Palm Sunday – The Sunday of the Passion

The Sixth Sunday in Lent

We were part of both Crowds


            One Sunday a pastor was serving as a guest minister in a church  he’d never been to before. As he stood in

 the pulpit to begin the sermon, he tapped the microphone to make sure that it was on. He heard nothing, even though, it was working fine. So he leaned a little closer to the microphone and said softly to himself – he thought –  “There is something wrong with this thing.” The congregation, being well-trained “church people” promptly responded, “And also with you.”

            This story illustrates the danger of the familiar. We can be so steeped in routine that we stop paying attention to what we are doing and saying.  For example, it can become dangerous to drive on a road that you drive on every single day, dangerous because a person can stop being alert and can take things for granted….figuring you can drive this route almost with your eyes closed.  If something different happens on the road you might not notice it at all… at least, until it’s too late.   Another example is that husband or wife who can get into a routine such that he/she soon takes for granted all the things their spouse does.   In fact, you can become so “numb” to all that your spouse does (meals cooked, garbage taken out, laundry done, yard mowed, children taken care of, and other chores) that before long you don’t even realize that those things are being done by him or her. And before you know it, you’re tempted to think that you’re the only one putting any effort into the relationship.  Parents also can take their children for granted….and children can take their parents for granted too…..not appreciating how important those people are to our lives – until they move or pass away.  And then it’s often too late to appreciate them as we should….

            This is also the danger we face as we come to the Easter season. The accounts of the Triumphal Entry, the Cross, and Easter are so familiar and routine to most of us that we can easily go through the motions of a celebration without really allowing the message of these events to touch our hearts, souls and minds the way it should.   The challenge every year is to read and learn from these accounts with “fresh eyes.”   So please join me, then, this morning as we start Holy Week by looking at the familiar accounts of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and His crucifixion.   We will do it a bit differently this morning, though, as we look at Jesus through the “eyes” of some of the various groups of people who were in the crowd watching (and thinking about) Him that first Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

            Jesus entered Jerusalem amid shouts of welcome and triumph from an optimistic, enthusiastic collection of disciples and followers.   But not everyone was enthusiastic.    Yet, days later, many from that same crowd would condemn Him to death on Good Friday.   Some of the people in those crowds were merely spectators – an event was occurring and they wanted to be part of it.    Others were inquisitive – especially in light of the fact that Jesus had recently raised Lazarus of nearby Bethany from the dead after four days in the grave.   There were also people who were in the crowd because they were just “doing their job” (the Roman soldiers on crowd and crucifixion control).   Still others gathered there who were suspicious, hateful, and determined to get rid of Jesus.   And there finally were those people, like the Greek-Jews, who were genuinely interested in Jesus and who wanted to meet Him in order to learn whether or not He was the Promised Messiah.    Through our Sermon Text taken from both Mark’s and Matthew’s Gospels and their respective accounts of the Palm Sunday proceedings and Good Friday, we’ll observe that, among the various faces in the crowds that acclaimed and then condemned Jesus, we can find our own faces.   Hopefully, we’ll make a number of appropriate Spiritual applications in connection with these two crowds and their attitude toward Jesus.

Today on the Church’s Calendar

                  On the Lutheran Church’s “church calendar” this morning is recognized as Palm Sunday, the day which marks the beginning of that which is aptly called “Holy Week,”  that special week of the church year during which the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord are celebrated with greater reverence and devotion than perhaps at any other time during the year.  It is also known by the liturgical name “The Sunday of the Passion.”   Both designations serve to emphasize that with this Sunday the intensity of Christ’s “passion” ( sufferings for our sins) significantly increases as He enters Jerusalem and proceeds through the events of Holy Week until they culminate with His death on Good Friday and His resurrection three days later.   In order for us to properly celebrate these days we need to do much more than just hear a report of what once hap­pened to Jesus in Jerusalem, before Pilate, and on Golgotha.  We need to realize anew that our lives are connected to, and responsible for the events that constitute the Passion History of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

