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The Triumphal Entry and Palm Sunday

The Triumphal Entry and Palm Sunday Hero Image The Triumphal Entry and Palm Sunday Hero Image

Welcome to our Holy Week devotional series! Each day, you can read reflections on the biblical events of Easter week and learn why they matter for us today. Below the Scripture Guide for each day, you’ll find a kids’ version that can be read together as a family, complete with a fun Easter-themed activity. You can also download the full week’s worth of Watermark Kids devotionals here.

Holy Week: Sunday, April 10

How did Jesus go from being royally welcomed by the crowds on Palm Sunday to having those same crowds call for His execution less than a week later? Turns out it was easy. Let's walk you through some of the reasons.

First, Jesus had been inviting His followers into a completely new way of life (Matthew 11:28-30). He also taught with such authority that people recognized there was truly something different about Him (Mark 1:22). He even critiqued and called out the religious elite (Matthew 23:13-39). If all that wasn’t enough, He claimed to be the Son of God (John 5:16-24, 10:1-33, 11:1-44). This was considered blasphemous behavior.

Second, many people in Jerusalem assumed that their Savior was going to be a military and political hero committed to bringing them freedom from worldly oppression. They believed this even though Jesus often told them otherwise (Luke 19:10, Matthew 16:21). And so, when Jesus didn’t seem interested in violently casting down their enemies, tensions began to rise.

Lastly, with His message and mission already misinterpreted by the masses, Palm Sunday occurred. Palm Sunday was the day that Jesus triumphantly entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Matthew 21:7), fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy of a king coming in peace (Zechariah 9:9). Crowds lay down their cloaks and palm branches, representing their nation's hope in a royal and political leader. The crowds then sang songs of hope and deliverance, thinking the king finally arrived to bring revolution. They thought physical freedom was here.

Listen to their shouts, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:13) This crowd was fully convinced their King had come. And while their Savior had indeed arrived, it was not in the way they wanted or expected. Jesus came to bring peace to Jerusalem not by overthrowing Rome, but by offering Himself as a once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. He had not come to bring physical freedom, but to resolve a more pressing issue and pave the way for spiritual freedom. The people’s hearts were not ready for this kind of King. So, only a few days later, they called for Him to be crucified. The same people waving palm branches and offering praises would soon scream, "crucify!" (Luke 23:21) – all because they saw and heard but didn’t truly understand.

Pray that we would all see, hear, and understand. Let us be mindful of who Jesus says He is this week.

Holy Week for Kids: Sunday, April 10

Teach your children the story of Easter with these kid-friendly Holy Week devotionals, discussion questions, and fun family activities. You can download the full week’s worth of devotionals below.

Download the PDF guide

Jesus Arrives

Theme: Praise 

Scripture: Matthew 21:1-9 

Story:  
For a long time—hundreds of years—God’s people had lived through hard times and were waiting for someone to rescue them. God had promised through special messengers called prophets that a Messiah, a King descended from King David, would come to be their Savior. God even told them exactly how the Messiah would arrive, riding on a donkey. And now, finally, He was here! Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, just like God had promised. People were very excited that their Savior had come. They laid their coats and palm branches on the ground to make a soft path, and they shouted out praises to Him. They yelled “Hosanna,” a word that means “Please save us!” Jesus had come to save them, but He would save them in a way that was so much better than they could imagine. 

Questions:  

  • Why do we praise Jesus? 
  • How can you praise Jesus this week?  

Activity:  

Help your children make green palm leaves using their own palms. Either dip your child’s hand in green paint and make several handprints on white construction paper in the shape of a palm leaf, or trace your child’s hand on green construction paper. Cut out the handprints and glue them onto craft sticks or “branches” made from strips of cardboard. You can then pretend to be part of the crowd on Palm Sunday, waving your palm branches and shouting out the praises of Matthew 21:9.