Jesus had set his face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) and was resolved to traverse that path to the bitter end. He explained to the Twelve disciples multiple times that a rendezvous with death awaited him in that city. In the sermon text for this Lord’s Day (Luke 18:31-34), Jesus explained this once again, but this time added graphic details of his shameful death which would be followed by his resurrection. The disciples were confused; they simply could not grasp the idea of a Messiah who dies. Only the resurrection of Jesus would open their eyes of understanding.
The hymns for the service begin with a call to worship the God whose ways are beyond our ability to comprehend. The remaining hymns rehearse the details of Jesus’ teaching that day: that what awaited him in Jerusalem was promised in the Old Testament, that he would die, and he would be raised to life. Praise God that we do not share the disciples’ confusion; we know the end of the story. We sing about that in the final hymn.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Romans 11:33-36
Hymn Insert Give Praise to God
Note: The Lord God works his will and accomplishes his saving purposes according to his own plan for his own glory. Even though we do not and cannot comprehend his ways, we know that things good and true come only from God. Therefore, we sing “give praise to God alone.”
Hymn 126 (1, 3-5) Hark! The Glad Sound
Note: In the sermon text, Jesus explains to the Twelve yet again what awaits him in Jerusalem. His crucifixion was no accident of history but was planned in the eternal counsels of the Godhead, prophesied in the Scriptures, and diligently pursued by Jesus. He was the “Savior promised long” who came “the prisoners to relieve” (cf. Luke 4:18-21).
Scripture Reading Isaiah 50:5-9
Note: In the sermon text Jesus described his suffering and death using the language of Isaiah, the prophet who foretold the coming of the “Suffering Servant.”
Hymn 139 O Sacred Head Now Wounded
Notes: Jesus explained to the disciples that in Jerusalem he would be handed over to be killed in a shameful and brutal manner. On the cross, his “sacred Head” was wounded, weighed down with grief and shame, surrounded with thorns, despised and gory. Yet this awful scene changes everything for those who trust Him. In Him we find joy (1), grace (2), love (3), and “pity without end” (4).
Message: The Path: Prophecy, Resolve, and Confusion
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 128 Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Note: The disciples were confused at Jesus’ teaching. A Messiah who suffered and died did not fit their expectations. It would not be until after the resurrection that their eyes were opened to understand that the cross must come before the crown. In this hymn, we contemplate the cross but unlike the disciples on the road to Jerusalem, we know the end of the story. The final stanza anticipates the return of the risen and glorious King. So we sing, “Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Prayer Response: Mike Towry
Benediction: John Miles