunday of the Passion, BA-2018B

 

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The Passion of our Lord, Matthew 26:1-27:66

“The Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified” (Matthew 26:2).

It is all coming down to this. Today in the Church Year is Palm Sunday. It is also called, “Sunday of the Passion.” Today is the beginning of Holy Week. With Jesus riding on a donkey, He enters into Jerusalem, receiving acclamations of praise and honor from the people, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9).

That word “hosanna” is an Aramaic word for “Help/Save, I pray.” It is a calling out for divine help, and most appropriately prayed to our Lord always, not least of all on Palm Sunday. The people were right to pray these words as the Lord Jesus entered into Jerusalem, for divine help only comes from Him who sent His Son for the true and lasting divine help of everlasting peace with God.

The people were right to acclaim Jesus as “the Son of David,” for so He was. Jesus was David’s son, David’s descendant, and David’s Lord (Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:44). Jesus was of the line of David, the Son promised of old by Nathan the prophet who had prophesied to King David, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

God fulfilled these words in Jesus His Son, David’s descendant and Lord. Jesus was that seed whose kingdom the Father established. Jesus built a house for God’s Name and the throne of His kingdom is now established forever.

The people were right to cry out “Hosanna.” They were right to give Jesus the title, “Son of David.” They were also right to call out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” And with these latter words, they proclaimed that the One riding on the donkey was He who comes in the Name of the Lord. They identified Jesus as not coming of Himself or of another, but in the Name of the Lord. By these words, they made clear that Jesus was no counterfeit, but the real deal. Jesus was no imposter, but One whom the Father sent.

By these words of praise and honor given to Jesus and about Jesus, it would seem that the people of Jerusalem fully recognized Jesus’ identity. It would seem as if they knew who Jesus really was, not only Jesus the man, but Jesus, God in the flesh (John 1:14). It would also seem as if they were ready and prepared for the kind of kingdom God was going to establish through Him, that they acknowledged the kind of Jesus that Jesus was.

Yet, comparing the day that Jesus entered into Jerusalem on a donkey to the events later that Holy Week would seem to upset the balance. The Jesus welcomed on Palm Sunday seems a different Jesus than the Jesus hanging on the tree. The Jesus honored and praised as “Son of David” and “He who comes in the name of the Lord” seems different from the one of whom the people shouted, “Let Him be crucified” (Matthew 27:23). The man who the people call “Blessed” seems different from the man mocked with the scarlet robe and crown of thrones, blasphemed, and crucified.

One might think that the Jesus of Palm Sunday is not the same Jesus of Good Friday, or, that somehow, the Jesus of Good Friday is not the kind of Jesus that we’re looking for.   The Jesus of Good Friday is weak—meek—bruised—and beaten. He’s not only suffering and dying. He’s dead. This isn’t what kind of one we think of with the words “come in the name of the Lord” and “Son of David,” son of the mighty king whose heart was after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

One who comes “in the Name of the Lord” should be strong. The “Son of David” should not be defeated. He should be alive, living, and thriving. He should be conquering, overcoming and advancing the kingdom. He should be all-powerful, and un-stoppable.

But the kind of Jesus that the Father sent, the kind of Jesus that you have, is not the one molded or modeled according to sinners and their thoughts and their ways. The kind of Jesus that the Father sent, the kind of Jesus that you have, is indeed One whose heart is after God’s own heart.

This Jesus, “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).

The Jesus of Palm Sunday, the Jesus of the Transfiguration, the healer of the blind, the lame, the deaf, and the mute, and the raiser of the dead is the same Jesus of suffering, thorns, beatings, mocking, blasphemies, crucifixion, and yes, even death. This Jesus is not the Savior of the sinless, but of sinners only. Those who are well have no need of a physician. Only those who are sick do (Matthew 9:12).

Jesus is that physician of the sick. He is the great physician, who alone heals you by taking all of that which condemns you and makes it His own. He takes it from you so that it is no longer yours, but His, and puts it to death on the cross.

