Palm Sunday

Readings, Notes and Questions

Read

  • John 12:12–19
  • Psalm 118:15–27
  • Zechariah 9:9

A Few Thoughts:

Context: Jesus has just raised Lazarus from the dead, showing His authority even over death. He’s now riding into Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover week, just as lambs are being selected for inspection to ensure they are perfect, spotless, meeting all requirements necessary to be offered as a Passover lamb for the people.

The waving of palm branches symbolises victory. The people are welcoming Jesus as a victorious King, without realising He is a servant King whose victory will be over sin and death in offering Himself for the world (John 3:16, John 12:32). He rides in on donkey — in accordance with prophecy — choosing an animal that carry’s burdens in the service of others to represent his coming kingdom — He has come to carry away our burden to bring us rest and peace (Matt 11:28). This is the rightful end of our fears!

The people shout ‘hosanna’ which means ‘save us’. There is so much prophetic significance to this. Though they hardly knew it, as the Passover lambs were being selected by the priests, the people were selecting Jesus, ‘the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world’ (John 1:29) as their Passover lamb — perfect, spotless, sinless, sufficient sacrifice.

Jesus comes in the name of the LORD, as the exact representation and image of God to fling wide access to God through Him. (Psalm 118:25–27)

Questions

Reflect
- How does this passage speak to you? What strikes you about it?

About God
- What Kind of a King is Jesus? How does knowing Him as ‘lamb of God’ and ‘King of kings’ and ‘suffering servant’ influence the way we come to Him?
- How can we enjoy Jesus this easter as lamb, King, Servant, God?
- How can we welcome Jesus into our lives over easter? What might that look like?

About Us
- How easy/difficult do you find it to come to Jesus as a Servant King? Do you struggle with the idea He wants to serve you? How does Jesus serve us? How do we continuously live in a posture of receiving from him (that’s what faith is)? How can we help each other in that? How does this bring glory to God?
- What fears are we carrying? How can the servant kingship of Jesus calm our fears?
- How can we live as people of the resurrection that point people to Jesus, just as Lazarus did?

About the World
- The world desperately needs a Servant King who brings life rather than taking it! Which situations in the news can you think of demonstrating this need? What needs in your work / community / school / household do you know of? Why not take some time to pray into these?
- How can you be ready to speak of Jesus this Easter? (Starting by first enjoying Him and then, from the overflow of your heart, speaking of Him)

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