The Triumphal Entry
March 28, 2021
Wade Smith, Student Pastor
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”
16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him.19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
For many of us we’ve read this passage before and, if you’ve been around the church and Christianity for any amount of time, this passage is one that you may already know. I, for one, fall into that category because I’ve been in church my whole life. But… if this is your first reading of this story, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
One of the many things that has always stuck out to me is how the disciples didn’t understand what was going on and how Jesus came in on a donkey. Yes, a donkey. Do you find this interesting? I know I do. Yes, I know this fulfilled what was spoken in Zechariah but on a completely down to earth level I love how Jesus goes against everything that was expected or how everyone thought this should actually play out. Instead of coming in on a great white horse, ready to establish his reign, he comes in on a donkey.
I think the reason why the disciples may not have understood and why we often struggle in our day to day life is because we bring our own ideas or expectations into the mix instead of allowing God’s word or the Holy Spirit to direct us. I know it had to be a lot for these guys to take in but Zechariah already spoke so they should have known what to look for.
Sometimes our expectations or what we think should happen can get in the way of what God is actually doing and, if we are not careful, we can miss out on what he is trying to do.
As we approach Easter, let’s make sure we pay attention to what has been given to us and we don’t allow our expectations or preferences to hinder our view of Jesus, our King and our Messiah. Just to be fair… I wouldn’t expect him to be riding in on a donkey either but he did, and I’m so glad he did.
Dear Jesus, as we approach Easter, let us come in with an open mind and open heart to receive you. I pray this Easter we set our expectations, our feelings, and what we might already know to the side so we can truly experience you in a whole new way. I ask this in your precious name. Amen.
- What stands out to you about this passage?
- What do you find interesting or catches you off guard?
- Why do you think Jesus made his triumphal entry on the back of a donkey aside from fulfilling the prophecy?
- What needs to change in your heart that would allow you to receive and experience Easter in a real and fresh way?
Needed Supplies: coats, sweatshirts
Have your kid(s) grab coats and sweatshirts and lay them on the ground. Play a family game of Hot Lava. If you have never played before, the goal is to move from one side of the room to the other without touching the ground. Once your kid(s) get the hang of it, begin removing the coats or spacing them farther apart.
“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Blessed is the king of Israel!’”
John 12:12-13, NIV
The people were thrilled that Jesus was entering Jerusalem! They were so excited that they covered the road with palm branches and their coats (Matthew 21:8-9). They were also yelling, “Hosana!” which means “God save us!”
Why do you think they did this?
The people were showing love to Jesus by not letting him get dirty. They did this by covering the road with their coats and branches. It was a way to honor Jesus and show him that they were willing to follow him. They also waved palm branches which was a way of celebrating victory. Jesus was a king and the people were treating him as such.
How can we show love to Jesus today?
To add to the discussion for older children: What does it mean to be holy? How can we lay down our “coats” in our lives as a way to honor Jesus?
Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to save us. We lay down our “coats” and celebrate you today. We love you. Amen.