VIDEO Palm Sunday Summary – What the Death of Jesus Means to You

Painting of Palm Sunday Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem, by James Tissot.

Palm Sunday marks the high point in Jesus’ earthly ministry

By Jack Zavada January 13, 2020

The Palm Sunday story comes to life in the Bible in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19. The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem marks the high point of his earthly ministry. The Lord enters the city, knowing full well that this trip will end in his sacrificial death for the sin of humanity.

Question for Reflection

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the crowds refused to see him as he truly was but instead placed their personal desires on him. Who is Jesus for you? Is he merely someone to satisfy your selfish wants and goals, or is he your Lord and Master who gave up his life to save you from your sins?

Palm Sunday Summary

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus sent two disciples ahead to the village of Bethphage, about a mile away from the city at the foot of the Mount of Olives. He told them to look for a donkey tied by a house, with its unbroken colt next to it. Jesus instructed the disciples to tell the owners of the animal that “The Lord has need of it.” (Luke 19:31, ESV)

The men found the donkey, brought it and its colt to Jesus, and placed their cloaks on the colt. Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In his path, people threw their cloaks on the ground and put palm branches on the road before him. Others waved palm branches in the air.

Large Passover crowds surrounded Jesus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, ESV)

By that time, the commotion was spreading through the entire city. Many of the Galilean disciples had earlier seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Undoubtedly they were spreading the news of that astonishing miracle.

The people of the city did not fully understand Christ’s mission yet, but their worship honored God:

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ” ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”( Matthew 21:16, NIV)

The Pharisees, who were jealous of Jesus and afraid of the Romans, said: “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.'” (Luke 19:39-40, ESV)

Following this glorious time of celebration, Jesus Christ began his final journey to the cross.

Life Lesson

The people of Jerusalem saw Jesus as an earthly king who would defeat the oppressive Roman Empire. Their vision of him was limited by their own finite and worldly needs. They failed to understand that Jesus had come to triumph over a much greater enemy than Rome—an enemy whose defeat would have an impact far beyond the boundaries of this life.

Jesus came to overthrow the enemy of our souls—Satan. He came to defeat the power of sin and death. Jesus came not as a political conqueror, but as the Messiah-King, Savior of souls, and giver of eternal life.

Points of Interest

  • When he told the disciples to get the donkey, Jesus referred to himself as ‘The Lord,’ a definite proclamation of his divinity.
  • By riding into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, Jesus fulfilled an ancient prophecy in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (ESV) This was the only instance in the four Gospel books in which Jesus rode an animal. By riding a donkey, Jesus illustrated the kind of Messiah he was—not a political hero but a gentle, humble servant.
  • Throwing cloaks in the path of someone was an act of homage and submission and, along with the throwing of palm branches, served as a recognition of royalty. The people recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah.
  • The people’s cries of ‘Hosanna’ came from Psalm 118:25-26. Hosanna means “save now.” Despite what Jesus had foretold about his mission, the people were looking for a military Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and restore Israel’s independence.


  • The New Compact Bible Dictionary, edited by T. Alton Bryant
  • New Bible Commentary, edited by G.J. Wenham, J.A. Motyer, D.A. Carson, and R.T. France
  • TheESV Study Bible, Crossway Bible

What the Death of Jesus Means to You

Did you know that God cares and God understands? God has suffered, and more deeply than any of us could ever imagine. Why did God suffer? Because He loved and He loves. Jesus took the curse, so we don’t have to, this is the purpose of Mark’s Gospel to encourage the church. Pastor Greg is going to be walking us through the most painful moments in history and showing us the hope that came out of it in the message, “What the Death of Jesus Means to You.”

Hosting Royalty

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. Galatians 3:26

After meeting the Queen of the United Kingdom at a ball in Scotland, Sylvia and her husband received a message that the royal family would like to visit them for tea. Sylvia started cleaning and prepping, nervous about hosting the royal guests. Before they were due to arrive, she went outside to pick some flowers for the table, her heart racing. Then she sensed God reminding her that He’s the King of kings and that He’s with her every day. Immediately she felt peaceful and thought, “After all, it’s only the Queen!”

Sylvia is right. As the apostle Paul noted, God is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15) and those who follow Him are “children of God” (Galatians 3:26). When we belong to Christ, we’re heirs of Abraham (v. 29). We no longer are bound by division—such as that of race, social class, or gender—for we’re “all one in Christ Jesus” (v. 28). We’re children of the King.

Although Sylvia and her husband had a marvelous meal with the Queen, I don’t anticipate receiving an invitation from the monarch anytime soon. But I love the reminder that the highest King of all is with me every moment. And that those who believe in Jesus wholeheartedly (v. 27) can live in unity, knowing they’re God’s children.

How could holding onto this truth shape the way we live today?

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

What does it mean to you to be an heir of Abraham? How could you invite others to become part of the family?

King of kings and Lord of lords, You are mighty and glorious. Thank You for stooping down to love me and for welcoming me as Your child.

Our Standard of Measure

Luke 6:30-38

Imagine you have a bucket, and all the “supplies” inside are for your interactions with people. What’s in your bucket?

Jesus points out a number of things that we can choose to pour out on others—material possessions, love, good deeds, money, mercy, and pardon. It’s an impressive list. And yet He also challenges us to love our enemies, do good to those who mistreat us, give to “takers,” lend without expecting anything in return, and grant mercy to those who don’t deserve it. Why would He call us to this? Because as God’s children, we’re expected to treat others the way He treats them—“for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people” (Luke 6:35).