            And so, through the eyes of faith please join your fellow worshipers in following Jesus as He begins that first Holy Week by entering Jerusalem to the waving of palm branches and the shouts of “Hosanna” acclaiming Him as the King of Kings.   And let’s continue to follow our Savior throughout this Holy Week – on Maundy Thursday as He institutes the Lord’s Supper and later agonizes in prayer for Himself and us in Geth­semane before He suffers abuse at the hands of His enemies.   Let’s also stay with Him on Good Friday during His trials before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod, all the way to the nails and cross and brutal death which He endured on Calvary.   But especially, let’s not fail to  gather together again next Sunday, when with the eyes of our faith we will stand at His open grave celebrating the proof that Jesus accomplished all that He came to do for our forgive­ness and salvation.   As far as we are con­cerned, with the help of God let’s not allow this year’s Holy Week commemoration to degenerate into just a traditional obser­vance of Biblical events that happened long ago.  Rather, let us all observe Holy Week 2024 with the sincerity and devotion it deserves.  Let’s also maintain throughout this week the awareness that every­thing Jesus per­mitted to happen to Himself in Jerusal­em during 20 centuries ago is an integral part of that which forms the foundation of our forgiveness, of our redemp­tion, and of the eternal life that is ours through faith in Christ Jesus.

This Morning’s Service and Scripture Lessons

            The waving palms and shouts of “Hosanna in the highest!”  raised to Christ on that first Palm Sunday warmly welcomed into the city Him who was and remains King of Kings and Lord of Lords.    Likewise today we will acclaim Christ as our King and Lord through the words of our opening hymn “All glory, laud, and honor, to Thee, Redeemer, King.”   Also, in today’s Sermon hymn we will acknowledge Christ’s Kingship over our lives and everything there is when we sing “Crown Him with many Crowns.”    

            This morning’s Opening responsive reading is one familiar to nearly all our worshipers today:  Isaiah’s inspired depiction of Jesus as the Suffering Servant, the Lamb of God Who bore the sins of the world on His shoulders.   Reading Isaiah 53 together is a very fitting way for us begin our Holy Week observance.    

            Additionally, in today’s Old Testament Lesson we have Zechariah’s prophecy – 500 years before Christ’s entry into Jerusalem – that when the Savior came to Zion for the purpose of completing His work of redemption, He could come riding on a donkey.  

            Today’s Opening Reading/Sermon Text – part one is the traditional Gospel lesson for Palm Sunday – the account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as royalty (riding on a donkey and entering to the acclaim of the crowds shouting “Hosanna in the highest, blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord”).     

                  With today also being known as “The Sunday of the Passion,”  we’ll find ourselves in Matthew’s Gospel for today’s Sermon Text  – part two / Gospel Lesson.   Here the inspired Apostle records the “daytime” events of Good Friday, beginning with Jesus’ trials before Pilate, continuing with His crucifixion and the sufferings – physical and spiritual – that He underwent while on the cross, and culminating in His death for our sins.   Using this portion of Scripture as the basis for our sermon, we’ll examine in some detail “Christ’s Passion from Two Perspectives:”   first, the human dimension;   and second, the divine dimension.     We’ll look at some of the significant aspects of Pilate’s handling of Christ’s trial, and also notable elements of His crucifixion for us.  Most importantly, we’ll want to see that all mankind was actually on trial that day, us included – and that through Jesus as our Substitute, we were declared both guilty (functionally – according to divine Law which we have violated) and totally innocent of all our sins (forensically/judicially declared “not guilty”… God’s grace, for the sake of Jesus’ sufferings and death in our place).

                  Finally, our Children’s Lesson – based on John 1:11 – will ask each of us the question: “Would you have received Jesus?”  Most of the people of Jesus’ day didn’t recognize or understand Him for what He was.  By God’s grace, alone, through faith, we know Him as He truly is:   our – and the world’s – one and only Lord and Savior from sin.  


