Palm Sunday


April 14, 2019 — Palm Sunday

The Passion Narrative

Today’s Readings:

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Luke

(Luke 19:41 – 20:20, 21:37 – 22:6)

Gospeller The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.


Narrator Later Sunday afternoon, as Jesus came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying,


Jesus “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for

peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come

upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround

you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and

your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon

another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”


Narrator On Monday morning, Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said,


Jesus “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den

of robbers.”


Narrator All through that week, Jesus was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they

did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what

they heard. One day, as he was teaching the people in the temple and telling the

good news, the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders and said to him,


Religious Leaders “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?”


Jesus “I will also ask you a question, and you tell me: Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?”


Narrator They discussed it with one another, saying,


Religious Leader #1“If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’”


Religious Leader #2“But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us.”


Religious Leader  #1“For they are convinced that John was a prophet.”


Narrator So they answered that they did not know where it came from. Then Jesus said to them,


Jesus “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”


Narrator Jesus began to tell the people this parable:


Jesus “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another

country for a long time. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in

order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the

tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another slave;

that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. And he sent

still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. Then the owner of the

vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will

respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves

and said, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.’ So

they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of

the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the

vineyard to others.”


Narrator When they heard this, the religious leaders said,


Religious leaders “Heaven forbid!”


Narrator But Jesus looked at them and said,


Jesus “What then does this text mean: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”


Narrator When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the

people. So they watched him and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in

order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and

authority of the Roman governor.

But every day, Jesus continued to teach in the temple, and at night he would go

out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. And all the

people would get up early in the morning to listen to Jesus in the temple.

Wednesday came, and the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the

Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes kept looking for a way to

put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered into

Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred

with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might

betray Jesus to them. The chief priests were greatly pleased and agreed to give

Judas money. So Judas consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray

Jesus to them when no crowd was present.


Hymn 458 verses 1 & 2 My song is love unknown

My song is love unknown,

my Savior’s love to me,

love to the loveless shown

that they might lovely be.


O who am I

that for my sake

my Lord should take

frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne

salvation to bestow,

but men made strange, and none

the longed-for Christ would know.

But O my friend,

my friend indeed,

who at my need,

his life did spend.


Narrator Thursday came, the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrifced. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying,


Jesus “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.”


Peter and John “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?”


Jesus “Listen, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with

my disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished.

Make preparations for us there.”


Narrator So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. On Thursday night, when the hour for the Passover meal came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them,


Jesus “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”


Narrator Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said,

Jesus “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will

not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”


Narrator Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,


Jesus “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”


Narrator And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying,


Jesus “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see,

the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of

Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is



Narrator Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this. A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be

regarded as the greatest. But he said to them,


Jesus “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them

are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must

become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater,

the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table?

But I am among you as one who serves.

“You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as

my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my

table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I

have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you

have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”


Narrator And Simon Peter said to him,


Peter “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”


Jesus “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three

times that you know me.


Narrator He said to all the disciples:


Jesus When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?”


Disciples (Congregation) “No, not a thing.”


Jesus “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture

must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed

what is written about me is being fulfilled.”


Disciples (Congregation) “Lord, look, here are two swords.”


Narrator Jesus replied,


Jesus “It is enough.”


Narrator After the Passover meal, Jesus left Jerusalem and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them,


Jesus “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”


Narrator Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed,


Jesus “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours

be done.”


Narrator When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them,


Jesus “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”


Narrator While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but


Jesus said to him,


Jesus “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?”


Narrator When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked,


Disciples (Congregation) “Lord, should we strike with the sword?”


Narrator Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said,


Jesus “No more of this!”


Narrator And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him,


Jesus “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was

with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is

your hour, and the power of darkness!”


Hymn 458 verses 3 & 5 My song is love unknown


Sometimes they strew his way,

and his strong praises sing,

resounding all the day

hosannas to their King.

Then “Crucify!”

is all their breath,

and for his death

they thirst and cry.


They rise, and needs will have

my dear Lord made away;

a murderer they save,

the Prince of Life they slay.

Yet steadfast he

to suffering goes,

that he his foes

from thence might free.


Narrator The temple police seized Jesus and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled

a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among

them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said,


Servant “This man also was with him.”


Narrator But Peter denied it, saying,


Peter “Woman, I do not know him.”


Narrator A little later someone else, on seeing him, said,


Accuser 1 “You also are one of them.”


Peter “I am not!”


Narrator Then about an hour later still another kept insisting,


Accuser 2 “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.”


Peter “I do not know what you are talking about!”


Narrator At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And

he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the temple police who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat

him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him,


Temple police “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”


Narrator They kept heaping many other insults on him. At daylight on Friday, when day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes,

gathered together, and they brought Jesus to their council. They said,


Religious leaders “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”


Jesus “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”


Religious leaders “Are you, then, the Son of God?”


Jesus “You say that I am.”


Religious leaders “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”


Narrator Then the religious leaders rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to accuse Jesus, saying,


Religious leaders “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the Roman emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”


Narrator Then Pilate asked him,


Pilate “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus “You say so.”


Narrator Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds,


Pilate “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.”


Narrator But the religious leaders were insistent and said,


Religious leaders “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.”


Narrator When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that Jesus was a Galilean, and therefore under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod

saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time,

because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign.

Herod questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. The religious

leaders stood by, vehemently accusing Jesus. Even Herod with his soldiers

treated Jesus with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on

him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became

friends with each other; before this they had been enemies. Pilate then called

together the religious leaders and the people, and said to them,


Pilate “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I

have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any

of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. In

deed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged

and release him.”


Narrator Then they all shouted out together,


Religious leaders and temple supporters “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!”


Narrator This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection against the Roman authorities that had taken place in the city, and for murder. Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting,


Religious leaders and temple supporters “Crucify, crucify him!”


Pilate “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.”


Narrator But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucifed; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in

prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led Jesus away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming

from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind

Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were

women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to

them and said,


Jesus “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for

your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are

the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’

Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover

us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”


Narrator Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.

At about 9 o’clock on Friday morning, when they came to the place that is called

The Skull, they crucifed Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one

on his left.

All stand as they are able.


Narrator Then Jesus said,


Jesus “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”


Narrator And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying,


Religious leaders “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!”


Narrator The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying,


Soldiers “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”


Narrator There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying,


Criminal 1 “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”


Narrator But the other rebuked him, saying,


Criminal 2 “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”


Jesus “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”


Narrator It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,


Jesus “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”


Narrator Having said this, he breathed his last.


Silence is kept.


Narrator When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said,


Centurion (Congregation) “Certainly this man was innocent.”


Narrator And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.


Hymn 458 verses 6 & 7 My song is love unknown

In life, no house, no home

My Lord on earth might have;

In death no friendly tomb

But what a stranger gave.

What may I say? Heav’n was His home;

But mine the tomb wherein He lay.


Here might I stay and sing,

no story so divine:

never was love, dear King,

never was grief like thine.

This is my friend,

in whose sweet praise

I all my days

could gladly spend.


[Silence seated]