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Palm Sunday

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Scripture Reference

Matthew 21:1-11

See also Mark 11:1-1; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19 and Revelation 19:11

Key Verse

Matthew 21:5 (NET)

“Tell the people of Zion,

‘Look, your king is coming to you,

Unassuming and seated on a donkey,

And on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

1. Read the Passage:

Read the Matthew 21:1-11 in the NET Bible or in the translation of your choice.

Dig deeper:

If time allows, read about this event in all four of the Gospels and compare the accounts. Reading all four of the Gospels may help you gain a more complete understanding of the events that occurred. You can find this same account in Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40 and in John 12:12-19. See also Revelation 19:11.

2. Observe the actions and attitudes of Jesus:

In the space below, write down all that you observe about Christ. For example – what did Jesus do? What did He say? To whom was He speaking?

Next, read Revelation 19:11 – in this verse, John is speaking of Jesus as the one called ‘Faithful’ and ‘True.’ What is Jesus riding on in this verse?

3. Understand the culture:

This is the beginning of the final act in the life of Christ on earth. He was entering Jerusalem to officially present Himself as their King. It is important to note something about the culture: It was customary that a king would enter the city on a white horse after a victorious battle but during a time of peace, the king rode in on a donkey. (Judges 5:10; 1 Kings 1:33)

Ask: What message might Jesus have been trying to communicate by entering on a donkey and not on a white horse?

Jesus was entering the city extending grace, not to judge the city. As we see in Revelation 19:11, the time will come (a time still future to us) when Jesus will enter the city as a victorious ruler and will judge the world.

4. Observe the response of the People:

In the space below, jot down some of the responses of the people.

We note that the crowds that went ahead of Jesus were shouting:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

Others asked who He was.

Explain the meaning of the statements:

“Hosanna” literally means “Save Now”

“Son of David” was a Messianic title for Jesus

The crowds were acknowledging Jesus was who He claimed to be…for now.

Later, we read how these same crowds went from shouting ‘Hosanna’ to shouting

‘Crucify Him.’

Dig Deeper-

This Triumphant Entry of Jesus is significant for 4 reasons:

    1. This was the final and official presentation of Jesus to Israel as their Messiah

    2. Many people recognized this as seen in their shouts of praise.

    3. By coming on a donkey, Jesus presented Himself as King.

    4. This presentation of Jesus was the exact fulfillment of prophecy; prophecy the Israelites would have been very familiar with. This should have confirmed without any doubt that Jesus was (and is) the Messiah.

5. Your Response:

We learn at least two things from this passage today.

    1. Jesus is who He claimed to be. He is the Messiah, sent by God to die for us so that we might live with Him for eternity (John 3:16).

    2. We know the people will eventually change their shouts, but for the time being, they recognized who Christ was and sang praise to His name. Praise is a gift to God. Praise is also public and verbal.

What is your response to Jesus? Do you believe He is your Savior? This is the most important decision you will ever make.

How can your family publically and verbally praise God today? Find someone to share God’s goodness with today and do so!

Pray with your family…

    • Thank God for sending His Son so that we might have live

    • Ask God to help you and your family recognize His goodness and for the courage to praise Him as you share His goodness to at least one person every day this week.

6. Family Activity

Palm Leaf Activity

Instructions:

Using this palm leaf on the palm leaf activity sheet as a pattern, trace and cut out a palm leaf from a piece of green felt or green paper. As a family, decide what you will give praise to God for this week. Using a permanent marker, write your family’s praise to God then display the leaf in a prominent place in your home for the entire week. As you pray daily, thank God for He has given your family and share your praise with others who may visit your home throughout the week.

Related Topics: Easter, Children