Sunday, Mar 20, 2016: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


The Gospel:  Luke (19:28-40)


Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”


  • Ancient tradition – Sunday of the Passion.
  • The procession with palms only came in the the 1960’s.
  • No one knows where Bethpage is located.
  • Bethany today is known as El Lazaria.
  • The Mount of Olives is the place where the Messiah will be revealed according to the Old Testament.
  • Zachariah has the Messiah sitting on a colt.
  • Luke’s writings do not contain anything that would go against Roman law of the day.
  • Each Gospel is different — only John’s has the palm branches.




The Old Testament: A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (50:4-9a)


The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.  The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?


  • This is the third of the servant songs.
  • They may be based upon the experiences of Jeremiah about fifty years earlier. 




The Response: Psalm (3:91-16)



9   Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *

     my eye is consumed with sorrow,

     and also my throat and my belly.

10  For my life is wasted with grief,

      and my years with sighing; *

      my strength fails me because of affliction,

     and my bones are consumed.

11  I have become a reproach to all my enemies

      and even to my neighbors,

     a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *

    when they see me in the street they avoid me.

12  I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *

     I am as useless as a broken pot.

13  For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;

     fear is all around; *

     they put their heads together against me;

     they plot to take my life.

14  But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. *

      I have said, “You are my God.

15  My times are in your hand; *

      rescue me from the hand of my enemies,

      and from those who persecute me.

16  Make your face to shine upon your servant, *

      and in your loving-kindness save me.”


  • These verses are used every year on Palm Sunday.
  • There is a cry for help in the first two verses.
  • Things are bad and probably going to get worse!
  • In the end, put complete trust in God as your refuge.




The Epistle: A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians (2:5-11)


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 Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


  • These verses highlight the low points and high points in Christ’s life.
  • Death on a cross — high exultation.




The Passion


The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Luke (22:14 – 23:56)


  • There are four different version of the Eucharist:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul.
  • Luke’s version and Paul’s version tend to be similar.
  • Luke tries to let the disciples off the hook as he makes an excuse for them why they were asleep.
  • In John’s Gospel, Jesus is fully in control and picks up his own cross.
  • Only in Luke do we find the “good criminal” with Jesus on the cross.