Palm Sunday: A Man with The Promised Plan


Message Title: A Man with The Promised Plan
Theme: Holy Week
Season: Lent
Main Text: Isaiah 42:1-9; 49:1-7; 50:4-9a; 52:13-53:12
Scripture Reading: Mark 11:1-11
RCL Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 or Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16 or Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39, (40-47)
Focus: God promises deliverance through the Suffering Servant of Isaiah.
Function: To believe in the God who keeps God’s promises and prepare to celebrate Easter.
Other Notes: PALM SUNDAY

**INTRODUCTION to HOLY WEEK** (place with Palms): Hosannah! Hosannah in the highest! Jesus is the King of Kings. Today we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry in to Jerusalem.

  1. Make your own palm leaf cross.
  2. Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday (depending on your tradition)
    1. Passion Sunday used to be the Sunday BEFORE Palm Sunday. But the Catholic church merged those two together into the Sunday before Easter.
  3. Call to worship read & response!

SCRIPTURE READING: Mark 11:1-11 When Jesus and his followers approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus gave two disciples a task, saying to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘Its master needs it, and he will send it back right away.’” They went and found a colt tied to a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. Some people standing around said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them just what Jesus said, and they left them alone. They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes upon it, and he sat on it. Many people spread out their clothes on the road while others spread branches cut from the fields. Those in front of him and those following were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord![a] 10 Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!” 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. After he looked around at everything, because it was already late in the evening, he returned to Bethany with the Twelve.


  1. What are your favorite Easter traditions?
    1. Do you have a favorite Easter food?
    2. I know without a doubt my mother would say it isn’t Easter without ham. But I need some deviled eggs!
  2. Who loved sitting at the kids’ table?
    1. Who loved graduating to the adult table?
  3. If I’m honest, I quickly learned the adult table was boring. All they wanted to talk about was work, school, and if I had a boyfriend. The kids’ table was more fun. We had talks of games and friends and other interests.

TRANSITION: Sometimes traditions are passed on for generations and we never question where they came from. My grandmother always made this orange jello salad with whipped cream and nuts on top. Now it’s a family staple. But what made her make it the first time?


Explaining today: During the season of Lent, we spent weeks looking at different covenantal promises God made with creation and with humans. As we explored those promises, we saw how God continued to be trustworthy and find ways to make God’s will happen, even if humans were stubborn or selfish.

ENGAGE THE AUDIENCE: Have you ever heard someone say that Jesus is mentioned in the Old Testament?

Christians believe Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promises to humanity. However, some of those promises have not been fulfilled yet.

Today is going to look a little different than a sermon. We are going to take a little jump through Isaiah together today and see what we can find. Our goal is not to solve all of our questions in these passages but to get glimpses of promises together that will get us excited for the rest of holy week.

SCRIPTURE ACTIVITY: Isaiah 42:1-9; Isaiah 49:1-7; Isaiah 50:4-9a; 52:13-53:12

Isaiah & the Suffering Servant—Read the Isaiah “Suffering Servant Songs” and look for details about the Servant Israel.

I’ve recruited some volunteers to read for me. As they read, I want you to write down places you see God promising to do something. We’ll sort them out together. If you want a copy of the scripture, raise your hand. Otherwise, the references will be on the screen.

Y’all, this is gonna get real awkward if you don’t join in with me.

