TEXT: Matthew 21:1-11
The students will be able to relate the events that occurred at the time of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and will relate these events to the Christian's desire to praise and honor God.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Wear a crown into class, made from gold foil or construction paper. Describe the honor paid to kings in those times. (See Background Information.) Ask the class what type of processional they would plan for Jesus if He were to arrive in our city today.
Progression of Events:
- Today we will learn about one special time when Jesus did come into the city of Jerusalem.
- He instructed His disciples to go to a certain place and bring Him a donkey.
- The multitudes spread their garments before Him, and cut down branches.
- The multitudes praised Jesus as He rode through the streets.
Climax: The people of that day wanted to praise and honor Jesus, and they chose this way to show it.
Conclusion: We want to praise and honor Him too.
Response: Your students will be able to describe the events surrounding Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. They will also be able to tell ways we can show Him praise and honor in our day. to tell ways we can show Him praise and honor in our day.
The triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem was a little in keeping with the honor paid, in Roman times, to returning kings or victorious generals. This constituted a magnificent procession in the king's honor, the honored one riding in a chariot preceded by the senate, magistrates, musicians, the spoils of war, and followed by their captives in chains. But Jesus, the King of kings, arrived riding a lowly donkey as was foretold by the Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9).
In the Old Testament the eight Hebrew words meaning triumph all refer to God, in prayer and praise to God or in discussion referring to God. The word of praise, Hosanna, was originally a prayer, "Save now," but it became an exclamation of praise as used in today's lesson. However, it did not lose its connection with the thought of prayer for salvation as is evidenced by the quotation from Psalm 118:25-26. In its application to God the Father and to Jesus, Hosanna was concerned with Messianic salvation.
- Cut out a palm branch for each of your students (see Patterns). As you talk about things you would like to praise Jesus for, help them print the words on their palm branch. You might wish to conclude your class time by singing together (have a pre-recorded background accompaniment if desired) a couple of "praise" songs, having the children wave their branches as they sing.
- Help your class make a "Praise" acrostic. Across your chalkboard or a large posterboard, write the words PRAISE GOD. Together think of things for which you wish to thank God, and use your ideas to fill in one word for each letter of the acrostic.
- Reproduce the picture of the crowd on Jerusalem street for each child (see Patterns). Let the children cut out the figure of Jesus on the donkey. Make it into a finger puppet, or mount it on a popsicle stick. They can insert the figure through the marked slit on the picture and move Jesus along in front of the crowd.
- Why were the people so happy to see Jesus?
- Was everyone happy that day? Why or why not?
- Why did the people put palm branches and their coats in the path of the donkey?
- What would you have done if you had been there?
- Why did Jesus ride on the donkey?
- How can we praise and honor Jesus today?
- God has prepared a way for Jesus to come into our hearts. How did He do it?
- Bring artificial palm branches for the children to wave.
- Teach the memory verse song, Hosanna. Tell how clapping hands can be praise to Jesus.
- Skit — Use the donkey from the Christmas story and have children make a path on which Jesus can travel and on which they can lay their branches and sweaters.
- As you tell the story, tell all the children to smile like the children who were happy to see Jesus.
- Show a crown (see Patterns). The people thought Jesus would be a king. We crown Him King of our heart.
As a skit, use the donkey from the Christmas program and have the children act out the parts of the story.
Prepare a large background, then have some children pin a donkey, Jesus, children, palm branches and pieces of clothing (see Patterns) in the proper places.
- See Support Material for Unit 7