Jesus and the disciples left the upper room in the early hours of Friday morning. They moved across the Kidron Valley and up the slopes of the Mount of Olives just east of Jerusalem. There Jesus instructed his disciples to pray so that Satan would not “sift” them. He withdrew to pray by himself. He poured out his soul in great agony as he anticipated the injustice and suffering that would soon come upon him.
The hymns selected for this worship service 1) reflect on the great cost of our salvation secured by the Man of Sorrows and 2) anchor our persevering faith in Him.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 145:1–3
Hymn 2: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
Note: We begin the service with an anthem that offers praise to the King of Heaven. Woven throughout the hymn, we find motivation for such adoring worship: his saving work, graciousness and mercy, eternal constancy, patience, goodness, immutability, eternality, and sovereignty. Especially appropriate for our sermon text are references to the grace He extends in days of distress, his knowledge of our human frailty, and His angels who help us adore him.
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response: Doxology
Choir: Let This Cup Pass from Me
Note: This choral piece sets the tone for our service. It invites us to imagine the setting of the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus agonized in prayer on the night before he died.
Hymn 128 Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Note: Gethsemane displayed the agony of the Man of Sorrows. Jesus yielded to the Father’s will and drank the cup of wrath in our place. Thus, he fulfilled the Father’s plan: he came “ruined sinners to reclaim.”
Scripture Reading Hebrews 5:11-6:12
Note: The author of Hebrews reminded his readers of the cost of their salvation. Through loud cries and tears, Jesus learned obedience. Thus, everyone who professes faith should make good use of such a “great salvation:” growing, maturing, and persevering in hope until the end.
Hymn 371: It Is Well with My Soul
Note: Sorrows come. Satan buffets us with trials. But we have this blessed assurance: Jesus knows all about it and cares about us. Therefore, we sing, “It is well with my soul.”
Message: Human Frailty and Divine Sovereignty
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 232 (1, 3-6, tune: 141) According to Thy Gracious Word
Notes: This hymn is a response of the Christian heart to the suffering the Lord Jesus bore on our account. Our feelings do not drive the heart’s response; biblical truth we proclaim lays the foundation for our affections.
Our congregation used to sing this hymn in preparation for the Lord’s Table. This Lord’s Day, we will omit verse 2 so that the focus will be on Gethsemane. We also used to sing it to a different tune. In this service, we will sing it to the well-known tune MARTYRDOM (141).
Prayer Response: John Miles
Benediction: John Miles