In Luke 22:35-38 Jesus challenged his disciples to prepare for a change in their ministry. Previously, they were well received by many as they proclaimed the message of Christ and his kingdom. But the King was about to be crucified. Those who despised him would despise his followers, as well. This change in their circumstances should not dishearten them. Jesus’ death occurred according to the eternal plan of the Sovereign God who sent him to be the Suffering Servant (cf. Isaiah 53) who “bore the sin of many.”
The hymns in this worship service encourage followers of Christ to faithfully serve the King, even if it means difficulty; this is the will of God for us.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Prelude: “Everlasting Life,” by David Rasbach; Lyrics, John 3:16-17
Call to Worship: Psalm 117:1-7
Note: In the sermon text, Jesus warns his disciples to be prepared for difficult and dangerous days ahead; their mission would not be easy. But our anthem of praise reminds us that despite the difficulty of the work . . .
The Lord is never far away, But, thro’ all grief distressing,
An everpresent help and stay, Our peace, and joy, and blessing
Scripture Reading Psalm 52:13-53:12
Note: The Lord explained to his disciples that the difficult days ahead were inseparably connected to his role as the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53. Israel rejected him, but this was not the failure of his work; the cross was the very plan of God.
Hymn 589 Soldiers of Christ, Arise
Note: This classic hymn states the Christian’s duty. Echoing Ephesians 6:10-20, Charles Wesley’s famous hymn calls us to put on the panoply (full armor) that God provides, to stand firm, and yield no ground in this spiritual conflict. This is the significance of Jesus’ command to his disciples to take up a sword. In the power of God, we can, we must “win the well-fought day.”
Hymn 168 The Victor
Note: Thomas Kelly reminds us of the great hope of those who follow Jesus: “They suffer with their Lord below, They reign with Him above.” Christ bore the cross with its shame and death; it is “His people’s hope, His people’s wealth, Their everlasting theme.”
Message: Change and Certainty
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 403 I’m Not Ashamed
Note: In view of Christ’s work as God’s “Suffering Servant” who bore our transgressions, we declare our appropriate resolve with lyrics provided by Isaac Watts:
I’m not ashamed to own my Lord,
Or to defend His cause;
Maintain the honor of His Word,
The glory of His cross.
Prayer Response: Jon Lont
Benediction: John Miles