He who “knew no sin” was made “to be sin for us” (1 Corinthians 5:21).

The beatings and the mocking, the blasphemies and the thorns, the insults and the injuries, the suffering, the crucifying, and the death—were yours. Jesus took them for you. Through these so-called weaknesses, salvation is yours—just because Jesus conformed to the will of His Father and suffered and yes, even died, for your sake.

If Jesus had done anything different, if He would have called down a legion of angels when He was arrested, if he would have come down from the cross and saved Himself, then you would still be in your sin, and have nothing but the consequence of eternal death upon you, now and into eternity.

But because Jesus was and is strong and mighty against the devil, because He conquered sin and death through His death, you now live and have life, for all eternity.

Because we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), we don’t judge according to appearance. We “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), with the Word of God. Life (and the church) might not look like much at times, but it need not to. Jesus wasn’t what people expected. But the same Jesus of Good Friday is the same Jesus of Easter Sunday. “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). Amen.

Announcements for the week of April 13, 2014

 

JesusOnCross2And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. “For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ “Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘ “For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. (Luke 23:27-34)

14-04-13, PsalmSunday-PassionOfOurLord, LSB.Sunday1, 3, 5, DS4WithCommunion, 2014A, Readings

14-04-13, PalmSunday-SundayOfThePassion, BA-2014A

 

 

Meditation for Good Friday


The account of our Lord’s Passion, His suffering and His death by crucifixion, should be discomforting to our ears.  That one man suffered such horrible treatment is almost unimaginable.  The last days and hours of the man Jesus are unequaled in all of history.  But the treatment of Jesus by sinful men and His temporary end is not the entire focus of our meditation this sorrowful evening.

That Jesus suffered as an innocent man is not the center of our attention on this somber night, for on that day of Good Friday, the righteous justice of God was meted out.

On that day, One man was accused.  Charges were brought against Him.  And on the testimony of witnesses, that Man was condemned to die.

On that day, they executed the Innocent Jesus for crimes He had not committed.  Jesus suffered at the hands of sinful men for wrongdoings that He had not done.  Jesus bore the just punishment of a just God who hates sin and will not allow sinful man to stand in His presence.

But Jesus was not a sinner.  He had no sin of His own to claim.  Jesus was not a wrongdoer.  He had done nothing wrong.  He only fully did and fully spoke as His heavenly Father had given Him to speak and to do.

Therefore, Jesus had not suffered what He suffered nor experience what He experienced because of His own sin.  What led this man, our beautiful savior, to such a state of affairs, was not what He did or what He did not do.  Jesus was not judged because of His own guilt.

Jesus did not die on the cross because of His own disobedience to God.  Jesus did not die for His own sin.  Jesus died for ours.  Jesus suffered and died in order that we, the justly judged and condemned sinners before God, would be saved from sin, death, and hell.

You deserved to be that man on the cross.  But because of God’s grace and mercy, you are not that man.  Because of God’s mercy, Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself – for you.  He nailed your sin to that tree of death.  He buried the power of sin in His grave.

But what are we to make of the whip, the crown of thorns, the nails, the suffering, the pain, the dying of our Lord?

Many wonder why we call this day ‘Good’.  As we consider this Friday of Fridays, we see nothing but agony and suffering.  And how can this be good?  Many sorrow for Christ in His last hours, it is true.  But many stop only at sorrow for Him in their consideration of the passion.  Many only pity the Jesus unjustly condemned and go no further.  Many only see the scourging, the thorns, the nails, the suffering, and the pain that Jesus suffered, and only lament that these things ever happened, but they fail to go beyond the mere appearance and get to the very of the matter.

But our meditations this night don’t stop at mere appearances or emotional laments.  If they do, you will fail to see the Passion of Christ rightly.  If you only see Christ in His sufferings and fail to recognize why Jesus set His face like flint to suffer and die as He had, you will not see Him rightly as your savior.  If you only pity Christ and nothing more, you are to be the most pitied.

