Palm Sunday

Jesus Is Our King and Lord of All

These are the readings for Palm Sunday.

God’s Word for This Week

Palm Sunday gets its name from the palm branches that people spread to make a path of victory for Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. There he would gain a victory they did not expect. The victory over sin and death, won for us by his own suffering and death. On Palm Sunday, the crowd hailed Jesus as king. Yet Jesus cried on his way down the Mount of Olives on the donkey, because Jerusalem did not recognize God’s coming to them. Bottom line: Jesus is more than the crowds knew. He is Lord of all. He is King of the world. He wore a crown of thorns for us and for all people. Praise his name forever!

Traditional First Lesson – Zechariah 9:9-10

What does Zechariah mean by “Daughter of Zion” and “Daughter of Jerusalem”?

Zechariah means the people of Jerusalem (Zion—the temple hill in Jerusalem) and then by inference, all of God’s people. Both Old and New Testament believers can “rejoice greatly” because that King whom Zechariah describes here WOULD come and DID come in the person of Jesus Christ.

What New Testament scene did Zechariah see by inspiration?

By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet Zechariah “saw” Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as King. He even mentions the details of that humble but stirring (significant) event. This is a Messianic passage pinpointing this event in the life of Christ our Savior, the righteous King, who will come again in glory as our King on the Last Day.

What peace would this King bring to the world?

Jesus Christ brings a true and lasting peace to those who acclaim him as King. The battle against sin and Satan has been won by Christ and we are at peace; at peace with God. The peace Christ won is a universal peace. It is for all people; for “the nations,” extending “from sea to sea” (v. 10).

Supplemental First Lesson – Isaiah 45:22-25

Whom does God want to turn to him? Why?

God tells all the earth to turn to him and be saved from eternal death apart from him. He is God. There is no other God. In him alone are righteousness and strength.

Will people who raged against God get a second chance to repent after death/judgment day? Explain.

No. People who raged against God will not get a second chance to repent after death/judgment day. It will be too late, and they will not want to. They will come to him and be put to shame.

On the other hand, what will all who have descended from Israel do?

Isaiah says, “In the LORD all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult” (45:25).

Traditional Second Lesson – Philippians 2:5-11

What is the Christ-like attitude that St. Paul encourages in us here?

We Christians are to have the humility, self-sacrificing spirit, and attitude of our Savior. He “made himself nothing” to redeem us, though he is very God. We are already nothing except damnable sinners. How could we not live in humility before our God and serve him and others?

Describe the contrast that we see here as Paul sketches the life and mission of Christ.

God became man. Jesus took on himself the humble nature of a human being, although he is the holy, almighty God. But God the Father exalted him again as Jesus returned to honor and glory as God in heaven.

Who will acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and King? When? Why?

All people will have to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and King on the Last Day, whether they want to or not, for his power and glory will be so evident to all. That acknowledgment will be too late for the unbeliever but an eternal joy for the believers in heaven.

Supplemental Second Lesson – Hebrews 12:1-3

What two things are we to throw off so we can run the race with perseverance?

We need to throw off 1) “everything that hinders” and 2) “the sin that so easily entangles.” (Many things that are not sinful still can keep us from following Jesus and running the race of faith with perseverance if we get too busy with them. Picture trying to run a race with a refrigerator on your back.)

Runners focus on the finish line. On whom do we fix our gaze?

In the same way a runner aims at the finish line; we fix our gaze on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith.

What kept Jesus going, despite the shame of the cross?

For the joy that would be his and ours after he accomplished the work the Father gave him, Jesus endured the cross and scorned its shame. Now he is seated in the position of all power and majesty in the universe. He is the Father’s equal in every way.

Gospel – Luke 19:28-40

How did Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem resemble that of an earthly king?

Jesus rode into Jerusalem like a king who had been victorious in battle with a crowd shouting his praise. Any people in the crowd who considered Jesus an earthly king was wrong, but Jesus was and is King—the almighty, eternal Savior-King of all people.

How was Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem different from that of an earthly king?

Jesus rode on a donkey, not a proud war stallion. He entered Jerusalem on a borrowed, lowly donkey, not a horse decked out with the finery and jewels of an earthly kingdom; in lowliness and humility although he is the Son of God. But this humility he bore as one of us. He bore even death on a cross for us and for our salvation.

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