A Children’s Sermon on Matthew 21:1-11 — Palm Sunday
Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the beginning of the week we call “Holy Week.” Jesus knew that this would be the last week of his life on earth.
The next Thursday night he and his friends would eat a special meal called “Passover.” It was the most important celebration of the year for the Jewish people — and it still is.
At that Thursday supper, Jesus gave his friends the bread and said “This is my body, broken for you.” And then he gave him the cup of wine and said “This is my blood of the new covenant, shed for you.”
It was the same special meal we still share in worship. We call it “the Lord’s Supper,” or “Communion,” or “the Eucharist.” It’s the day we call “Maundy Thursday.”
Then on Friday Jesus would be falsely accused of crimes, and be sent to die on the Cross. It’s the day we call “Good Friday.”
And then on the Sunday after that, Jesus would be alive again. Death just couldn’t hold him! It’s the day we call “Easter.”
But on the day we call Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, Jesus wanted a big celebration.
Jesus had his friends find a donkey for him to ride on.
Then he got on and rode the donkey into Jerusalem, while people lined the sides of the road. Some of them made a carpet for him to ride in on, laying down their coats and palm branches on the road.
They sang “Hosanna!” which means “Save us now!” And they sang, “You are blessed! You come in God’s name to help us!” And they waved their palm branches.
It was like a big parade. I suspect that the ones who had the most fun were probably the children. Wouldn’t it be fun to wave palm branches while Jesus rode by? Or to run alongside singing songs to him?
It was such a special celebration that all four Gospels tell the story — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
But Matthew’s version of the story, is a little bit different from all the others.
In Mark, Luke, and John, Jesus rides into town on a donkey.
But in Matthew, Jesus rides into town on TWO donkeys!
Matthew wanted to make a very important point. Matthew remembered something said years and years before by one of the prophets.
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
It sounded like the prophet said there were two donkeys. So Matthew told the story with two donkeys.
Matthew wanted to make sure you and I know that Jesus is the savior that had been promised by the messengers of God for centuries.
Jesus is not just someone who was wise and good.
Jesus is someone God had been planning and planning for. When we celebrate Jesus on Palm Sunday, we are welcoming someone whom God’s people have been waiting for forever. God finally came in person.