On His Way // Palm Sunday 2024

John 12:12-16 (NIV) | The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

1. Jesus was On His Way

2. Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

Palm Sunday Symbols
– Palm branches represent victory and peace
– The donkey is what a king rode in peace time following a victory

3. Jesus’ Foresight vs. Our Hindsight

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard

Reflection Questions

  1. How have you experienced this year’s observance of the Lenten season? What expectations do you have as we begin Holy Week?
  2. Which festival were the Jewish people descending upon Jerusalem to celebrate? What was the significance for them then?
  3. We see two items that play significant symbolic roles in the triumphant entry: the palm branch and the donkey. What do those mean? What can we glean about Jesus’ mission and message from how He entered Jerusalem?
  4. Considering those two items from the triumphant entry, what do we see about the people’s expectations? How does this strike you today with the benefit of spiritual hindsight?
  5. Reflect upon the Søren Kierkegaard quote Pastor Mark shared. How have you experienced this in your own life? How will you approach it this Holy Week, Easter, and beyond?