This Jesus’ Triumphal Entry story profile provides a simple overview of the story (for kids) along with highlights, points of interest, and an approximate date for the Palm Sunday event. A printable PDF for this profile is available here and all related activities are listed here.
Bible Story: Jesus’ Triumphal Entry (AKA: Palm Sunday)
Bible Text: Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12
God’s Unfolding Story Element: God sent Jesus to help us.
One day Jesus and His helpers were on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus stopped and asked some of His helpers to go into the next village and find a mommy donkey and her baby and bring them to Him. The helpers went to the next village and found the donkeys just as Jesus asked. The helpers laid their coats on the donkeys for Jesus to sit.
As Jesus and His helpers traveled along the road to Jerusalem, a very large crowd of people began to follow. aThere were moms, dads, boys, girls, grandmothers and grandfathers all along the street. They were so excited to see Jesus. Jesus had healed people who were sick; He had made blind people see; and He had fed lots of hungry people. The people wanted Jesus to know He was special.
So, as they walked with Jesus, they spread their coats on the road. Many people cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The people began to shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Explain this is another name for Jesus.) When Jesus reached the city of Jerusalem, the whole town was excited. As He rode to the temple, there were children shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Jesus knew the children‘s words made God happy. It was a happy day for Jesus.
- Jesus knew He would soon be crucified. He had timed this final journey to Jerusalem to coincide with the Passover. Jesus would become the final Passover sacrifice. Jesus showed that the pathway to true victory is through sacrificial love.
- Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before Passover was a royal event that demonstrated Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah and King of Israel.
- Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey revealed that while He was the King of Israel, He was not the kind of king they were expecting. His Kingdom and rule was not the typical worldly kingdom.
Point(s) of Interest:
- Each of the four Gospels records the triumphal entry on what is now called Palm Sunday.
- Many churches remember Jesus’ Triumphal Entry on the Sunday before Easter and this is reasonable as the event took place on that Sunday. Be careful, however, about skipping the story of the crucifixion because there’s not a Sunday to address it. The crucifixion is an important story that kids need to know about. Consider addressing the Triumphal Entry two weeks before Easter, with a study of the crucifixion on Palm Sunday, so you can still study the resurrection on Easter Sunday. A common alternative is to study both the crucifixion and the resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The Triumphal Entry took place very near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The exact year is difficult to determine, but it likely occurred around 33 AD.*
*N.T. Wright suggests, “The crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, most likely in AD 33, is poised historically in between these two large-scale crucifixions.” (Referring to the Roman crucifixion of approximately 2,000 Jewish rebels not long after the death of Herod the Great, and the final destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD when large numbers of Jewish rebels were again crucified by Roman authorities.) See The Day the Revolution Began, p. 58, by N.T. Wright.