                        A Brief Overview of Holy Week

            The final Sunday in Lent is customarily known as Palm Sunday, and in some circles as “The Sunday of the Passion of our Lord.”   This day marks the beginning of that seven day period fittingly referred to as “Holy Week.”  During this special week of the church we focus on the sufferings, death, and resurrection of our Lord with greater attention, reverence and devotion than perhaps at any other time during the year.   As it has been done throughout the reading of the Passion History during our six midweek Lenten vespers (evening) worship services, we will recall once more what hap­pened to Jesus in Jerusalem, before Pilate, and on Golgotha.   The waving palms and shouts of “Hosanna in the highest!”  raised to Christ on that first Palm Sunday warmly welcomed into the city Him who was and remains King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   Likewise as we observe Palm Sunday this morning, we acclaim Christ as our King and Lord and express our devotion to Him by also declaring:  “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”       

            Holy Week, itself, has a number of interesting facets to its significance.   Although in our Lutheran church it is not customary to worship on the Wednesda­y of Holy Week, it is worth noting that this day has been given the name “Spy Wednesday,” since the Gospels identify it as the day when the treacherous covenant to betray Jesus was consummated by Judas and the chief priests (Luke 22:1-6).   

            The Thursday of Holy Week has always been a day of great significance for the Christian Church, chiefly because it commemorates Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper.   The name by which it is most commonly known, Maundy Thursday (from the Latin Dies Mandati, “Day of the Commandment”), has particular reference to the Savior’s injunctions regarding the way humility, selflessness  and love should exemplify the brotherhood of believers (John 13:34).   An ancient custom connected to this day encouraged the practice of carrying gifts to the poor in hand baskets which were called “maunds.”  

            Of course, the pinnacle of our Holy Week observances is Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified.  Its earliest name was “Parasceve,” which means “preparation.”   Other names were “Day of the Lord’s Passion” and “Day of the Cross.”  The term “Good Friday” is a uniquely English expression.  It reflects the joy of completed redemption and protests against the superstitious notions that all Fridays are “unlucky” as well as against the idea that this particular Friday should be observed in funeral gloom and despair.    Nevertheless, it is a day of solemn mourning for the Christian, given the reality that Christ died that day for all the sins that each of us has committed.  

            Worship services on this day obviously emphasize the death of Christ as our sin-substitute.   Some Christian congregations observe the  three hours Christ spent on the cross with a “Tre Ora” (Three Hours) service which lasts from noon to three in the afternoon.  It is typically broken into seven small services, each built around one of the “words” Christ spoke while on the cross.   This was a service practiced primarily by churches in the Western Church (Europe).  

            Another traditional approach to commemorating Good Friday is known as “Tennebrae,” the Latin name for “darkness,”   This “Tennebrae” service is usually observed after sunset, and is developed around the reading of and commentary on the seven statements (words) of Christ while on the cross.   As the service progresses, at the conclusion of each of the seven commentary/readings the lights of the worship area are progressively dimmed until everything is completely darkened once Christ’s death is announced.   After a few moments’ reflection upon the “darkness” of sin, a “Resurrection Candle” is lit and brought to the altar while a brief statement is read reminding the congregation that Christ has promised He will not remain in the grave, but will rise after three days.  The congregation then pauses for silent prayer and exits the worship area and church building in silence, meditating upon all that God accomplished for us on that first Good Friday.   The service of Tennebrae was generally practiced in the early Eastern Churches (from Greece eastward).   For some, the custom of fasting is observed in the time between the close of the Maundy Thursday evening worship service and the end of the Good Friday service.  Through fasting the Christian is able to share (be it ever so lightly) in a portion of our Savior’s physical sufferings for us, and thus better appreciate His tremendous sacrifice for our benefit.  

            The final day of Holy Week is known as “Holy Saturday.”  It focuses on the time period when our Lord’s body lay in death in the tomb and  His descent into hell — the two stages referred to in the Apostles’ Creed as “dead and buried;  He descended into hell.”  The reason for Jesus’ descent into hell is misunderstood by many Christians.  After His death, Jesus did not descend into hell to suffer for  our sins.  Some of His final words on Good Friday, “it is finished,” prove that with His death, Christ’s suffering for sin was complete.   Rather than going there to suffer, Christ descended into hell to proclaim and demonstrate His total victory over sin, death, and Satan by going unhindered into the “headquarters” of the Devil.   Scripture supports this understanding of Christ’s victorious descent into hell in I Peter 3:18-20 and Colossians 2:15.  As with Good Friday, Holy Saturday is observed with a solemn spirit, yet it also contains an element of anticipation in preparation for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection on the next morn.

