Wednesday in Holy Week, 08 April 2020
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Assist us mercifully with your grace, Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts by which you have promised us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Anglican Chant: Psalm 69 (Save Me, O God) — Choir of Gloucester Cathedral
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in, even unto my soul.I stick fast in the deep mire, where no ground is; I am come into deep waters, so that the floods run over me. I am weary of crying; my throat is dry; my sight faileth me for waiting so long upon my God.
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; they that are mine enemies, and would destroy me guiltless, are mighty. I paid them the things that I never took.
God, thou knowest my simpleness, and my faults are not hid from thee. Let not them that trust in thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my cause; let not those that seek thee be confounded through me, O Lord God of Israel.
And why? for thy sake have I suffered reproof; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, even an alien unto my mother’s children. For the zeal of thine house hath even eaten me; and the rebukes of them that rebuked thee are fallen upon me.
I wept, and chastened myself with fasting, and that was turned to my reproof.I put on sackcloth also, and they jested upon me. They that sit in the gate speak against me, and the drunkards make songs upon me.
But, LORD, I make my prayer unto thee in an acceptable time. Hear me, O God, in the multitude of thy mercy, even in the truth of thy salvation: take me out of the mire, that I sink not; O let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the water-flood drown me, neither let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O LORD, for thy loving-kindness is comfortable; turn thee unto me according to the multitude of thy mercies. And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: O haste thee, and hear me. Draw nigh unto my soul, and save it; O deliver me, because of mine enemies.
Thou hast known my reproach, my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all in thy sight. Reproach hath broken my heart; I am full of heaviness: I looked for some to have pity on me, but there was no man, neither found I any to comfort me. They gave me gall to eat; and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.
Let their table be made a snare to take themselves withal; and let the things that should have been for their wealth be unto them an occasion of falling. Let their eyes be blinded, that they see not; and ever bow thou down their backs.Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful displeasure take hold of them. Let their habitation be void, and no man to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk how they may vex them whom thou hast wounded. Let them fall from one wickedness to another, and not come into thy righteousness. Let them be wiped out of the book of the living, and not be written among the righteous.
As for me, when I am poor and in heaviness, thy help, O God, shall lift me up. I will praise the Name of God with a song, and magnify it with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than a bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
The humble shall consider this, and be glad: seek ye after God, and your soul shall live. For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise him: the sea, and all that moveth therein.
For God will save Sion, and build the cities of Judah, that men may dwell there, and have it in possession.The posterity also of his servants shall inherit it; and they that love his Name shall dwell therein.
A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 26:1-5, 14-25 (NLT)
The Plot to Kill Jesus
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
The Last Supper
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”
“As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.
When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”
Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”
He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”
Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”
And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”
A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 50:4-9 (NLT)
The Lord’s Obedient Servant
The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
and I have listened.
I have not rebelled or turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat me
and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.
I did not hide my face
from mockery and spitting.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore, I have set my face like a stone,
determined to do his will.
And I know that I will not be put to shame.
He who gives me justice is near.
Who will dare to bring charges against me now?
Where are my accusers?
Let them appear!
See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side!
Who will declare me guilty?
All my enemies will be destroyed
like old clothes that have been eaten by moths!
A Reading from the Epistles: Hebrews 9:11-28 (NLT)
Christ Is the Perfect Sacrifice
So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity.Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
Now when someone leaves a wi it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead. The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect.
That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal. For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.
For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
Sovereign God, we put our trust in You: come quickly and save us –
+ Save all who are sinking, drowning in the flood waters this worldwide pandemic…
+ Save all who are crying out to You, waiting for You to rescue them….
+ Save all whose enemies are attempting to use this pandemic to destroy them….
+ Save all who are repenting of their foolish sins and rebellion against You….
+ Save all who trust and worship You that they might not be embarrassment to You….
+ Save all who are scorned by their families and friends because of their trust in You….
Sovereign God, we pray to You: so when the time is right answer us and help us with Your wonderful love. Meanwhile we will praise You with songs and thankful hearts.
Nothing But The Blood – (Virtual Choir #1)
Closing: Hebrews 11:28 (NLT)
Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen