A worship service for Palm Sunday April 5 the 6thSunday of Lent
During the season of LENT (40 days before Easter) we have focused on the work of Christ – the atonement. Today marks the start of Holy Week – the last week of Jesus life. We will follow the traditional scriptural events of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. Traditional is not necessarily the actual daily events that occurred during Jesus’ last week but a way of commemorating the major significant events of that all-important week. Tradition provides a scriptural focus for each day of the week.
- Saturday – in Bethany at the home of Lazarus, Mary anointing Jesus feet
- Sunday – Jesus entrance into Jerusalem
- Monday – Cleansing of the Temple
- Tuesday – Teaching in the Temple
- Wednesday – Judas; scheme: Let’s make a deal
- Thursday – Last supper and prayer in Gethsemane
- “Good” Friday – Trial and crucifixion
- Saturday – Victorious preaching in “hell”
- Easter Sunday – Resurrection
This is a worship service that celebrates Palm Sunday. It can be used for your personal worship as well as for a family group worship.
Reading a Palm of Thanksgiving: Psalm 118
NT Reading: Ephesians 2:14-18 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Gospel Reading: John 11:12-16 Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Psalm Sunday
Songs in Worship to our Lord and Savior (Thank you Carol for the selection of these songs)
Hosanna In the Highest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmjyDmoCLTI
Hosanna In The Highest
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna (public domain) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRakE8KnFU
Hosanna Loud Hosanna Sanctuary Choir Dr. Terry Morris, Director of Traditional Music John Gearhart, Organist April 14, 2019 First Methodist Houston,
Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAaQ5EEXidc
Hosanna (by Hillsong United) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M18hQeFg0Gc
Hymn: All Glory Laud and Honor
All glory, laud and honor, To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest, The King and Blessèd One.
Message from Pastor Dan
Today is Palm Sunday and we are remembering Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on April 6,32 AD. On that day Jesus paused on the hill of Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem and wept saying, “if only you had known on this day what would bring you peace” (Luke 19:42)
The larger context is Luke 19:41-44
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you (God’s Day of Visitation).”
What was important about that Palm Sunday in the year 32 AD?
The Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 offers us this insight:
4 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[e] 25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
Daniel announced the rebuilding of the Temple. The Temple built by King Solomon had been destroyed by the Babylonian army in 586 BC. After 70 years of exile, in March 538 BC, the first year of the Persian King Cyrus, the order was given to rebuild the Temple. The foundation was laid but the work was opposed and stopped. The command to rebuild which resulted in the completion of the second Temple was issued by Artaxerxes I in 457 BC. It is significant that 483 years later, the Messiah came – AD 27 was the start of Jesus’ ministry.
Daniel’s prophecy records not only the coming of the Messiah but also the death of the Messiah and the destruction of the city. So, on the Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the people did not understand the day of Christ’s coming. God was looking for a people prepared to receive the promised Messiah as king. But the excited masses that shouted “hosanna” were looking for a revolutionary leader, a conqueror over Roman rulership. And the religious leaders who, busy plotting his death, were ignorant of the prophecies they were fulfilling.
If they had only known and recognized the significance of their day of God’s coming to them with the offer of peace. But since they rejected the terms of peace …. destruction fell upon them.
They did not know what time it was on the clock of history – it was their time of God’s visitation. They were ignorant or indifferent of the fact and missed their opportunity for peace; they spurned the immunity offered.
Luke reports that this ride was not an occasion for joy in Jesus’ life. Judgment was upon them and in deep sorrow Jesus wept (sobbed) amid the noise of crowds shouting “Hosanna”. He did not enter the city with anger over their rejection but with deep anguish and a broken heart. He wept over the things that broke the heart of God the Father. He had great sorrow over the destruction that was looming over their heads – an obliteration that was incomprehensible to them.
Jesus knew that in just 38 years, Jerusalem would be destroyed by feuding Jewish political factions, riots, revolt against the Roman oppressors and then destruction by the Roman legions in 70 AD. Jesus predicted not one stone would remain standing – the disciples were staggered at the thought that King Herod’s Temple – a massive beautiful architectural wonder of their world – could actually be demolished – and yet it was.