The second thing to consider is the size of our bucket. Jesus says that by our standard of measure, it will be measured back to us (Luke 6:38). However, we are also told to expect nothing in return from those we treat with kindness (v. 35). The ultimate reward for our loving and gracious behavior will come, not from them but from God.

What are you pouring onto others? By showering them with grace, you display the character of your Father. Use a bucket full of love and kindness, and you’ll discover that the Lord uses an even bigger bucket to lavish His goodness upon you.

Life by Death

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

This profound confidence comes at the conclusion of a threefold summary of Paul’s experience while serving the Lord Jesus, as well as his deep bond with the church at Philippi. The “salvation” of which Paul speaks references victory in this life as much as the eternal rescue at the end.

Initially, the confidence comes “through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:19). Christian leaders covet the prayers of those with whom they serve. Twice, Paul specifically asked the Thessalonian church to pray for him (1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1). Most of us are familiar with the promise that the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Should we be surprised when such prayer brings boldness?

There is also the experience that the “supply” of the Spirit of God engenders faith. God’s providential care, experienced during the testing of our life, produces a growing hope and confidence (Romans 5:4-5). It is most often true that we learn more of God’s faithfulness in times of need than in times of plenty.

Then there is an “earnest expectation and…hope” that result in “boldness” (Philippians 1:20). Growing confidence in the Lord’s provision and protection undergirds an anticipation for God’s direction and wisdom. Expecting something to happen is the flip side of hope. Experience in kingdom work brings spiritual joy and peace (Romans 15:13).

Thus, the confident statement “now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20-21). HMM III

Some New Mystery Bagged

(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) —Acts 17:21

The temptation to forget the few spiritual essentials and to go wandering off after unimportant things is very strong, especially to Christians of a certain curious type of mind. Such persons find the great majors of the faith of our fathers altogether too tame for them. Their souls loathe that light bread; their appetites crave the gamy tang of fresh-killed meat. They take great pride in their reputation as being mighty hunters before the Lord, and any time we look out we may see them returning from the chase with some new mystery hanging limply over their shoulder.

Usually the game they bring down is something on which there is a biblical closed season. Some vague hint in the Scriptures, some obscure verse about which the translators disagree, some marginal note for which there is not much scholarly authority: these are their favorite meat. They are especially skillful at propounding notions which have never been a part of the Christian heritage of truth. Their enthusiasm mounts with the uncertainty of their position, and their dogmatism grows firmer in proportion to the mystery which surrounds their subject.   NCA012-013

Lord, keep me faithful to Your Word, give me understanding of the unfathomable truths contained therein, but deliver me from that danger of seeking some new insight to enhance my reputation as some kind of brilliant scholar. Amen.

Unity Precedes Blessing

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh. —Acts 2:17

God always works where His people meet His conditions, but only when and as they do….

The first condition is oneness of mind among the persons who are seeking the visitation. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore” (Psalm 133:1-3).

Here the unity precedes the blessing, and so it is throughout the Bible. An individual may seek and obtain great spiritual help from God; and that is one thing. For a company of people to unite to seek a new visitation from God for the entire group is quite another thing, and is a spiritual labor greatly superior to the first. PTP059-060

What a joyful experience it is for us in this church age to be part of a congregation drawn together by the desire to know God’s presence, to sense His nearness. TRA106

Power in the Blood

Ephesians 1:7

During Holy Week, our corps sponsored a blood donation drive. Being eager to set a good example for the troops, I gave a pint of my best type O+. They asked me all manner of questions concerning my health and past medical history. After being tested and screened, they laid me down on the table and siphoned off a pint of the precious, life-giving fluid. Eventually my blood would be used either whole for transfusion or in parts for platelet and plasma. It brings a certain comfort to imagine that my blood will be used to save the life of an accident victim or to sustain life during surgery.

There is something special about blood. We have been taught that it is the conduit that carries oxygen and nourishment to every cell of the body while carrying off toxic waste products. We have a deep reverence for this sacred body fluid. Without it, we would quickly die.

No one from the Red Cross asked Jesus if He was healthy enough to give blood. They didn’t use a sterile needle to extract an even pint. A Roman soldier used a whip made of many leather strands, each tipped with a piece of stone or metal that literally tore skin and muscle off the bone. Another shoved a crown of thorns on His brow. No one was there to give Jesus orange juice and cookies or present Him with a donor’s button. No one asked if it was all right as His blood fell drop by drop into the dust of Golgotha. There on that Good Friday, as the High Priest offered a lamb for the sins of Israel, the sinless Lamb of God gave His life as a ransom for us, to pay the price and penalty of our sin.

My blood may be used to save a life. Yet in spite of all that science and medicine can do, the patient will eventually die. Jesus gave His blood, gave it to save lives from hell so that they will never die spiritually. “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities… and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

My blood will come through intravenously in a hospital for a stranger I will never know. Jesus’ blood was shed for people He knew and loved—you and me. He died not just for a transfusion, but for a transformation of stubborn, rebellious, selfish, willful sinners into God’s children. All who will accept Jesus Christ receive the gift of His life, His own shed blood to redeem us from sin. This is a gift that truly keeps on giving.

A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry