The students will be able to describe how the people praised and honored Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem. They will relate this to how we can praise Him with our words.
Introduction: Open your class session by giving each of your students a list of words including some praise words and some others. Supply them with smiley-face stickers, and let them apply a sticker beside each word that is a praise word. Tell them that today your Bible story is about a time when people praised Jesus with words, and that you are going to learn how we can praise Jesus with words too.
Climax: Jesus said if they held their peace the stones would cry out. This shows the importance of praising Him, and helps us understand that we, too, must praise Him with our words.
Conclusion: Jesus had reached a high point of popularity with the multitudes because of His mighty works, and they wanted to proclaim Him king.
Response: The students will be able to relate the events surrounding Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. They will further be able to list a number of ways we can praise Jesus with our words.
The incident of the triumphal entry occurred a week before the Passover feast when as many as two million people would come to Jerusalem. Many Jews had already gathered in Jerusalem to purify themselves before that feast and many were asking, "Will Jesus come to the feast" (John 11:55-57)? because the leaders had commanded that anyone who saw Jesus should report to them that they might arrest Him. Jesus knew that the time of His death was near and had set His face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).
Jesus had recently healed blind Bartimaeus and raised Lazarus from the dead, and His fame was at an all-time high. Even His disciples probably were hoping He would lay aside His humility and set up His Kingdom. Whereas the horse was for war, the ass was ridden to portray peace. Jesus chose to ride the colt of an ass to declare His intentions of peace and to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. The crowd seemed to recognize this and in fulfillment of another prophecy took up the refrain of Psalm 118:26, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." The word Hosanna originally meant "save now" so not only were they praising Him but asking for Him to save them from Roman oppression. Jesus was unmistakably presenting Himself to the nation as their promised Messiah but a few short days later they chose to reject Him when He failed to meet their expectations of an earthly king.
Special Instructions for this Lesson: Refer to Lesson 7b for additional ideas.
Use a "Simon Says" game to show the difference between praise words with actions and everyday speech.
Simon says to God: Simon does not say:
I love You, Jesus No
Praise Him Table
Memory Verse Chair
Yes, Jesus Lunch
Simon’s actions to God Simon does not:
Kneel Stand on chair
Fold hands for prayer Wiggle ears
Sit quietly Wave to teacher
Stand Whisper to neighbor
Ask each child to sing a "praise song" for the rest of the group.
Teach your group a new praise song. It would be especially fun if you could do this with a tape or record. You might wish to put the words on an overhead transparency or songsheets to pass out so everyone will have the words.
Compose an acrostic from the words "Praise the Lord." Write the words down the center of a chalkboard, and have your group suggest words to fill in around them which describe ways we can praise the Lord.