We might well look back on these days and say …. If only we had known.
On Saturday at the beginning of his coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, President Trump warned the nation of a deadly week ahead in the fight against the coronavirus as the number of Americans infected passed 300,000. "This will probably be the toughest week — between this week and next week,"
The sober briefing comes as the virus is spreading rapidly and more testing is revealing a steep uphill rate of infection. On March 27, the United States hit the 100,000 cases. On April 1, the number of Americans infected doubled to more than 200,000 cases. Just three days later, on Saturday, positive COVID-19 cases topped 300,000.
"We will move heaven and Earth to safeguard our great American citizens," Trump said. "We will continue to use every power, every authority, every single resource we’ve got to keep our people healthy, safe, secure and to get this thing over with. "We want to finish this war. We have to get back to work."
The nations of the world are looking for a cure to escape the coronavirus – and rightly so. We are looking for the cure that will bring peace to the war against COVID-19.
But what is it that God is wanting us to see and know – what is he preparing us for? What is coming that we need to prepare for?
We might say, if only we had known that _____ was going to die. If it is you or a close friend or family member …. Are you or they ready to stand before God?
Do you my friend recognize the day of the Lords coming to you? Have you heard the terms of peace and have you accepted Christs offer of peace?
Romans 13:11 says: And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
This COVID-19 pandemic is a time to wake up from slumber of ignorance and a focus on comforts of this life. It is a time to repent and turn to God.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Luke 19 which records Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem also gives us two other glimpses of the time of visitation. Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus was given a visitation and he responded with a yes.
9 Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:11-27 in the Parable of Ten Minas, Jesus tells them the day of accountability and judgment has come. Those that buried the treasure of the Kingdom were judged. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”
We live in an age where there is little fear of God or of judgment – we think doctors, scientist, smart research talent, drug companies, or the ever-advancing evolution of man will be our salvation. We do not recognize the coming judgment is drawing close. We are more concerned about loss of jobs and food and comforts than we are afraid of God. But a day of visitation is given to each of us.
God calls sinners to repent. Only Jesus can save.
Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
For what might we be judged?
· A nation has turned its back on God’s order for life and morality.
· God has been taken out of our schools and lives … separation of Church and state.
· Millions of babies are aborted and laws are passed to defend and celebrate abortion even up to birth.
· Violence is celebrated in games and movies – until the violence is acted out in our streets. Then we point fingers at symptoms.
· Homes are wracked with abuse and children are abandoned by parents.
· Children are in rebellion against parents and those in authority.
· Deaths of despair and hopelessness from drugs, alcohol, suicide are greater than the deaths of COVID-19 yet we blithely go on.
· Homelessness and poverty have increasingly crowded our streets amid prosperity and abundance.
· Yet now, unemployment has sky rocketed amid an economic free fall.
Times of personal and societal crisis can cause us to see things more clearly. Will everyone get the message? Judging by the response of many, the answer is “no.” But Christians should.
After 911 we adjusted to a new normal – things did not return to the freedoms previously enjoyed. We have gotten used to increased security check points and lines at airports and bag checks at concerts and sports events.
Now here is a new threat – an unseen virus … we want things to return to normal but they might not. There are worse things coming if we believe the prophecies of Revelation.
Are we using these days to prepare ourselves and our children well?
I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the Word, read your Bibles and spend time with your family." Repent and seek the Lord. Understand God’s terms of Peace and prepare to meet your God.
STEP 1 God loves you and has a plan for you!
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” — a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).
STEP 2 People are sinful and separated from God.
We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
STEP 3 God sent His Son to die for your sins!
Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!
“Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
STEP 4 Receive God’s forgiveness
We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty.
Here is a prayer below to accept Christ as your Savior.
"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."
Jesus Saves https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCv6ECwmPDk
Jesus saves with lyrics – Travis Cottrell from the album: Ring the bells (2011) Support the artist ministry, buy the CD! This video is displaying beautiful water fountain recordings captured in Barcelona, Spain!