Bible Readings for Week of April 9

Today is Palm/Passion Sunday.  We begin worship with the songs of joy and praise as Jesus entered Jerusalem, hailed as the Messiah, but humbly riding on a donkey.  The Processional Gospel is recorded in John 12:12-19.

What are our words about Jesus?  Is He our King and Lord?  Do we bear witness to what He has done for our salvation and in our lives?  Do we call others to join us in singing His praises?  Let us be faithful witnesses by word and deed to what Jesus has done.
All glory, laud, and honor, to You redeemer King!  May our words and actions give You the honor, glory, and praise that You deserve.  Hosanna to You, Lord save us by Your grace!  Amen.
 
In the Second Reading, recorded in Isaiah 50:4-9a, we see a prophecy about Jesus, Who would come some 600 years after Isaiah spoke.  Notice how Isaiah’s prophecy points to and exalts Jesus – Jesus is faithful to follow the heavenly Father, even to the point of being treated with contempt; but notice that Jesus relies on the vindication of the heavenly Father.  As Jesus’ disciples, let us follow the Lord, and let us be bold to proclaim the truth of God, even in the face of persecution.
Lord Jesus, You faced the hostility and reviling of others, even to the point of dying on the cross for us.  Yet, through it all You entrusted Yourself into the hands of the heavenly Father.  By Your Holy Spirit, enable us also to face the hostility of others, knowing that through You we are safe in the heavenly Father’s hands, and that He will raise us up because You have made us Your own.  Amen.
 
The psalm, 31:9-16, is a psalm of lament.  The psalmist is facing great hardship from his enemies, but notice that he trusts in the Lord.  Put these words in Jesus’ mouth on Palm/Passion Sunday, notice how these words fit Him; even to His taking our iniquity/sin upon Himself and suffering the punishment we deserve, yet always trusting in His heavenly Father.  May we trust as Jesus did.
Lord Jesus, as You always trusted the heavenly Father, so enable us to trust as well.  There are so many temptations to turn away, keep us steadfast in faith, and when we fail, forgive us again for Your sake.  Amen.
 
The reading from Philippians 2:5-11 is an ancient hymn of the Church.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had the music to this ancient hymn so that we could sing it as our ancestors in the faith did almost 2,000 years ago?  Notice what this hymn says about Jesus – it recounts His laying aside His divine glory, His incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection.  Notice what will happen as a result of Jesus’ willing obedience to the will of the heavenly Father – at the Name of Jesus every creature will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!  Let us not only proclaim Him as Lord, but also as Savior of all who believe.
Loving Lord Jesus, we join Your disciples of all time and all places in praise of You.  Because of Your love for us You laid aside Your divine glory, taking on the form of humanity, dying, and rising for our salvation.  May our words and actions always lift You up and proclaim You as Lord and Savior.  Amen.
The Gospel is the Passion account of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, 26:1-27:66.  Listen closely to all that happened to Jesus, and keep in mind that at any point He could have called the whole thing off, He could have refused to die for our redemption; but He willingly went to the cross so that God’s righteous demands could be met, and we could be reconciled to God and to each other through Jesus.  May His love for us overwhelm us again so that we are drawn more closely to Him in faith, hope, and love.  May we, like the woman who poured the ointment on Jesus’ head, pour out our love for Him through worship, growth in faith, and service in His Name.
Lord Jesus, we are humbled as we see all that You went through to redeem us.  Open us up more and more to You each day, and, like the woman with the ointment, pour us out in praise and thankgiving to You and in service to those around us who need Your grace and mercy.  Amen.
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