Service for Lent 4 Midweek
Rev. Gregory Mech, pastor | March 30, 2022 | Lenten Midweek Service | Immanuel Lutheran Church – Joplin, Missouri | 4:00 or 7:00 pm
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Special thanks to all who helped to make this broadcast possible today:
Rev. Gregory Mech, DCE Jason Glaskey, organist Betty Lingenfelter, Altar Guild, Board of Elders, and all of our volunteers!
Be a witness to the Resurrection.
Watch Christ’s resurrection through the Gospel of John and each biblical figure’s point of view. As you move through each account, you, too, can begin to understand the full picture of Christ’s sacrifice for all.
Please join us each Wednesday of Lent 2022 for Pastor Mech’s sermon series — Witnesses to Christ: People from His Passion.
Midweek of Lent 4
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Witnesses to Christ: Barabbas
Barabbas was a heartless, brutal criminal with anger in his heart and blood on his hands. Custom dictated that Pontius Pilate should release one prisoner at the feast of Passover. Pilate knows Jesus is innocent and tries to get the crowd to ask for Jesus’ release, but the crowd calls instead for Barabbas. The crowd condemns the innocent Jesus and demands that the guilty Barabbas receive a pardon. We are Barabbas. We are guilty and sinful and deserving of death. But we are also Barabbas in that Jesus takes our place, takes our punishment, and sets us free.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in You my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills His purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
He will put to shame him who tramples on me.
God will send out His steadfast love and His faithfulness!
My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let Your glory be over all the earth!
They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves.
My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let Your glory be over all the earth!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be forever. Amen.
PRAYERS for Midweek of Lent 4
O Lord, hear my prayer.
And let my cry come to You.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; in Jesus’ name.
O Lord, when the guilty was chosen instead of Your Son and He went to the cross, we saw both the depth of our sin and the greatness of Your mercy. Deliver us from every pride and arrogance that in humility of faith and repentance we may abide in Christ and He in us all the days of our lives; through Jesus Christ, Your Son.
God, the strength of the weak and the consolation of all who put their trust in You, mercifully accept our prayers on behalf of Your servants beset by illnesses and distress, that by Your power their sickness may be turned to health according to Your good and gracious will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord.
O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
HOLY GOSPEL John 18:33–40
A reading from St. John, the eighteenth chapter.
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You over to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in Him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
O Lord, have mercy on us.
Thanks be to God.
HYMN “My Song Is Love Unknown” 430
My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown
That they might lovely be.
Oh, 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, oh, my friend, My friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend!
Sometimes they strew His way
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King.
Then “Crucify!” Is all their breath,
And for His death They thirst and cry.
Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease And ’gainst Him rise.
They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of Life they slay.
Yet cheerful He To suff’ring goes
That He His foes From thence might free.
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!
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