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March 25, 2020 Lent

Lent 5th Psalm 69:21 . . . “Sour wine to drink”

Service Sheet ~ and sermon below



Faith Lutheran Church

+ The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod +

Spooner, Wisconsin

Fifth Wednesday of Lent

March 25, 2020

As We Gather  We praise and thank You, O God, through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, through whom You have enlightened us.  The daylight that You created for our pleasure has fully satisfied us, and yet, of Your free gift, now the evening lights do not fail us.  We praise and glorify You, through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord; through Him be glory, honor, and power to You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.  Amen

Hymn:  “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (LSB #450)

1. O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,

Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown.

O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss, till now was Thine!

Yet, tho’ despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

2. Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,

Tho’ mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.

How art Thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!

How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

3. What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest Friend,

For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?

Oh, make me Thine forever!  And should I fainting be,

Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love for Thee.

4. Be Thou my Consolation, my Shield, when I must die;

Remind me of Thy Passion when my last hour draws nigh.

Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,

My heart by faith enfold thee.  Who dieth thus dies well.

Paul Gerhardt, Public domain


Pastor:  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Congregation:  Amen

Confession of sin

P: Almighty God, we acknowledge and confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.

C: There is sorrow deep within us for the wrong we have done, and the good we have left undone.  Lord, You are full of compassion, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy; there is always forgiveness with You!  Restore to us the joy of Your salvation; bind up that which is broken, give light to our minds, strength to our wills, and rest to our souls.  Let Your Word abide with us until it has wrought in us Your holy will, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

P: According to His grace, mercy and loving-kindness, the almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness, and remission of all your sins, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C: Amen

Psalm 22

P: My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?

C: Why are You so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

P: O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

C: Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

P: But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

C: All who see me mock me; they wag their heads;

P: “He trusts in the Lord; let Him deliver him;

C: Let Him rescue him, for He delights in him!”

P: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint;

C: My heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;

P: My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws;

C: You lay me in the dust of death.

P: For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me;

C: They have pierced my hands and feet.

P: But You, O Lord, do not be far off!

C: O You my help, come quickly to my aid!

P: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

C: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen

Prayer of the day

P: O Lord, the enemies of Your kingdom have no power and Your saving will shall triumph.  As You have promised, bring home Your people that we may dwell in Your house and worship in Your temple in the day that has no end.  Restore us to joy because You watch over us and have accomplished our salvation by giving us Your own Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  In His name we pray.

C: Amen

The Passion History, Lesson Five:  Condemned and Crucified

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended into hell.  The third day He rose again from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen

Hymn:  “Behold the Man! Thus Pilate Spake” (to LSB #526)

1. Behold the Man! Thus Pilate spake, reluctant to comply;

But all in vain--the clamorous Jews demand that Christ shall die.

2. Come then, each soul, behold the Man! The silent sufferer see;

The prisoner stands at Pilate’s bar to set the nations free.

3. Behold the Saviour, crown’d with thorns, while cruel men deride;

Behold they nail Him to the tree, and pierce His sacred side.

4. Amazing love! He bleeds, He dies, our sins His murderers were!

These were the scourge, the thorns, the nails, and these the pointed spear.

5. But Jesus died that we might live, hence pleasing thoughts arise;

He rose a mansion to prepare, for us beyond the skies!

6. And when we join th’ enraptur’d throng, we shall His beauties trace;

And sing the wonders of His love, the riches of His grace!

Author unknown

Message:  “Sour wine to drink” - Psalm 69:21


Hymn:  “In Silent Pain the Eternal Son” (LSB #432)

1. In silent pain the eternal Son hangs derelict and still;

In darkened day His work is done, fulfilled, His Father’s will.

Uplifted for the world to see He hangs in strangest victory,

For in His body on the tree He carries all our ill.

2. He died that we might die to sin and live for righteousness;

The earth is stained to make us clean and bring us into peace.

For peace He came and met its cost; He gave Himself to save the lost;

He loved us to the uttermost and paid for our release.

3. For strife He came to bring a sword, the truth to end all lies;

To rule in us, our patient Lord, until all evil dies:

For in His hand He holds the stars, His voice shall speak to end our wars,

And those who love Him see His scars and look into His eyes.

Christopher M. Idle, John L. Bell, Public domain

Prayers of the church

P: Heavenly Father, we confess our desperate sinful condition.  Come to us in our time of need.

C: Savior, Son of God, hear our prayer.

P: Lord Jesus, we often are uncertain about our future.  We are frequently consumed with worry and tension about things we cannot control.  Increase our faith that our sense of insecurity and concern may diminish, knowing that You alone preserve us every day.

C: King of kings and Lord of lords, at times people indulge in excessive freedoms and frequently taunt our unwavering commitment and Christian discipline.  Encourage us, Lord, to be bold in our witness to the unchanging truth of Your Word.

