What is Palm Sunday?
The Sunday before Jesus died on the cross, He and His disciples traveled back to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. The people of Israel had seen and heard of Jesus’ mighty works and many believed He may be the promised Messiah who would save them from their Roman rulers. However, Jesus was not the Savior they were expecting. He came to save Israel from a power far deadlier than the Roman government; He came to save His people from their sins.
Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, demonstrating that He was the promised Messiah by fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, “Your king is coming to you…humble and mounted on a donkey.” As he approached the city gates, the gathering crowd began to honor him by spreading on the road their cloaks and palm branches. With great joy and expectation, they shouted: “Hosanna! (Which means ‘Save us now!’) Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
On Palm Sunday, we remember that Jesus is the Savior of the world who intentionally came to die for sinners like you and me.
Why should I emphasize Palm Sunday in my home?
The most important week in world history is the week leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. During this week, God set into motion what would change our lives forever. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of this week, and its message is one you and your family should know.
- Palm Sunday teaches us to worship Christ for who He says He is. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people shouted with great joy because they thought He was coming to free them from Roman rule. They worshipped Him for the wrong reason. Similarly, it is easy for us to worship Christ as King as long as He meets our every demand. This Palm Sunday, help your children see that they must worship Christ for who He says He is, not what they want Him to be.
- Palm Sunday teaches us that Jesus’ death was no accident. When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, He knew what He was doing. By riding into town on a donkey, He declared Himself to be the king prophesied in Zechariah, provoking the religious leaders to call for His crucifixion. The cross was no accident. It is easy for children to think that Jesus didn’t want to die but ended up being killed anyway.
This Palm Sunday, help your children see that Jesus’ death was no accident—Jesus understood what was coming and embraced it so that you and I might be reconciled to God.
How can I teach my child more about Palm Sunday?
As a parent, God has called you to be the primary disciple-maker in your child’s life. Here are three ways you can teach your child more about Palm Sunday:
- Read the Bible story together. All four gospels record this story (Matthew 21:1–17, Mark 11:1–11, Luke 19:29–40, John 12:12–19). Pick one or a few and read them together.
- Talk about why Jesus would willingly die for us. Ask your children why and help them see how amazing His love is for undeserving people like you and me!
- Pray together. When you pray together, let your children hear you thank God not just for material blessings but for sending Christ.