SERMON NOTES for March – Easter:

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

– The First Sunday of Lent
         “The Via Dolorosa: And the Angels Wept”            

Luke 22: 39-48 and Isaiah 50: 4-9a

 On the First Sunday of Lent we begin a sermon series on Jesus’ journey to the cross. Over the years this has been called the “Via Dolorosa.” On first stop is to join Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he spent agonizing hours in prayer asking the Father to “let this cup pass from me.” Jesus finally concludes his prayer with the powerful words, “Not my will, but your will Father God be done.” The scripture lessons are Luke 22: 39-48 and Isaiah 50: 4-9a.

The message title is: “And the Angels Wept: Jesus in the Garden of   Gethsemane.”      

 

Sunday, March 12th , 2017

–The Second Sunday of Lent

 “The Via Dolorosa: When the Waters of Justice Ran Dry”

   Jesus before Caiaphas

Amos 5:21-24 and Matthew 26: 57-68

On the Second Sunday of Lent we follow Jesus after he is arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. There he knew the bitterness of Judas’ betrayal. But as the night goes on, there will be more betrayals, outright lies, and great injustice. Before noon of the following day, Jesus will be brought to trial before three different courts of law. The first is when he was brought before the Sanhedrin by the chief priest.  Our scripture reading is found in  Matthew 26: 57-68 and Amos 5: 21-24.

The sermon is entitled: “When the Waters of Justice Ran Dry: Jesus Before Caiaphas.”

 

Sunday, March 19th , 2017

– The Third Sunday of Lent         
“Via Dolorosa: The Lamb and the Fox”

 Isaiah 55: 1-9 and Luke 23: 6-12

 Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great and the tetrarch of Galilee, seems to have spent  much of his life running scared. To better understand the fear which drove Herod, read Matthew 14: 1-12.
 
On the night of Jesus’ arrest, when Pilate found out he was a Galilean and thus under that jurisdiction, he had him bundled off to Herod’s headquarters immediately. Pilate had always disliked Herod and so he was tickled pink to have this opportunity to needle him. Ironically, Herod was tickled pink too because he had heard about this Jesus. Herod was looking forward to seeing Jesus perform some of his more spectacular tricks. Unfortunately, Jesus refused to accommodate him or even to answer his questions. Herod took this to be a sign of weakness and so he decided to have a little fun with him. He had his soldiers rough him up for a while and then dressing him us as a “king,” he returned him to Pilate.

  

No Way Out: “Jesus Before Pilate”

Sunday, March 26th , 2017

– The Fourth Sunday of Lent
Via Dolorosa: No Way Out”

 Jesus Before Pilate

Isaiah 42: 1-9 and John 18: 28 – 19: 16

 Jesus is tried before the Roman governor because this is the only way that the religious leaders can secure a death sentence. They have no qualms about altering the charges from the religious to the political. Pilate knows that the charges are unfounded, but he gives into the pressure and crucifies and innocent man. As the Roman governor, Pilate had the last word. He could have saved Jesus, if he’d wanted to, and all indications are that for various reasons this is exactly what he would have like to have done.

He did try . . . Pilate sent Jesus to Herod. Pilate offered to free one prisoner in honor of the Passover. The crowd chose Barabbas. Pilate suggested a lesser sentence. Jesus could be beaten and then let go.

 When it became clear that he would stir up a nasty hornet’s nest by setting the man free, and when, in addition to that, the Jews pointed out, that no true friend of Caesars would ever  the pressures and said to go ahead and crucify Him if that’s what they had their hearts set on.

 

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

– The Fifth Sunday of Lent
Via Dolorosa: Blasphemy in a Barracks”

          Jesus and the Soldiers

Isaiah 53: 1-6 and Matthew 27: 27-31

Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and the crowd was growing out of control. Therefore, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood, It is your responsibility.”

Then he released Barabbas to them. But, he had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorian and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head and mocked him. “Hail, King of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they lead him away to be crucified. We shudder when we read of how cruelly the Roman soldiers treated Jesus. But we also mock our Lord when we say we believe in him and yet our lives betray him.

 

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

– Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday Story

 
Thursday, April 13th, 2017
— Maundy Thursday Service
 

 

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

– Easter / Resurrection of the Lord Sunday