The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831

Pre-Service Prayer  Heavenly Father, please guide me in wisdom and truth through Your Holy Spirit, as I spend this hour meditating on Your Word and rejoicing in Your limitless love for me.  Assist me in being attentive in heart and mind to Your Word, as well as to the hymns of praise, the various petitions, and the prayers of thanksgiving my voice directs toward You.  Use this worship service, O Lord, to deepen my love for You, to strengthen my trust in You, and to renew my commitment to You.  All this I ask for the sake of and in the name of Your One and only Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Amen.

The Order of Worship for Palm Sunday

Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service Music                                                                                                                                              


Pre-Worship Hymn Singing, beginning at 9:25 a.m.


We Praise Our God

The Introduction and Invitation To Worship



The Opening Hymn                                                                           Hymn 130  “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna”

1 Hosanna, loud hosanna, The little children sang;

Through pillared court and temple The lovely anthem rang.

To Jesus, who had blessed them, Close folded to his breast,

The children sang their praises,  The simplest and the best.

2 From Olivet they followed   Mid an exultant crowd,  

The victor palm branch waving   And chanting clear and loud.

The Lord of saints and angels   Rode on in lowly state

Nor scorned that little children   Should on his bidding wait.

3 “Hosanna in the highest!”   That ancient song we sing,

For Christ is our Redeemer,   The Lord of heav’n, our King.

Oh, may we ever praise him   With heart and life and voice

And in his royal presence   Eternally rejoice.


following which, the Congregation will rise for the invocation


The Greeting and Invitation to Worship


Pastor              We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.


The Palm Sunday Traditional Gospel Lesson                                                                            Mark 11:1-11


As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples 2 and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it, and he will send it back here without delay.’”     4 They left and found a colt on the street, tied at a door; and they untied it. 5 Some who were standing there asked them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 The disciples answered them just as Jesus had instructed them, and the men let them go.   7 They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it. 8 Many people spread their garments on the road. Others spread branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were crying out,   Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!   10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!   Hosanna in the highest!

11 Jesus went into the temple courts in Jerusalem and looked around at everything. Since it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve.


after which the Congregation will rise for

The Responsive Scripture Reading

for the Beginning of Holy Week                                                                                                                                                               Isaiah 53


P:         Who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?


C:         He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,    and like a root from dry ground.  

P:         He had no attractiveness or majesty.   When we saw Him, nothing about His appearance made us desire Him.    

Men & Boys:   He was despised and rejected by men,     a Man Who knew grief     Who was well acquainted with suffering.


Women & Girls:         Like someone whom people cannot bear to look at,       He was despised,  and we thought nothing of Him.


P:         Surely He was taking up our weaknesses,    And He was carrying our sufferings.   We thought it was because of God that He was smitten, stricken and afflicted. 

C:         But it was because of our rebellion that He was pierced.


Lectern Side    He was crushed for the guilt our sins deserved.

Pulpit Side:     The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.  


P:         We all have gone astray, like sheep.


C:         Each of us has turned to His own way; but the LORD has charged all our guilt to Him.


P:         He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.   Like a lamb He was led to the slaughter,  and like a sheep that is silent in front of its shearers,  He did not open His mouth.


C:         He was taken away without a fair trial and without justice.   And of His generation, who even cared?”


Women & Girls:         So He was cut off from the land of the living.


Men & Boys:   He was struck because of the rebellion of my people.


P:         They would have assigned Him a grave with the wicked,     but He was given a grave with the rich in His death,     because He had done no violence,     and no deceit was in His mouth.     

C:         Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him     and allow Him to suffer.    Because You made His life a guilt offering,   


Pulpit Side:     He will see His offspring.   He will prolong His days,    


Lectern Side:   and the LORD’s gracious plan will succeed in His hand.