P: Lord of all things seen and unseen, we cry out to You because our world is in constant turmoil.  Raise up for us faithful leaders who will seek to make decisions according to Your Word and grant them resolute courage and determination to promote and establish justice.

C: Savior of mankind, when we face our last hour, do not forsake us but bring us to Yourself in heaven.

P: Continually be faithful, holding us securely in Your arms as the Good Shepherd who redeems His sheep.

C: Savior, Son of God, hear our prayer.

P: This we ask in the precious name of Jesus, who taught us to pray…

The Lord’s Prayer


P: The Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

C: Amen 

Hymn:  “Rest, O Christ, from All Your Labor” (to LSB #451)

1. Rest, O Christ, from all Your labor; sleep within Your borrowed tomb.

Foes have crucified and bound You fast within death’s narrow room.

Pilate’s guards stand watching, waiting where they rolled the sealing stone.

All unseen Another watches:  God will not forsake His own.

2. Peace at last from all Your anguish, wounds in hands and feet and side.

Enemies no longer mock You, scourged, abandoned, crucified.

Faithful women gather spices, weep for You whom sin has slain.

Though they mourn, the God who guards You will not let Your death be vain.

3. Help us keep this solemn Sabbath as we wait for Easter dawn.

Earth’s dark night of sin is passing; death’s long reign will soon be gone.

Christ, in whom the new creation rises brighter than the sun:

May we, as we watch for morning, trust the vict’ry You have won.

4. As through parting Red Sea waters Israel marched to liberty,

So we pass through baptism’s water, washed by grace, from sin set free.

Jesus, risen, living, reigning now and through eternity:

Grant that, through Your life undying, we may live victoriously.

Herman G. Stuempfle, Public domain

Silent prayer

      +         +


“Sour wine to drink”

Psalm 69:21

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus.

If I were to ask what is the single most dramatic scene in all of the world’s literature, what would you say?

If you’ve read The Count of Monte Cristo, you might suggest the prison break scene.  For when Edmond Dantes went to prison, he lost not only his freedom, but his family, his reputation, and his true love.  The prison break scene was his first step toward vindication.

Pride and Prejudice is full of amazing scenes, but there’s one, they say, that tops them all.  It’s when Elizabeth Bennet confronts the prideful, arrogant Mr. Darcy, eventually turning a painful rejection into true romance.

And perhaps one of the best known of all is found in the death of two “star-crossed” lovers, Romeo and Juliet.  As one author wrote, “Though you knew it was the only possible ending, you hate it all just the same.”

Now those are very good answers.  But there’s one more.  If truth be known, the single most dramatic scene in all of the world’s literature took place in six hours on Good Friday.

Everything thinkable and unthinkable, imaginable and unimaginable, possible and impossible, happened.  Every human passion was there--hate, anger, fear, love, pride, and devotion.  And every human drama was there--trial, denial, betrayal, murder, and suicide.

And it was all held together by One quiet, mysterious figure who spoke only seven times, but who dominated the story as if it had been planned from eternity.  There on Mount Calvary, God was moving.  And when God moves, everything--life, history, and men--moves with Him, whether they had any intention of doing so or not.

And remember--what happened there that day was no play.  They weren’t actors performing on a stage.  The blood was real, the cross was real, and the nails and spear were as cold and as hard as iron.

Jesus had come to the end of His human life.  He knew it.  He felt it.  He’s hung on the cross for six hours now.  It was hard to even breathe.  Hung from His arms, He pulled Himself up to gasp for air.  His shoulders ached.  His mouth was parched.  He was exhausted.  Yet He would not die without saying one final word.

Listen to the words of John chapter 19:  “Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I thirst.’  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips” (John 19:28-29).

Throughout this season of Lent, we’ve focused on what the Old Testament had to say about the suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ.  Zechariah said He’d be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, and He was.  Isaiah said He’d be mocked and abused, and He was.  Psalm 38 said He’d be as quiet as a lamb led to its slaughter, and He was.  Psalm 22 said He’d be forsaken, and He was.  Now Psalm 69 says men would give Him sour wine, vinegar, to drink.

All of it, from beginning to end, was part of God’s plan.

The peculiar thing about this word from the cross is that it’s the first time Jesus took care of His own needs, thinking about Himself.  When soldiers drove nails through His hands and feet, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  When a dying thief said, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom,” Jesus said, “Today, you’ll be with Me in Paradise.”  He said to His mother Mary and to His dear disciple John standing at the foot of His cross, “Woman, behold your son; behold your mother.”  And taking the place of all who suffer alienation from God, He cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Now finally, after meeting the needs of so many others, He turned to His own needs and cried, “I thirst.”

It’s the shortest of any of His words from the cross.  In English, it stands as two words.  In Greek, it’s only one.  But even though it’s the shortest of all His words, it gives us a glimpse into the true nature of His agony on the cross.

