Palm Sunday is celebrated each year the Sunday before Easter. Zechariah 9:9 and other Old Testament prophesy stated that the Messiah was to enter Jerusalem riding a donkey. When the people of Jerusalem saw the prophesy playing out, they laid palm branches on the ground to prepare the way for their king. Therefore Palm Sunday is celebrated with palm fronds to remember this triumphant entry.
- Skill level:
Pray. Step 1 to any Bible lesson is to pray. Pray that God would give you the words to speak. Pray also that God would give the students the ears to hear what you are saying. Once you have prepared yourself, move on to Step 2.
Read the account of Palm Sunday in the Bible. Open your Bible to Matthew chapter 21. Read verses 1-11 highlighting any verses that jump out to you. That is usually the Holy Spirit telling you to address some point in the scripture text. Read the other accounts of the Triumphant Entry, as it is called in the Bible. Read Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44 and John 12:12-19.
Determine the age range of the students and their abilities. If you are dealing with preschoolers, you have 3-4 minutes before you need to switch activities. Plan for one minute of attention span per year of their life. Therefore, a nine year old has a nine minute attention span. Switch activities regularly and listen to their signs that they are ready to move on.
Tell the story of the Triumphant Entry. Once you have a well rounded view of what was happening in Jerusalem, dress as a native of the region and retell the same story. If you need to read, keep it short and to the point. You will lose attention if you read too long.
Ask the students to play parts. Talk about why the king came on a donkey and ask the students to act like donkeys. Talk about a king no one recognized and have a shy child from the back come forward and play the role of an unsuspecting king. Give him a crown and treat him like royalty. Have fun with it. Bring the Bible alive. Remember your time constraints.
Plan a craft. Make crosses or crowns out of palm branches. Color pictures of donkeys. Plan any craft that has to do with donkeys, Jesus, kings and palm leaves. Follow the links below for some ideas. Inspire the kids to take their craft home and tell mom and dad what Palm Sunday is all about.
Tips and warnings
- The attention span thing from Step 3 only works with kids. A 40 year old man does not necessarily have a 40 minute attention span. Spend 15 to 30 minutes tops on an activity for adults.
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