P:         After His soul experiences anguish,    He  will see the light of life.   He will provide satisfaction.      Through their knowledge of Him,   my Just Servant will justify the many,  for He Himself carried their guilt.


C:         Therefore I will give Him an allotment among the great,        and with the strong He will share plunder,       because He poured out His life to death,      and He let Himself be counted with rebellious sinners.


P:         He Himself bore carried the sin of many,   and He intercedes for the rebels.

We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor  God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.

Congregation  Holy and merciful Father,   I confess that I am by nature sinful   and that I have disobeyed You in my thoughts,  words, and actions;    I have done what is evil in Your sight   and have failed to do what is

 good.    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment, both now and for eternity.     But I am truly sorry for all my sins,   and trusting in the perfect life   and innocent death of my Savior,   Jesus Christ,    I plead:   God have mercy on me, a sinner.


Pastor  Our gracious Lord and Master has shown us His mercy:   He has given His one and only Son to save us from all our sins.    And  now, carrying out my office as a called servant of Christ,  and according to His command

 and authority,   I forgive you all your sins   in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.    Amen.

And now, in the confidence and peace of Christ’s forgiveness, let us join together in song, to praise our Majestic Redeemer and King……                                     

                                                                                                                       “Majesty” by Jack W. Hayford

                                                                                                  copied, with permission, under CCLI 1366699

                                                                                                                      copyright Rocksmith Music, 1981

Majesty, worship His majesty.  

Unto Jesus, be all glory, honor and praise.

 Majesty….Kingdom authority,   flow from His throne,

unto His own, His anthem raise.

So exalt – lift up on high, the name of Jesus.

Magnify, come glorify, Christ Jesus the King.

  Majesty, worship His majesty.   Jesus Who died.

Now glorified.   King of all Kings.

The Prayer For This Morning

Almighty and everlasting God,   +  in Your tender love for mankind   + You sent Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ,   +   to take upon Himself our human nature,   +   and to suffer death on the cross,   +   that we might be redeemed from the eternal consequences of our sins;   +   Mercifully grant that we may follow  +   His example of humility, obedience, and patience,   +  and also that we be made partakers of His resurrection;   +   through the same Jesus Christ,  +   Your Son, our Lord,  +  Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God, forever and ever.  +  Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated as

We Give Our Attention to God’s Word

The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                    Zechariah 9:8-12

8     I will set up camp around My house,  as a guard against those passing back and forth.   The oppressor will never again march over them, because now I am watching with My own eyes.  9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter of Zion!   Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!   Look! Your King is coming to you.   He is righteous and brings salvation.   He is humble and is riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem.   The battle bow will be taken away, and He will proclaim peace to the nations.     His kingdom will extend from sea to sea,  from the River to the ends of the earth.  11 As for you, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I will release your prisoners from the waterless pit.  12 Return to the stronghold, you prisoners who have hope.  This very day I declare that I will restore double to you.

The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                               Matthew 27:11-54


11 When Jesus stood in the presence of the governor, the governor asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”    Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”   12 When He was accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. 13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how many things they are testifying against You?”   14 But He did not answer Him—not even one word, so that the governor was very surprised.

            15 At the time of the Festival the governor had a custom to release to the crowd any one prisoner they wanted. 16 At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17 So when they were assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you? Barabbas—or Jesus, Who is called Christ?” 18 For Pilate knew that they had handed Jesus over to him because of envy.

            19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, Pilate’s wife sent him a message. “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man,” she said, “since I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus put to death. 21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”   “Barabbas!” they said.  22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus, Who is called Christ?”   They all said to him, “Crucify Him!”   23 But the governor said, “Why? What has He done wrong?”    But they kept shouting even louder: “Crucify Him!”  

            24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing and that instead it was turning into a riot, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this righteous Man’s blood. It is your responsibility.”   25 And all the people answered, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!”   26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but he had Jesus flogged and handed Him over to be crucified.

            27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort of soldiers around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 They twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand, knelt in front of Him, and mocked Him by saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spit on Him, took the staff, and Hit him repeatedly on His head.   31 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.

