Sunday of the Passion
April 2, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
We extend the hand of fellowship to all who worship here this morning. May all present grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in a love and desire to serve Him. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book located on the table in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Pastor Josh or the lay assistant for the day will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our parish. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee Hour/Fellowship Hour following worship. Do join us and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!
AS WE GATHER Blessed Is He
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem signals the beginning of our Holy Week observance. The joyful shouts of “Hosanna!” that greeted Jesus as he entered the Holy City soon gave way to a different chant by the people: “Crucify him, crucify him!”
In today’s service, we will observe the stark contrast between these two realities. Our hosannas will ring loud and clear. Very quickly, however, our rejoicing will be silenced as we step back and ponder the great sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. The reading from the Gospel of St Matthew will prepare us for the coming week
as we follow our Savior through his suffering and death and finally raise our voices again in praise of his glorious resurrection.
PROCESSION OF PALMS
If the congregation is already seated in the nave, it now stands and faces the processional cross at the entrance to the nave.
The grace of our Lord ☩ Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna to the Son of David.
HOLY GOSPEL John 12:12–19
The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the twelfth chapter.
Glory to You, O Lord.
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So, they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So, the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.
Let us go forth in peace,
in the name of the Lord.
When all have arrived at their places, the procession concludes with the following:
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION Based on Philippians 2:5–11; Psalm 118:23
Lord Jesus, on this day when we remember Your entry into Jerusalem as King and Savior, we walk with You to Your cross, where Your righteousness is given to all who believe. Search our hearts and minds that we may receive Your Word, share in Your Spirit, and be renewed in our relationships with You and with one another.
We take a moment of silence for personal prayers of confession.
With humble hearts, let us pray together.
Lord Jesus, the Father’s only Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords, hear us as we pray.
You reign over all things and yet humbled Yourself for our salvation.
We confess that our rebellion against You in thought, word, and action is the reason why You entered into this world.
It is why You passed through the gates of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and why You laid down Your life upon Calvary’s cross on Good Friday— to forgive our sins, to redeem our lives, and to cancel the debt we owe to God.
With hearts that are humble and lives that are grateful, help us to receive Your grace and bow before You in worship, confessing that You alone are Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, shows His mercy to us in the sending of His only Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords. The One who entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was handed over to death upon the cross so that we may be reconciled to the Father and granted His remission, full and free. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Because of our King’s mercy, the gates of righteousness are opened to us.
“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”
PASSING of PEACE
[The congregation is encouraged to share the peace of Christ and greet one another with the words: “The Lord’s peace be with you.” The response: “And also with you.”]
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Sovereign God, you have established your rule in the human heart through the servanthood of Jesus Christ. By your Spirit, keep us in the joyful procession of those who with their tongues confess Jesus as Lord and with their lives praise him as Savior, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
OLD TESTAMENT READING Zechariah 9:9–10
[The prophet Zachariah speaks of the messianic king humbly riding on the foal of a donkey, predicting the triumphant future coming of The Prince of Peace into Jerusalem with shouts of Hosanna!]
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
SECOND LESSON Philippians 2:5-11
[Paul quotes from an early Christian hymn that describes Jesus’ humble obedience, even to death, and his exaltation as Lord of all.]
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. ‘Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL Matthew 27:11-54
The holy Gospel is written in the 27th chapter of Matthew, beginning with the 11th verse.
Glory to You, O Lord
[In fulfillment of scripture and obedience to God’s will, Jesus goes to the cross so that a new covenant in his blood may bring forgiveness of sin. Even the soldiers who crucify him recognize him as the Son of God.]
…Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jesus?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.
Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time, they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So, when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew it was out of envy that they handed Jesus over to him.
While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and have Jesus executed.
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” ask the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his hear. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself. Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani!”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
The Gospel of our Lord. Praise to You, O Christ!
SERMON The Disciples--John 12:12-19 Pr. Josh - Series by: Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life ☩ everlasting. Amen.
Gracious God, we bring before you a portion of what you first gave us and with these gifts our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, our Savior and Lord. Amen
PRAYERS of THE CHURCH
The Lord be with you.
And also, with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
WORDS of INSTITUTION
Our Father who art in heaven;
hallowed be Thy Name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil;
For thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen
The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also, with you.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
We thank you, O God, for the free gift of righteousness and peace in Jesus Christ, whose body and blood have nourished us here. Lead us out from this house of prayer to the places you will show us, so that we will be a blessing to others in the Name of Christ, our Redeemer and Lord. Amen
With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done!
Be sure to get your copy…
• Grace Connections Newsletter – April/2023
• Portals of Prayer – April/2023
Copies can be found on the table in the main entry way.
THE PRESENCE of CHRIST is celebrated in The Lord’s Supper. He comes to us in a real and present way with his life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament to assure us of our forgiveness and to strengthen us in faith and service. All who trust and believe the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” are welcome. Come, receive Christ’s presence in the meal prepared for you. Enjoy his presence. Children are encouraged to come forward with their parents and/or grandparents and receive a blessing.
SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY — There will be no Bible Study on Easter Sunday, April 9th and on Sunday, April 16th, 2023. Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming Sunday Morning Bible Study.
CUB SCOUT VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED — Cub Scouts Volunteers are still needed—as was previously announced a volunteer is needed each Thursday afternoon from 2:45-4:30 to unlock and then lock the Fireside Room for the Cub Scouts. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the back of the sanctuary. Volunteers are needed for April and May. Please consider signing up. It’s an easy job!
LILIES FOR EASTER — Would you like to help decorate our Chancel for Easter by providing a potted lily plant? You may bring your lily to the church during our regular office hours (Tuesday – Thursday, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM), or on Easter Sunday morning. Following our Easter Sunday Service, you may pick up your lily, or leave it for one of our homebound parish members.
Our “Easter Brunch Connection” will be held on Sunday, April 9th immediately following our Easter Service. If you can bring a food item, please sign up on the posted sign on the Blessings Board near the Administration Wing. (By the stairs)
CHURCH COUNCIL — Copies of the March 14th Church Council minutes are available on the table as you enter the Sanctuary. The next church Council meeting is April 18th at 12:30 in the library.”
THIS WEEK AT GRACE
April 3rd – April 9th, 2023
MONDAY, the 3rd - Minors Mariners Baseball @ Ashland Little League/Field 1 5:30 PM
TUESDAY, the 4th - Lay Ministry Meeting 12:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, the 5th - Choir Rehearsal 7:00 PM
THURSDAY, the 6th - Cub Scouts 3:00 PM
Maundy Worship Service 7:00 PM
FRIDAY, the 7th - Good Friday Worship Service 7:00 PM
SATURDAY, the 8th - Men’s Breakfast Study is cancelled
SUNDAY, the 9th - Bible Study - cancelled
Sunday School - cancelled
Easter Sunday Worship 10:00 AM
Easter Brunch Connection 11:00 AM