God is not moved to compassion towards you because you pity Christ.  Rather, God has compassion toward you because of Christ.  Your sadness for Christ does not save you.  It is God’s mercy towards you in the suffering Christ that saves you.

God shows mercy towards sinners.  This is what Christ’s Passion is all about.  Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.  If you fail to recognize that His love for you is what led Him to His death, you have no savior.  And if you fail to recognize that Jesus died in order to save you from your sin, you have no savior in Him.

Jesus died on the accursed cross in order to take your place there.  You deserve to be on that cross because of your sin, because of your idolatry, because of your lack of love for God and neighbor, because of your hypocrisy, and because of your selfishness.   Because of your sin before God and men, you deserve to be where Jesus was on that cross.

We sorrow this day, but not for Christ.  We sorrow for ourselves.  We sorrow for our sin, for it is from this sin for which Jesus died to deliver us, and it is from this very sin from which Jesus does deliver us by means of His own blood.

Before God, no fault is greater than another’s fault.  My sin is not greater than your sin, nor is your sin greater than my sin.  Before the Holy God, all sin is alike.

Before God, we are all equally guilty.  No sin is greater than another.  We might distinguish between greater sins and lesser sins, but God doesn’t.  To Him, you are either completely innocent or entirely guilty.  And without Christ, we stand only as condemned sinners, deserving only of eternal death and hell.

You deserve everything that Christ suffered that fateful day – the lashes, the mocking, the crown of thorns, the beatings, and the cross.  This is how to see the passion of Christ rightly.

Seeing yourselves in Christ on that day called Good Friday means that you see Christ’s passion rightly, that you see Christ bearing your sufferings, not for Himself, but for you.  And as you learn to say, “me” in Christ’s suffering, so you also learn to say, “He” in your suffering.

Because of Christ, you stand innocent before God’s judgment seat.  Because of Christ, God declares you not guilty, because on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty of death for all of your sin.  This does not mean that you now have the freedom to sin, but it does certainly mean that you now have the freedom to freely serve the Lord rightly-by faith, and not by threat of judgment and death.

As you learn to see yourselves as deserving of what Christ suffered, you learn to see the Passion of Christ rightly.  And you learn to see that your sufferings in this life, as Christians, for righteousness sake, is a partaking of Christ’s Passion.  What is yours, sin, death, and hell, has become His; and what is His, righteousness, life, and heaven, has become yours.  Jesus’ death now also means your death to sin.  And His resurrection three days later means also your resurrection unto life.  Amen.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, look not upon our sins, but see Your only begotten Son, who, in our stead, took upon Himself our sins and even our death, that we might have eternal life.  Amen.

Readings for Good Friday

 

Isaiah 52:13—53:12

        13Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.  14As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—15so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.  1Who has believed what they heard from us?  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?  2For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

        and no beauty that we should desire him.  3He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

        4Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  5But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.  6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

        7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.  8By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?  9And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

        10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.  12Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9

14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. . . .

      5:7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

John 18:1—19:42

1When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

      12So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

      15Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

      19The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

      25Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

      28Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

      33So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

      After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

      19:1Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

      12From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

      So they took Jesus, 17and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

      23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

     “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”27Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

      28After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

      31Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

      38After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

 

 

Readings for Tuesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 49:1–7

        1Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar.  The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.  2He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.  3And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”  4But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.”

         5And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him—for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength—6he says:  “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

        7Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers:  “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

1 Corinthians 1:18–31

18The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,

      “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

      26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

John 12:23-50

23Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

      27“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

      When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

      “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

        40“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

41Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

      44And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, grant us by Your grace so to pass through this holy time of our Lord’s passion that we may obtain the forgiveness of our sins; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Readings for Monday of Holy Week

 

Isaiah 50:5–10

5The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious;I turned not backward.  6I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.

7But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

8He who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together.   Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.

9Behold, the Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty?  Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.  10Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

 

Hebrews 9:11–15

11When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

 

John 12:1–23

1Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table. 3Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

9When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

12The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

20Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

 

Prayer: Almighty God, grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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