Kids Talk About God
Cover art, Chapter 56 - Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

John 12:12-19

12 The next day the people in Jerusalem heard that Jesus was coming there. These were the crowds of people who had come to the Passover festival. 13 They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus. They shouted, 

“‘Praisea Him!’

    ‘Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ 

God bless the King of Israel!” 

14 Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, as the Scriptures say, 

15 “Do not be afraid, people of Zionb!

    Look! Your king is coming.

    He is riding on a young donkey.” 

16 The followers of Jesus did not understand at that time what was happening. But after he was raised to glory, they understood that this was written about him. Then they remembered that they had done these things for him. 

17 There were many people with Jesus when he raised Lazarus from death and told him to come out of the tomb. Now they were telling others about what Jesus did. 18 That’s why so many people went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign he did. 19 So the Pharisees said to each other, “Look! Our plan is not working. The people are all following him!”

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a12:13 Praise Literally, “Hosanna,” a Hebrew word used in praying to God for help. Here, it was probably a shout of celebration used in praising God or his Messiah
b12:15 people of Zion Literally, “daughter of Zion,” meaning the city of Jerusalem. See “Zion” in the Word List.
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 56- Palm Sunday
Why did Jesus ride a donkey into Jerusalem?
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 56- Palm Sunday

“Because he was king.” Calisha, 7

“Jesus rode a donkey to show he was humble and wanted something simple. Many people remembered his miracles, so they put their cloaks and palm branches to honor him and they shouted ‘Hosanna!’” Sofia, 8

“He wasn’t like other kings of this world. I also think he chose a donkey because they represent kindness, holiness and peace.” Chloe, 8

Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 56- Palm Sunday
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 56- Palm Sunday
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 56- Palm Sunday

12 The next day the people in Jerusalem heard that Jesus was coming there. These were the crowds of people who had come to the Passover festival. 13 They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus. They shouted, “‘Praise Him!’ ‘Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ God bless the King of Israel!”

For a long time, palm branches had been the symbol of Israel. You can see palm branches on coins that ancient Rome made as a symbol of Israel. You can see pictures of these coins when you search the Internet with these words: “Palm branches on Roman coins in ancient Israel.”

The word translated “Praise Him!” is “Hosanna.” It comes from a Hebrew word that means “save now” or “please save us.”

The Jewish men and boys waved palm branches as the temple choir sang Hosannas every year during the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. The choir would sing from Psalm 113-118, which is called the Hallel. When “Hosanna” was sung in Psalm 118:26, every man and boy in the temple shook his palm branch.

The Feast of Tabernacles celebrates the time when God brought the Jews out of slavery in Egypt into the desert. For 40 years, the Jews wandered in the desert dwelling in tents. During the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jews build little huts often covered with palm branches where they eat meals or sleep for a week. This feast reminds them of how God brought them out of slavery into the desert.

Christians call this Palm Sunday. It’s the Sunday before Jesus was crucified. When the Jews shouted, “God bless the King of Israel!” they could only be thinking of Jesus. Israel had no king at this time. Some Jews were probably thinking that if Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead, he would make a good king.

14 Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, as the Scriptures say,

15 “Do not be afraid, people of Zion!
    Look! Your king is coming.
    He is riding on a young donkey.”

16 The followers of Jesus did not understand at that time what was happening. But after he was raised to glory, they understood that this was written about him. Then they remembered that they had done these things for him.

If Jesus had ridden a white horse into Jerusalem, the Jews who wanted to overthrow Rome (zealots) would have gone crazy. They would have seen Jesus as the conquering general ready to command the armies of Israel. Instead, Jesus came riding on a lowly young donkey. There is nothing threatening about a young donkey.

More than 500 years before Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the prophet Zechariah predicted this event: “People of Zion, rejoice! People of Jerusalem, shout with joy! Look, your king is coming to you! He is the good king who won the victory, but he is humble. He is riding on a donkey, on a young donkey born from a work animal,” (Zechariah 9:9).

How did the prophet Zechariah know that Jesus would ride a donkey instead of a war horse as a conquering hero? God revealed it to him. This is one of many prophecies that Jesus fulfilled as God’s promised Messiah.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, he came on a peaceful mission. He came to lay down his life for all of our sins, even those who crucified him on a wooden cross. Five days after hearing the people shout, “Hosanna! God bless the King of Israel,” Jesus heard the people shout something different.

“What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” asked the Roman Governor Pilate. The Jews shouted, “Crucify Him!”

17 There were many people with Jesus when he raised Lazarus from death and told him to come out of the tomb. Now they were telling others about what Jesus did. 18 That’s why so many people went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign he did. 19 So the Pharisees said to each other, “Look! Our plan is not working. The people are all following him!”

Now we understand why so many people came out to meet Jesus. The place where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (Bethany) was less than two miles from Jerusalem. Some of the Jews who came to comfort Mary and Martha on the death of their brother lived in Jerusalem. They told their friends about the miracle Jesus had done.

The religious leaders (Pharisees) were upset that so many people followed Jesus. They should have thought about the miracle Jesus did in raising Lazarus from the dead. Instead, they were jealous of Jesus. Their religious traditions and rules were more important to them than Jesus’ miracles and his free offer of eternal life.

The theme of religious traditions could be “Just do it!” People love religion because it gives them something to do. They think they can earn God’s favor. Self-salvation projects always end badly because God rejects them all.

“It is finished!” is the theme of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. These were the words Jesus said on the cross. He offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The work of salvation is complete. Jesus did all the work. Because he completed the work, there is no work for us to do. Accept his work by believing in Jesus Christ as your savior!

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Bible coloring page: Palm Sunday