It’s likely that Jesus had nothing to eat or drink since His Last Supper on Maundy Thursday night.  And since those few, brief hours He sat with His disciples, He’s prayed in agony in the Garden, then was arrested, beaten, questioned, and ridiculed all night long.  At daybreak, He was taken before Pilate, then Herod, then back to Pilate, where He was beaten and ridiculed again.  Condemned, He bore a heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem.  Tired, hungry, and thirsty, He collapsed to the ground.  Finally on Calvary’s hill, at 9:00, soldiers nailed His hands and feet to the cross.

Historians tell us that when a man is crucified, one of his greatest agonies is dehydration, a desperate thirst for water.  His lips crack, his eyes glaze.  His tongue swells in his mouth.  Loss of blood, exposure, heat, exhaustion, buzzing flies, dripping sweat, a terrible throbbing pain in your head.  Your throat feels like sandpaper, your vocal cords become dry and raspy, waves of nausea set in.  When you speak, your words are little more than hoarse whispers.  No wonder Jesus cried out to those who stood nearby and said, “I thirst.”

But this is strange.  This is the One who spoke water into existence, who separated the sea from the dry land, whose power parted the Red Sea, who brought water from a rock in the desert, who stopped the flow of the Jordan River, who said to a woman at a well, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again.  The water that I shall give shall be in him a well of water springing up to everlasting life.”

Or think of the words of Psalm 33:  “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap.”  Psalm 95:  “The deep places of the earth are in His hand,” and “The sea is His, for He made it.”

Yet with a dry mouth and parched lips, He cries, “I thirst.”

But how could He thirst?  Angels never thirst, for they have neither flesh nor blood.  Kings never thirst, for servants run to bring them a cup of cold water.  If anyone would thirst, it would never be One who rules over heaven and earth.

Yet in the pain and agony of the cross, Jesus cried, “I thirst.”

And what did they bring Him?  Did they bring Him a cool, refreshing glass of water fresh from the Pool of Siloam or a well in Bethlehem?  Was it a cup of newly melted snow from the top of Mt. Hermon?

Not a chance.  It was posca, wine-vinegar, the most common drink, the cheapest drink, that anyone could find.  The Bible says a soldier ran, stabbed a stalk of hyssop through a sponge, mopped it up, and held it high, dripping, toward His impossibly dry, cracked, parched lips.

And so it was done.  Jesus came to save, and this is what man has done.  At His birth, there was no room for Him in the inn and, when He dies, there was no cool cup of water for Him to drink.  At His birth, Mary wrapped Him in warm, dry, swaddling clothes.  Now soldiers gamble for His last strip of clothes.  At His birth, Mary nursed Him with her mother’s milk.  Now soldiers offer Him cheap wine on a sponge.

And we have hardly done any better.  Jesus asks for the absolute best from us, yet what do we give Him?  Is it any more than cheap wine on a sponge?

As one author put it:  “The Maker of the universe as Man for man was made a curse; the claims of laws which He had made unto the uttermost He paid.  His holy fingers made the bough where gew the thorns that crowned His brow; the nails that pierced his hands were mined in secret places He designed.  He made the forests where there sprung the tree on which His body hung.  He died upon a cross of wood, yet made the hill on which it stood.  The sky which darkened o’er His head, by Him above the earth was spread.  The sun which hid from Him its face, by His decree was poised in space.  The spear which spilt His precious blood was tempered in the fires of God.  The grave in which His form was laid, was hewn in rocks His hands had made.”

It was March 5, 1994, and Deputy Sheriff Lloyd Prescott, dressed in plain clothes, was taking a class, a Toastmaster’s class, at a library in Salt Lake City.  That’s when, all of a sudden, a man named Clifford Draper jumped onto a library service desk, brandished a gun, and claimed he had a bomb on a table in the center of the conference room.  Then ordering everyone into the conference room, he demanded cash, gold, platinum, back-pay for prior military service, and a full presidential pardon from President Clinton.

Then after he counted his hostages and forced them to line up against a wall, Draper announced that everyone would draw straws to determine the order in which they’d be shot until his demands were met.

That’s when Deputy Prescott decided to take a chance.  Though he was dressed in plain clothes, he drew out his pistol, ordered all the hostages to the floor, and fired five times.  When Draper was taken to a nearby hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

In just the same way, Jesus, dressed in plain clothes, entered into our world where we were held captive by sin and death.  And by His suffering and death on the cross, He freed us, redeemed us, and delivered us.  And by His rich, unfathomable grace, He made us right with God.

As Paul wrote to the Corinthians:  “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”


We thank You, dear Jesus, for everything You’ve done.  You thirsted for our souls and for our salvation.  You were parched that we might drink the water of life.  Grant us Your grace and every blessing.  This we ask in Your name.  Amen


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