            32 As they were going out of the city, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha, which means “The place of the skull.” 34 They offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when He tasted it, He would not drink it. 35 After they had crucified Him, they divided His clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and were keeping watch over Him there. 37 Above His head they posted the written charge against Him: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

            38 At the same time two criminals were crucified with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 39 People who passed by kept insulting Him, shaking their heads, 40 and saying, “You Who were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

            41 In the same way the chief priests, experts in the law, and elders kept mocking Him. They said, 42 “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself. If He’s the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue Him now, if He wants Him, because He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with Him kept insulting Him.

            45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour,  there was darkness over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”   47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “This Fellow is calling for Elijah.”   48 Immediately one of them ran, took a sponge, and soaked it with sour wine. Then he put it on a stick and gave Him a drink. 49 The rest said, “Leave Him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.”

            50 After Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, He gave up His spirit. 51 Suddenly, the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and rocks were split. 52 Tombs were opened, and many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised to life. 53 Those who came out of the tombs went into the holy city after Jesus’ resurrection and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those who were guarding Jesus with him saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly This was the Son of God.”


After which the Congregation will rise for

The Apostles Creed

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 Ghost;  Born of the virgin Mary;  Suffered under Pontius Pilate;  Was crucified, dead, and buried;  He descended into hell;  The third day He rose again from the dead;  He ascended into heaven;  And sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.   I believe in the Holy Ghost;  The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints;  The forgiveness of sins;  The resurrection of the body;  And the life everlasting.  Amen.


after which the Congregation may be seated

The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                       John 1:11

He [Jesus] came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him.

Would You Have Received Jesus?


The Sermon Hymn                                                                   Hymn 341 “Crown Him With Many Crowns”

                                                                                                                                        Choir Sings verse Two


1 Crown him with many crowns,   The Lamb upon his throne;

Hark how the heav’nly anthem drowns   All music but its own.

Awake, my soul, and sing   Of him who died for thee,

And hail him as thy matchless King   Through all eternity.

2 Crown him the Lord of love –  Behold his hands and side,

Rich wounds, yet visible above,  In beauty glorified.

No angel in the sky  Can fully bear that sight,

But downward bends his wond’ring eye At mysteries so bright.

3 Crown him the Lord of life,   Who triumphed o’er the grave

And rose victorious in the strife   For those he came to save.

His glories now we sing   Who died and rose on high,

Who died eternal life to bring   And lives that death may die.

4 Crown him the Lord of heav’n,   Enthroned in worlds above;

Crown him the King to whom is giv’n   The wondrous name of Love.

Crown him with many crowns   As thrones before him fall;

Crown him, ye kings, with many crowns   For he is King of all.


The Greeting


Grace and peace be yours in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer!   Amen.  


The Sermon Text                                                                                      based on Mark 11 and Matthew 27


We Were Part of Both Crowds 


Afterward, the Congregation will remain seated for


Pastor To Him Who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, power, and authority now and forever.  Amen.


We Bring our Offerings to the Lord


Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.

   However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash) to the church address:   (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can also donate on our website:

as the offerings are brought forward, the Congregation will rise for


  • The Prayers for this Day


    Almighty, eternal God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that through Your Holy Spirit You

     would rule Your holy Christian Church with all its pastors, teachers, and servants, so that through the pure teaching of Your holy Word your Church may be preserved here and everywhere, so that Your kingdom may be increased through us,  that our faith in You might be strengthened, and also that our love – and the evidence of that love – for all Your precious blood-bought souls might increase day by day.

                We further pray, O Lord of all lords, that You would look down on this nation of ours with your grace.    Forgive us for our national failure to honor You and Your Will as faithfully as we ought.   Work in our land a spiritual reformation based on Your sure Word alone.   Keep the freedoms that we enjoy as a people from being diminished, especially the freedom we have to publicly worship and serve You.     We commend all the officials of this land to Your divine protection and guidance.    Grant their efforts Your blessing insofar as they seek to carry out Your will.     And give them hearts of wisdom, kindness, and selflessness, so that under their rule we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and respectability.

