Holy Week Children's Message – Jesus from Palm Sunday to the Last Supper

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This Children’s Sermon will teach kids about Jesus on Palm Sunday and the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem. It’s based on Matthew 21:1-11; John 13:1-17 . The Bible object lesson teaches about that JESUS is the true king, even if he acted humble. Download the teachers notes, watch our Children’s Message example, and gather your supplies. Then you’re ready to share this message in your church next Sunday!

“Holy Week with Jesus”

Children’s Sermon Object about Holy Week

Main Objective: The days leading up to Easter Sunday are (or at least should be) some of the most celebrated and commemorated ones on the church calendar. We honor the triumphal entry into Jerusalem with Palm Sunday, and then walk through the week with Christ as we remember His Last Supper with disciples, the Passion of Good Friday, and finally prepare for the blessed Resurrection of Easter. This message prepares for Holy Week and focuses on the ways in which Jesus was different from typical rulers are celebrities. He did not come to be famous, but to serve humbly and lay down His life.

Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus did not always do what the legal authorities expected or wished. He defied social expectations and the law, and lived differently from what many might have anticipated. Christ lived as a servant, and gave up His life to die for us. This is the best news we could imagine. Through His death, we are given life! This should inspire us to live as He did, with love and in humble service to others.

Optional Materials: Pictures or props representing various things, such as: celebrities, fancy cars, expensive clothes, money, bodyguards, crowns, servants, red carpet, donkeys, palm branches, cross, wash cloths.

Bible Passage: Matthew 21:1-11; John 13:1-17

Children’s Message Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.

Palm Sunday Children’s Sermon / Jesus Holy Week Object Lesson

Greet the children with joyful enthusiasm, and perhaps even a palm branch…  

Hello, children of God! Hosanna!
Do you know what today is? This is called “Palm Sunday.” We are entering “Holy Week”, which is the special time on our church calendar that comes right before Easter. We have a lot of “Holy Days” (holidays) in the calendar, but this gives us a whole week of special things to remember! During Holy Week, we celebrate the final days in the life of Jesus. So why don’t we think about the kind of life that Jesus lived…what things did He do that were so special? He was a little bit different from your typical celebrity.

Now, think about some famous people you know of. Can you tell me a celebrity or well-known figure you have seen in the news? Who are some celebrities you can name? What kinds of things would you expect a famous person to have? (Allow children to name some items, and then suggest a few yourself, holding up the pictures or props as you go.)

Maybe they have a lot of money…probably fancy cars, or maybe even a helicopter! And famous people usually wear nice fancy clothes, right? And maybe eat fancy foods…sometimes they have bodyguards to protect them and keep them safe. Or they might have servants to do their work for them, like the cooking or cleaning around the house…you know, we tend to treat famous people differently than others, or we have special expectations of what we think they should do or be like. That’s nothing new. People throughout history have given special treatment to those who were well-known, or who were leaders or rulers in society. Military leaders or government officials have often received a lot of attention.

What about Jesus? What kind of leader was He? People had waited for His coming to Earth. They knew God had promised a king and a savior, and they probably had ideas about what kind of king He would be. They wanted someone to rescue them and make their lives better. At the time of His birth, the people of God were being bossed and bullied by Roman leaders, and they may have wanted Jesus to rescue them from the Romans. Perhaps they hoped that He would come galloping in on horseback and wipe out the oppressors. Maybe they expected Him to come with might and force. They wanted to make Him famous. That wasn’t quite how Jesus lived, though. He wasn’t born in a palace, but in a barn. He didn’t come swooping in on a horse and waving a sword. He came gently, riding on a little baby donkey! He came with peace and humility. When we talk about Palm Sunday, we celebrate that occasion, when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem and crowds honored Him. The story doesn’t end there, though. Jesus had a special dinner with His friends, right before He died. Before they sat down to eat, He did something that might have been considered odd: He washed His disciples’ feet. That was normally a job for servants, because feet would get pretty smelly and dirty. But Jesus wanted to demonstrate that He came to serve others. He didn’t have servants, He was the servant.

After this supper, Jesus prepared to be arrested and crucified. He didn’t have bodyguards; He gave Himself up to be killed. He knew it would hurt. He also knew it was the only way to pay the price for sin—not sins He had committed, but the sins of the world. He was taking care of a problem that went all the way back to the Garden of Eden. So Jesus went to the cross, and He died.

That likely went against expectations, too. What kind of ruler lets Himself be executed? Jesus laid down His life and allowed Himself to be crucified. But that is good news for us! With His death, He conquered death. He gave up His life so that we could have eternal life. He died…but that’s not the end of the story! Oh, but that would be getting ahead of things. We’ll rejoice in the next event a little later. But hopefully you already know what’s coming!

So for now, we get our hearts ready to remember the life and the last days of Jesus. We think about all that He did for us, and gratefully dwell in His love and sacrifice. And we should also be mindful of His attitude. He didn’t come to be celebrated or pampered. He lived to serve others, and He wants us to do the same. Shall we pray and ask God for opportunities to live for Him and for one another? Let’s thank Him for His son:

Children’s Prayer Moment:

Dear God,
Thank you for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus
Help us to remember to serve one another
Just as He served us
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!

Palm Sunday Bible Story

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey,   on a colt] the foal of a beast of burden.’” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
-Matthew 21:1-11

Last Supper Bible Reference

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[ but is completely clean. And you[ are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.  -John 13:1-17

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