The Triumphal Entry


“The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” – Matthew 21:9


Read: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19


Who doesn’t love a party? Even the most introverted of us can get behind the idea of celebrating something or someone, right? Our parties can range from loud, boisterous festivities to more intimate, quiet gatherings of close friends. But the common denominator is usually that there is a person or occasion to celebrate.


The disciples were about to experience their most difficult week with Jesus. But Palm Sunday was a time for celebration! First, Jesus gave them specific instructions about going to a village and taking a donkey and her colt they would find there, telling its owners only that “The Lord needs them.” When they found the donkey and were able to take it without any pushback from the owners, exactly as Jesus had described, imagine their amazement! They had seen Jesus do many miracles, but I can’t imagine they ever stopped celebrating who Jesus was and what He could do.


As Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, crowds of people were there to celebrate Him. They shouted “Hosanna,” waved palm branches, and spread their garments on the road ahead of Him. It’s not hard to imagine people desperately trying to reach the front of the crowd to get a better glimpse of this humble King or to maybe even reach out and touch Him.


But some religious leaders in the crowd were upset by Jesus’ arrival. They felt threatened by His new teachings and His “upside-down” way of looking at things. They might have been there not to celebrate Jesus, but to keep a suspicious eye on Him. Others may have only heard bits and pieces about who Jesus was, and may have been there only out of curiosity.


Jesus is still worthy of our praise and celebration. He is our good and humble King. We can get so distracted in our daily lives that we become like one of those in the crowd who was only mildly curious or even a bit skeptical. Let’s choose not to let this happen today – decide to celebrate Jesus. This might mean blasting worship music in your car or quietly listening for His voice. Look for moments that remind you that Jesus is worth celebrating. If you are looking, you will find them!


Questions to think about:


  1. What are some reasons you have to celebrate Jesus today? What are some specific ways you can celebrate Him?
  2. Jesus could have chosen to enter Jerusalem on a mighty warhorse or in a big chariot. What does the fact that He chose a humble donkey mean to you?
  3. The fact that the details of Palm Sunday were a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy reminds us that God keeps His promises. Find a promise in the Bible that you need to be reminded of throughout this week. Keep it with you on an index card or Post-It note and read it often. (A few suggestions: Matthew 11:28-30, Mark 10:27, Matthew 6:33, Isaiah 40:29-31, Philippians 4:19)
  4. Talk to God about people in your ministry. Ask Him to give you a promise that would encourage someone this week.