                Especially we ask You, watch over us all day and night in our respective communities, homes, occupations, and other activities.   In Your grace be particularly mindful of our congregation and all its needs, as well as the spiritual and material needs of our church body, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.   Almighty Protector of the Church, do not forsake us, but in Your love continue to be present among us, helping us in all our endeavors, and granting Your divine success to all our activities and occupations, that our earthly  and eternal welfare might be enhanced.   Gift each one of us with a steadfast faith, godly courage, good judgment, and righteous works.

                Graciously protect our fellow-believers around the world.   Favorably bless the work of Christian missionaries in foreign lands, as well as in our own country.   With Your strength protect them in all dangers that threaten them, keep them from discouragement when their work proves difficult, and unite us with them as – through our offerings and our personal efforts – we join in faithfully proclaiming the Good News of Your salvation through our Redeemer, so that every tongue may confess that Jesus Christ is truly our Lord and Savior and King of kings.

                In Your grace bless the Christian upbringing and instruction of all our youth, that they may grow up to glorify Your name and remain true to You to the very end.   Especially give Your blessing to our congregation’s educational ministries, as well as our church body’s institutions for the teaching and equipping faithful workers for Your Kingdom.

                Preserve and grant success to all Christians in their livelihoods and occupations; and let every person walk before You with a good conscience and earn a living honestly.

                In Your grace receive and grant the prayers of all who are sick or disabled, the poor, widows, and orphans;   comfort and encourage all who are facing immanent death, as well as their families and friends.  Protect pregnant women, new mothers, and their children.   Guide all who are traveling.   Support and sustain all our nation’s military service personnel and law-enforcement agents.    Have mercy on all who are afflicted and those who suffer persecution for Your name’s sake.

                Particularly this morning we want to pray for Emily and Murray Mansch, who are celebrating their wedding anniversary today.   Bless them on this day, and into the future with a growing love for each other, founded on Your love for them.  

                Also, please give Your divine blessing to all the production means and the fruits of our land.  Grant us adequate rainfall during the coming spring and summer months, for the benefit of our farms and forests, parks and homes.    Yet, turn away any harmful storms.   Likewise, protect us from all our enemies – physical and spiritual, as well as from famine, scarcity, war, danger from fires and floods, and other plagues.  

                Stay with us, O faithful Father, until our end, and never let Your Spirit leave us alone, so that we may live in Your fear, die in Your grace, and finally receive the goal of our faith:   our soul’’s salvation.   All this we ask for the sake of Your dear Son Jesus Christ and His precious blood, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, coequal in majesty and honor, now and forever, and in Whose name we also pray:

    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.



    Now Dismiss Us, Lord


    Benediction – Brothers and sisters, now go in peace.   Live in harmony with one another.   And Serve the Lord in gladness.

    The LORD bless you and keep you.

    The LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.

    The LORD look on you with favor, and give you peace.   Amen.


    The Closing Hymn                                                                           Hymn 131  “All Glory, Laud and Honor”


    1 All glory, laud, and honor  To you, Redeemer, King,

    To whom the lips of children   Made sweet hosannas ring.

    You are the King of Israel   And David’s royal Son,

    Now in the Lord’s name coming,   Our King and blessed one.

    2 All glory, laud, and honor   To you, Redeemer, King,

    To whom the lips of children   Made sweet hosannas ring.

    The company of angels   Is praising you on high,

    And we with all creation   In chorus make reply.

    3 All glory, laud, and honor   To you, Redeemer, King,

    To whom the lips of children   Made sweet hosannas ring.

    The people of the Hebrews   With palms before you went;

    Our praise and prayer and anthems   Before you we present.

    4 All glory, laud, and honor   To you, Redeemer, King,

    To whom the lips of children   Made sweet hosannas ring.

    To you before your passion   They sang their hymns of praise;

    To you, now high exalted,   Our melody we raise.

    5 All glory, laud, and honor   To you, Redeemer, King,

    To whom the lips of children   Made sweet hosannas ring.

    As you received their praises,   Accept the prayers we bring,

    O Source of ev’ry blessing,   Our good and gracious King.