Day One of Passion Week

Palm Sunday
(John 12:12-19)

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9  “Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—even on a donkey’s colt.”  This is totally different from when He will come again as King of Kings riding on a white horse.  Revelation 6:2 “Then I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown and rode off as a warrior to win battles.”

In the ancient Biblical world, a leader rode on a donkey to signify peace but he rode on a horse if he was coming in war.

The people greeted Him as though He were an earthly king that would end the Roman occupation and Jerusalem would again be a Jewish city.  They waved palm leaves as He entered the city which is why this Sunday is called Palm Sunday.

They shouted, “Hosanna,” which means “save us,” and comes from Psalm 118:25   “Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.”   However, many of the same people who shouted “Hosanna”, soon turned on Him and shouted “Crucify Him”.

This began Christ’s long week that led to the Cross.  He met the trials of this week with steadfastness, with peace, and with great courage.  He demonstrated that He alone is worthy to be called “Savior of the World”.


Celebrating the Real Meaning of Easter

Easter is the time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but this usually gets pushed aside by traditional Easter activities such as the Easter Bunny, colored eggs, and new clothes.  Easter comes at springtime and some of our traditions at Easter are actually a part of the pagan springtime celebration.  But that’s ok . . .  we can use these tangible things to help children understand intangible ideas.

The bunny stays in a rabbit hole in the ground all winter.  When spring comes, the bunny comes out of  his hole.  We can relate this to Jesus being in the tomb for three days, but on Easter morning, He came out and is alive today.

Eggs remind us of new life.   Coloring them reminds us of how beautiful our world is as the earth comes back to life again with new flowers and new leaves and grass.  Relate this to Jesus coming back to life.

New chicks, bunnies, lambs, and ducks are  also reminders of new life.    Jesus gives us new life by what He did on the Cross for us.

Put Bible verses on the eggs you hide and then gather together to read them all.  Some suggested verses are:

Revelation 21:5 Jesus makes all things new.

Galatians 2:20  Jesus Christ lives.

Matthew 28:6  Jesus is risen.

Song of Solomon 2:12  The flowers appear on the earth.

2 Cor. 5:17 (Living)   When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!

Make a cross out of twigs or craft sticks and keep it in a prominent place during the Easter season.  Point out that it is empty because Jesus didn’t stay on the cross or in the tomb . . . He is alive!!

A great book to teach the real meaning of Easter is Easter Bunny, Are You For Real?

10-hooray This is a song that children really love about the empty tomb .  It is from Every Song a Bible Story from Maranatha Music.

Make Easter a family time of worshiping together and thinking about the risen Lord.  Read the Easter story together from Matthew 27-28, Mark 15 – 16, or Luke 23-24.

Happy Easter from my family to yours.