Lent Midweek 3                                    February 24, 2016

OPENING HYMN

Hymn 108, Jesus, Refuge of the Weary

PSALM OF THE DAY

Psalm 92, page 101 of the red hymnal

PASSION HISTORY LESSON Three

While Jesus was still speaking, suddenly Judas (one of the twelve) arrived. With him was a large crowd with lanterns, torches, swords, and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Judas was leading them.

Then Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who are you looking for?"

"Jesus the Nazarene," they replied.

"I am he," Jesus told them.

Judas, the one betraying him, was standing with them. Then when Jesus told them, "I am he," they backed away and fell to the ground.

Then Jesus asked them again, "Who are you looking for?"

"Jesus the Nazarene," they said.

"I told you I am he," Jesus replied. "So if you are looking for me, let these men go." This was to fulfill the statement he had spoken, "I lost none of those you gave me."

Now the betrayer had given them a sign, "Whoever I kiss is the man. Arrest him." Immediately he went to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.

Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

Then they advanced, took hold of Jesus and arrested him. When those who were around him saw what was about to happen, they said to him, "Lord, should we strike with the sword?" Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

But Jesus responded, "Stop! No more of this! Put your sword back into its place, because all who take the sword will die by the sword. Do you not realize that I could call on my Father, and at once he would provide me with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?" Then he touched the servant's ear and healed him.

At that same time Jesus said to the crowd, "Have you come out to arrest me with swords and clubs, as if I were a robber? Day after day I was sitting in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has happened, so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

The company of soldiers, the commander, and the Jewish officers arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, because he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Now it was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews, "It is better that one man should die for the people."

Simon Peter and another disciple kept following Jesus. That disciple was known to the high priest, so he went into the high priest's courtyard with Jesus. But Peter stood outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and talked to the girl watching the door and brought Peter in.

The servants and officers were standing around a fire of coals they had made because it was cold. While they warmed themselves, Peter entered and sat down with the guards to see how it would turn out.

While Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked directly at him and said, "You were also with Jesus the Galilean."

But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about. Woman, I do not know him."

When Peter went out to the entry way, someone else saw him and said to those who were there, "This is one of them. This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth."

Again Peter denied it with an oath and said, "I do not know the man."

After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, "Surely you are also one of them, because even your accent gives you away. You are a Galilean!"

Then he began to curse and to swear, "I do not know this man you are talking about! I do not know the man!" At that very moment, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the Lord's word, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today you will deny me three times." And he went outside, broke down and wept bitterly.

The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I always taught in a synagogue or at the temple, where all the Jews gather. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard what I told them. Look, they know what I said."

When he said this, one of the officers standing there struck Jesus in the face. "Is that how you answer the high priest?" he demanded.

"If I said something wrong," Jesus answered, "testify about what was wrong. But if I said what is right, why do you hit me?"

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. They found none, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'" Yet even on this point, their testimony did not agree.

The high priest stood up and said to him, "Have you no answer? What is this that these men are testifying against you?" But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, "I place you under oath by the living God: tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God!"

Jesus said to him, "It is as you have said. But I tell you, soon you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? See, you have just heard the blasphemy! What do you think?"

They answered, "He is deserving of death!" Then some began to spit on him. They covered his face, struck him with their fists, and said, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who hit you?" The guards also took him and beat him. And they went on saying many other blasphemous things against him.

HYMN OF THE DAY

Hymn 125, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

SERMON

Based on John 13:20-30
The Misunderstandings of the Passion …
What You Are about to Do, Do Quickly!

CLOSING HYMN

Hymn 240, Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise