This Lord’s Day is traditionally known as “Palm Sunday,”—the day Jesus entered Jerusalem at the beginning of his Passion Week. It is fitting that our sermon text describes an encounter Jesus had with his opponents near the end of that week. They approached Jesus with a question about the resurrection. It was an attempt to entrap Jesus because they did not believe in resurrection. Rather than falling into the trap, Jesus shamed and silenced them. In his reply, he affirmed our resurrection hope.
The hymns selected for this service echo this resurrection hope.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Hymn 11 All Glory, Laud, and Honor
Notes: We begin the worship service with an anthem that recalls the Lord’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as the crowds spread palms before him—a moment that should have removed any lingering doubts about his identity as Israel’s King. Yet, Jesus’ first coming ended in crucifixion. But we anticipate a Coming that shall have a different result. We, too, shall honor him as “He comes, a King most glorious.”
Call to Worship: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Hymn 427 My Hope Is in the Lord
Note: Jesus is our only hope and with confidence, we sing, “For me he died; for me he lives.” These two elements of the gospel story guarantee everlasting life to all who trust him.
Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Note: The sermon text describes a confrontation between Jesus and a group called the Sadducees. They were the theological liberals of that day. They sought to embarrass Jesus with an argument against the resurrection. But Jesus put them to shame. Paul would later write, “Where 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?”
Hymn 342 When This Passing World is Done
Note: Robert Murray McCheyne helps us contemplate the greatness of the debt we owe to our God. Though we have nothing to offer him and contribute nothing to our eternal salvation, we know that he will raise the faithful to be with him forever. One day we will “stand with Christ on high” and will join the “praise of heaven.”
Message: The God of the Living
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 28 How Great Thou Art
Notes: This hymn was composed about 1885 by a Swedish pastor. It was translated into English in 1927 by a missionary serving in Ukraine. The first two verses express wonder at the greatness of the Creator. But to think that such a great God would send his Son to die for us evokes the greatest wonder. The final verse anticipates the return of Christ and the fulfillment of the promise, “so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Prayer Response: John Miles
Benediction: John Miles