  1. But here is my servant, the one I uphold; my chosen, who brings me delight. I’ve put my spirit upon him; he will bring justice to the nations. 2He won’t cry out or shout aloud or make his voice heard in public. 3He won’t break a bruised reed; he won’t extinguish a faint wick, but he will surely bring justice. 4He won’t be extinguished or broken until he has established justice in the land. The coastlands await his teaching. 5God the Lord says—the one who created the heavens, the one who stretched them out, the one who spread out the earth and its offspring, the one who gave breath to its people and life to those who walk on it—6I, the Lord, have called you for a good reason. I will grasp your hand and guard you, and give you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, 7to open blind eyes, to lead the prisoners from prison, and those who sit in darkness from the dungeon. 8I am the Lord; that is my name; I don’t hand out my glory to others or my praise to idols. 9The things announced in the past—look—they’ve already happened, but I’m declaring new things. Before they even appear, I tell you about them.
  2. Listen to me, coastlands; pay attention, peoples far away. The Lord called me before my birth, called my name when I was in my mother’s womb. 2He made my mouth like a sharp sword, and hid me in the shadow of God’s own hand. He made me a sharpened arrow, and concealed me in God’s quiver, 3saying to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I show my glory.” 4But I said, “I have wearied myself in vain. I have used up my strength for nothing.” Nevertheless, the Lord will grant me justice; my reward is with my God. 5And now the Lord has decided—the one who formed me from the womb as his servant—to restore Jacob to God, so that Israel might return to him. Moreover, I’m honored in the Lord’s eyes; my God has become my strength. 6He said: It is not enough, since you are my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the survivors of Israel. Hence, I will also appoint you as light to the nations so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. 7The Lord, redeemer of Israel and its holy one,  says to one despised, rejected by nations, to the slave of rulers: Kings will see and stand up; commanders will bow down on account of the Lord, who is faithful, the holy one of Israel, who has chosen you.
  3. 4The Lord God gave me an educated tongue to know how to respond to the weary with a word that will awaken them in the morning. God awakens my ear in the morning to listen, as educated people do. 5The Lord God opened my ear; I didn’t rebel; I didn’t turn my back. 6Instead, I gave my body to attackers, and my cheeks to beard pluckers. I didn’t hide my face from insults and spitting. 7The Lord God will help me; therefore, I haven’t been insulted. Therefore, I set my face like flint, and knew I wouldn’t be ashamed. 8The one who will declare me innocent is near. Who will argue with me? Let’s stand up together. Who will bring judgment against me? Let him approach me. 9Look! The Lord God will help me. Who will condemn me?
  4. 13Look, my servant will succeed. He will be exalted and lifted very high. 14Just as many were appalled by you, he too appeared disfigured, inhuman, his appearance unlike that of mortals. 15But he will astonishmany nations. Kings will be silenced because of him, because they will see what they haven’t seen before; what they haven’t heard before, they will ponder. 53 Who can believe what we have heard, and for whose sake has the Lord’s arm been revealed? 2He grew up like a young plant before us, like a root from dry ground. He possessed no splendid form for us to see, no desirable appearance. 3He was despised and avoided by others; a man who suffered, who knew sickness well. Like someone from whom people hid their faces, he was despised, and we didn’t think about him. 4It was certainly our sickness that he carried, and our sufferings that he bore, but we thought him afflicted, struck down by God and tormented. 5He was pierced because of our rebellions and crushed because of our crimes. He bore the punishment that made us whole; by his wounds we are healed. 6Like sheep we had all wandered away, each going its own way, but the Lord let fall on him all our crimes. 7He was oppressed and tormented, but didn’t open his mouth. Like a lamb being brought to slaughter, like a ewe silent before her shearers, he didn’t open his mouth. 8Due to an unjust ruling he was taken away, and his fate—who will think about it? He was eliminated from the land of the living, struck dead because of my people’s rebellion. 9His grave was among the wicked, his tomb with evildoers, though he had done no violence, and had spoken nothing false. 10But the Lord wanted to crush him and to make him suffer. If his life is offeredas restitution, he will see his offspring; he will enjoy long life. The Lord’s plans will come to fruition through him. 11After his deep anguish he will see light,and he will be satisfied. Through his knowledge, the righteous one, my servant, will make many righteous, and will bear their guilt. 12Therefore, I will give him a share with the great, and he will divide the spoil with the strong, in return for exposing his life to death and being numbered with rebels, though he carried the sin of many and pleaded on behalf of those who rebelled.
    1. (Jesus’ time)? (were the fulfilled already?)
    2. Are these promises for our future? (waiting to be fulfilled?)


  1. SCRIPTURE LIKE ONIONS: Scripture is so beautiful. Scripture has multiple layers of truth stacked on top of each other. There is a Jewish practice called “midrash” which is like a reinterpreting of scripture to be helpful in a new way. Jesus regularly quoted the old testament and gave it a new twist.
    1. As we look at the promises made in Isaiah, we must recognize the layers to this text. There is a layer that was directly for the Israelite people of Judah during Isaiah’s time.
    2. There is a layer for the Jews of Jesus’ time and a layer for us today.
  2. I can assure you that we haven’t nearly answered any of your questions about Isaiah or the fundamentals of Christianity in this service.
    1. Christianity is a life long learning adventure. As we continue to read scripture, talk to God and learn with each other, we grow and change.
    2. We continue to peel back layers of scripture and of ourselves as time goes on. With hope, we become more who God  built us to be in the process.

CONCLUSION: Welcome to Holy Week! It’s the Church’s superbowl. We’ve got services throughout this week that will give you a different aspect of the Christian story and who this Suffering Servant is to us.You are invited to come, participate, and engaged in the story of God’s love for all of creation.

  1. Holy Week schedule:
    1. 3/28
      1. Palm Sunday Service 10:30 am
      2. Judson Association Palm Sunday evening service &  “mini business meeting” at Hills Baptist Church 3-4:30 pm. (No meal).
    2. 3/31 Wednesday
      1. No Bible study
      2. Practice for Good Friday
    3. 4/1 Maundy Thursday 6:30 pm in fellowship hall
    4. 4/2 Conversations Around the Campfire – Good Friday 6:30 pm in sanctuary, dessert & fellowship afterwards. 
    5. 4/4 Easter Sunday
      1. Breakfast & Egg Hunt 9:30 am
      2. Easter service 10:30 am

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