April 14, 2018
This week is Palm Sunday. We will be in our 12th week in the book of Exodus, discussing God’s mission to redeem a people for His Kingdom in this world.
Holy week continues after this Sunday with Good Friday services on Friday, April 19 at 5:30 and 7pm, and Easter services on Sunday, April 21 at 6:30, 8, 9:30, and 11am. Here’s how you can prepare for Palm Sunday this week:
1. Read through our text, Exodus 7:14–11:10.
In the midst of the series of plagues, a major theme begins to take shape—the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. As the first five plagues wreak havoc in Egypt, the text tells us that either “Pharaoh’s heart was hardened” (v.7:13, 14, 22; 8:19; 9:7) or that “Pharaoh hardened his heart” (v.8:15, 32). Pharaoh has chosen to harden his heart in opposition to the explicit warnings of God and the clear displays of His power. Then, throughout the last five plagues, we see that the Lord Himself “hardened the heart of Pharaoh” (v.10:1, 20, 27; 11:10, 14:8). Here we see the sovereign judgment of God, hardening the heart of Pharaoh to accomplish His own redemptive purposes. Taken as a whole, we find one of the mysterious tensions of the Bible: On the one hand, human beings are responsible and accountable for our actions, and at the same time, God is absolutely sovereign and nothing happens outside His sovereign purposes. Above all, God wields His sovereign purposes to judge rebellion and to redeem a people for His Kingdom.
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
CALL TO WORSHIP: Zechariah 9:9
All Creatures Of Our God And King (William Henry Draper, St. Francis of Assisi addl. verse by Sovereign Grace Music)
Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:
O Lord, who on this day entered the rebellious city that later rejected You,
we confess that our wills are as rebellious as Jerusalem’s,
that our faith is often more show than substance,
that our hearts are in need of cleansing.
Have mercy on us, Son of David, Savior of our lives.
Help us to lay at Your feet all that we have and all that we are,
trusting You to forgive what is sinful, to heal what is broken,
to welcome our praises, and to receive us as Your own. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 John 4:14–16
Reckless Love (Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, Ran Jackson)
GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE, & COMMUNION
Crown Him (Majesty) (Bridges, Cash, Elvey, Maher, Thring, Tomlin)
Hosanna (Praise is Rising) (Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown)