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On the next day a great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. They took branches of palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples did not understand these things at first. But when Jesus was glorified, they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. Now the crowd that was with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The crowd went and met Him for this reason: They heard that He had performed this sign. So the Pharisees said among themselves, “See, you are gaining nothing! Look, the world has followed Him!” John 12:12-19

Do you know what Palm Sunday and the events of that day are all about? Yes, you may know what happened on that day — how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt and was hailed King of the Jews, but why? What does it all mean?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone. Jesus’ own disciples didn’t understand these things until after Jesus had risen from the dead and was glorified. As John writes, “But when Jesus was glorified, they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.”

What was written about Jesus? From the Book of Zechariah, we see the ancient prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! And cry aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king is coming to you; he is righteous and able to deliver, he is humble and riding on a donkey, a colt, the offspring of a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).

We see these very words fulfilled; the people shouted words of praise to Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of Israel. They hailed Him as their King. And, Jesus was riding upon a donkey’s colt, just as the prophecy said and similar to the way King Solomon was made known as the king of Israel (cf. 1 Kings 1:32ff.).

And what did they cry out? John tells us (in verse 13) the multitude cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” In Matthew 21:9, we read: “The crowds that went before Him and that followed Him cried out: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’”

Compare that to the words of Psalm 118:19ff. In verses 25-26, the psalm says: “Save us [Hebrew: hosia-na], we ask You, O LORD; O LORD, we ask You, send now success. Blessed be he that comes in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.”

Hosanna, which is a call to the LORD to save now, together with the references to Son of David, King of Israel and He who comes in the name of the LORD, is an acclamation of Jesus as the Messiah and promised Savior who would save His people and establish an everlasting kingdom, a fulfillment of the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7:16, where God said: “Your house and dominion will endure before Me forever, and your throne will be established by the LORD forever.”

This promise is spoken of again in Psalm 89:3-4: “You have said, ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: “Your offspring I will establish forever, and build up your throne for all generations.”’”

Thus, the events of Palm Sunday were a declaration that Jesus is the long-promised Messiah, the Son of David and King of Israel who would save His people and establish an everlasting kingdom.

The people were calling upon Jesus to save them as God had promised. He was the one who would “redeem Israel from all their iniquities” (Psalm 130:8). And, this, just days before He was crucified and died for the sins of the world to provide that promised salvation!

And we too cry out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” We pray that He would usher in the day of our salvation — the salvation he won for us upon Calvary’s cross.

We long for Him to come again and enter into the gates of the New Jerusalem and establish His everlasting kingdom and be our God and King forevermore! Cf. Phil. 2:5ff.; Rev. 7:9ff.; 19:11ff.; 21:1ff.; 21:22ff.

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! We praise You, Christ Jesus our Savior, and pray that You would come and establish Your everlasting kingdom and reign over us as our God and King. Amen.

Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the LORD lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.

[Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Refrain: All glory, laud, and honor to You, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

1 You are the King of Israel and David’s royal Son,
Now in the Lord’s name coming, our King and Blessèd One.

Refrain

2 The company of angels is praising You on high,
And we with all creation in chorus make reply.

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3 The multitude of pilgrims with palms before You went;
Our praise and prayer and anthems before You we present.

Refrain

4 To You before Your passion they sang their hymns of praise;
To You, now high exalted, our melody we raise.

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5 As You received their praises, accept the prayers we bring,
O Source of ev’ry blessing, our good and gracious King.

Refrain

Theodulf of Orléans, c. 762–821; tr. John Mason Neale, 1818–66, alt. Public domain VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN

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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

1. Why do we study the Bible? What does it teach us?

2 Timothy 3:14-17: But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured of, knowing those from whom you have learned them, and that since childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through the faith that is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1 Peter 2:2-3: As newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow, if it is true that you have experienced that the Lord is good.

We study the Bible because it is the inspired Word of God and it teaches us about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Through the study of the Bible, we learn the true doctrine and teaching of God, and we are taught how to walk in His ways.

2. What is unique and special about the Bible?

2 Peter 1:19-21: And we have a more reliable word of prophecy, which you would do well to follow, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of the Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. For no prophecy at any time was produced by the will of man, but holy men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

1 Corinthians 2:13: These things also we proclaim, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

2 Samuel 23:1-2: The oracle of David the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the favorite psalmist of Israel: The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.

The Bible is special and unique because it is God’s Word to man. It was not written by the will of man. God Himself moved men to write and guided and directed them in the thoughts they expressed and in the words they wrote.

3. Does the Bible have mistakes and errors in it?

Proverbs 30:5: Every word of God is pure.

Psalm 119:160: Your word is true from the beginning.

John 17:17: Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

John 10:35: The Scripture cannot be broken.

All that the Bible teaches and says is true because it is inspired by God Himself and is His Word.

4. Has the Word of God been corrupted or lost?

Psalm 119:89: Forever, O Lord, Your word is established in heaven.

Isaiah 40:8: The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever.

1 Peter 1:24-25: For “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” This is the word that was preached to you.

Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

Not only did God give His Word by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He has and continues to preserve His Word as a true and faithful witness to all the people in the world of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

5. What does God say about changing His Word — adding to it or taking away from it?

Deuteronomy 4:2: You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor shall you take anything from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Proverbs 30:6: Do not add to His words, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.

Matthew 5:18-19: For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Revelation 22:18-19: I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City and out of the things which are written in this book.

Jeremiah 23:28: And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.

God forbids us to change His Word — to add to it or to take away from it. We are to speak and teach it faithfully. For this reason, we use great care to teach nothing more and nothing less than what God has revealed to us in the Bible. And we seek to use translations of God’s Word which are fully faithful to those texts which God has preserved and which have been widely used by the churches down through the centuries.

6. What use should we make of God’s Word?

Luke 11:28: Indeed, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Psalm 119:97: Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

We should read and study the Bible, learn its teachings and meditate upon it because it is God’s Word to us and reveals our sinfulness and God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. It also teaches us how we ought to live, as believers, in service to our God and Savior.

Look in the front of your Bible at the listing of books there. You will find our Bible has a total of 66 books — 39 Old Testament Books and 27 New Testament Books. Memorize these books of the Bible in order so that you can easily find them when studying God’s Word. Also, memorize the Bible passages listed above — memorize them all if you can — for they are God’s Word and will help you learn of Him and grow in your faith in Christ Jesus.

SUMMARY
We believe that all of the Bible, and each and every word of the Bible (the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament canonical books), were given by inspiration of God and are, therefore, the true and unerring Word of God (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Samuel 23:1-2). We also believe that the Word of God has not been lost or corrupted but has been faithfully preserved by God down through the centuries as a witness to all the nations (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Matthew 24:14,35). We believe that it is still accurately recorded in the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Majority (or Received) Texts and that it can be read and studied in faithful Bible translations, such as Luther’s German Bible, the King James Version, the Modern English Version and the New King James Version of the Bible, and other faithful translations. We discourage the use of texts and translations of the Bible which are unfaithful and thus corrupt the Word of God (Deuteronomy 4:2; Jeremiah 23:28; Matthew 5:18-19; Revelation 22:18-19).

Since all of the Bible is God’s true and unerring Word, we teach that the Bible is to be the source and judge of all Christian teaching. What is not in accord with God’s Word is not to be taught as Christian Doctrine (Isaiah 8:20; Jeremiah 23:28-32; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 17:11). The Bible is also its own interpreter; thus, passage interpretations that are not in agreement with other clear passages of Holy Scripture are to be rejected (2 Peter 1:20-21; Isaiah 8:20). We teach that the Bible is to be diligently studied and heard; for it reveals to mankind the only way of salvation, which is through faith in Christ Jesus, and it guides the Christian in living according to God’s Holy will (John 5:39; 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Psalm 119:105).

[Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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March 24, 2021 — Lenten 6

Order of Vespers LSB 229

Hymns
LSB 420 (1-4) “Christ, the Life of All the Living”
LSB 420 (5-7) “Christ, the Life of All the Living”
LSB 890 “O Blessed Light, O Trinity”

Psalm 57 MEV For the Music Director. To the melody of “Do Not Destroy.” A Miktam of David when he fled from Saul in the cave.

1 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me! For my soul seeks refuge in You; in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until the ruinous storm passes by. 2 I will cry to God Most High, to God who vindicates me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me from the taunt of the one who crushes me. Selah God will send forth His mercy and His truth. 4 My soul is among lions, and I lie among the sons of men who blaze like fire, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; may Your glory be above all the earth. 6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down; they have dug a pit before me, but they have fallen into it. Selah 7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise. 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, psaltery and harp! I will awake the dawn. 9 I will thank You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. 10 For Your mercy is great up to the heavens, and Your truth extends to the clouds. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; may Your glory be above all the earth.

Epistle: 1 John 1:1-10 Gospel: Luke 22:63-71

Prayers: Evening Suffrages LSB 282

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“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7 (Read 1 John 1:1 – 2:2)

Are you walking in the light or in the darkness? Sad to say, many, even among professing Christians, are walking in darkness; and each and every one of us would also choose to walk in darkness rather than coming to the light where our sinfulness and evil deeds are exposed (cf. John 3:19-20; John 1:1-14). But to continue on in darkness leads to death; to walk in the light leads to forgiveness and life everlasting.

While many would profess to have fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, that is not possible if they are walking in darkness — if they are hiding and covering up their sins and sinfulness and pretending to be righteous of themselves. One cannot be a Christian and be continuing on in sin and willful disobedience, and one cannot have fellowship with the Father and be hiding and covering up sin (cf. Heb. 10:26ff.; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21).

If we pretend to be Christians and in fellowship with the Father and are impenitent, continuing on in our old sinful ways, we are deceiving ourselves and not practicing the truth. If we are hiding and covering up our sins rather than acknowledging them and seeking God’s forgiveness, we are lying and walking in darkness and unbelief (cf. Psalm 32:1ff.).

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. … If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7,9).

To walk in the light is to acknowledge our sins and sinfulness — literally to say the same thing as God about our sins (ομολογωμεν) — and He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness so that we are acquitted, declared innocent and justified in His sight.

And how can God be faithful and just in forgiving our sins? It is because “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1,2). Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins and the sins of all. Our sin was punished in Jesus and atonement was made. God’s justice is satisfied. Through faith in Christ Jesus, we have forgiveness and life eternal!

Again, are you walking in the darkness or in the light? Jesus and His Word shine into the darkness of this world, exposing sin, error and disobedience but also offering forgiveness and life through faith in Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross. Don’t hide from the light. Rather, walk in the light, confessing your sins and receiving God’s forgiveness and life for the sake of Jesus’ shed blood.

Shine upon us, Lord. Reveal our sinfulness but bring us to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus, our crucified and risen Savior. In His name, we pray. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association.
Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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