Palm Sunday

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Opening prayer

Begin by praying this prayer.

We praise and thank you, O God, for the great acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. On Palm Sunday, he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was acclaimed Son of David and King of kings by those who scattered their garments and branches of palm in his path. Grant that we may ever praise Jesus as our Lord and King and follow him with confidence now and forever. Amen.

Part 2: A View From the Donkey

The time came for Jesus to go to Jerusalem and complete his mission to love and save God’s people.  Jerusalem was crowded with people who had come for Passover. Word had spread about the raising of Lazarus and the other miracles Jesus had done, so the arrival of Jesus was big news. People probably expected Jesus to make a big show of entering the city, but unlike earthly kings and mighty warriors, Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on humble donkey.  The people were looking for a savior, for the Messiah, so when Jesus approached the city, they raced out to greet him like a king as described in Zechariah 9:9.

Each of the Gospels provides a slightly different view of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Use the links below to read each of the accounts.

Part 3: A View from the Crowd

For the people welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem, it must have been an exciting day.  They believed that they were seeing the Messiah, the long promised savior who would come to restore God’s people to wholeness and power.  Jesus was a rising star and even though they didn’t have a red carpet back then for celebrities, the welcome Jesus gets is pretty amazing.  Take a look at the video below to get an idea of what Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem might have been like.

Part 4: So What Does this Mean?

Discussion Questions – answer the questions in the comments below:

  • If you had been in Jerusalem that day, do you think you would have gone out to meet Jesus?  Why or why not?
  • Each Gospel writer provides a slightly different view of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, which version of the story did you enjoy most and why?
  • What does your congregation do to celebrate Palm Sunday?  Do you use palm branches or palm crosses?  Do you process into the sanctuary or march around the building?

Part 5: Closing Prayer

Closing Prayer – Pray the follow prayer at the close of the session.

Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Opening and Closing Prayers adapted from Sundays and Copyright 2017 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #25165.