Palm Sunday: Jesus’ Accepting Love

Palm Sunday: Jesus’ Accepting Love

March 16, 2024

Bible Verse

So God's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “Announce to the people of Jerusalem: ‘Your king is coming to you! He is humble and rides on a donkey. He comes on the colt of a donkey.’ ” (CEV)  Matthew 21: 4-5

The difference between Prince (the horse) and the donkey (named Rosy, although her personality doesn’t reflect her name) is stark. If they stand next to each other, Prince towers over Rosy. Prince is cared for daily, while Rosy never leaves her pasture. Everyone wants to see Prince, while most people don’t know that Rosy exists. Prince is proud, stunning, and triumphant. To be honest, Rosy is sad, dirty, and slightly annoying.

But if these two were present on Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem, Jesus would have chosen Rosy! I don’t think there is anything more shocking or noteworthy in the story of Palm Sunday than that choice. And I think your kids can relate to that choice.

Sometimes in our lives, we don’t feel good enough to be chosen—for a team, a class project, a group of friends, or Jesus himself. Your kids might often feel overlooked or not good enough in a world that values size, success, beauty, and talent. The story of Palm Sunday and Jesus's choice to enter on a donkey instead of a horse can be a great example of what Jesus did throughout his ministry.

We Aren’t Good Enough

Helping kids come to grips with their sins and the fact that they can never be good enough to earn God’s choice can be difficult. It might be helpful to share with your kids what Paul says in Romans 3:23, that “all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory.” Fortunately for us, God doesn’t leave us in our sin and instead sent Jesus to forgive us and bring us out of our sin and to God. In the same chapter in Romans, Paul continues, “But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins” (v 24). Helping your kids see that they are at the same time not good enough and accepted by Jesus is an integral part of the Palm Sunday and Easter story.

Share Scriptures about Jesus’ Ministry to “Undeserving” People

Jesus spent his entire ministry with people who weren’t good enough by the world’s standards. Take some time this week to read these Bible stories with your kids, and notice how Jesus loved and chose many people who weren’t “good enough.”

Love Those the World Does Not Love

The weeks leading up to Palm Sunday and Easter are great weeks to practice the kind of love that Jesus has for us. Our lives are filled with people the world does not deem worthy of love. Take some time this week with your kids to notice those people.

Brainstorm with your kids some ideas you can do as a family to show love to people who need it. Make care packages for people without homes. Get involved with a community mission project with your church.

Challenge your kids’ empathy and compassion by suggesting they step up when isolated classmates need a work partner or eat lunch alone. By practicing the kind of love that Jesus shows us, that love also becomes more real in our lives.

Jesus entered Jerusalem for everyone. As you reflect on this story throughout this week leading up to the Easter season, remember that Jesus' life, death, and resurrection are gifts from God to you and your children. And even though we don’t deserve them, they are given to us freely by God our Father.

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article From Hosanna to Crucify Him.

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is the Director of Faith Formation at First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. He has also served churches in California and Michigan. He has a passion for youth ministry and intergenerational ministry in the local church. When he isn’t working at church or writing he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 2 children, hiking, woodworking, and watching movies.

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