Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Palm Sunday - an all age talk

Mark 11:1-11

Draw a donkey (or get people to draw a donkey) using the letters D (disciples), C (colt), P (people), P (praise) and S (spread)

As you draw the donkey, tell the story as told by Mark.


'Jesus told two of his Disciples to fetch him a Colt. As they were untying the colt, the People asked them what they were doing (obviously the local 'neighbourhood watch'). They told them that 'The Lord has need of it and will return it'. As Jesus rode on the donkey, the people declared his Praises. They Spread their garments and branches on the road.'

So what is going on? Let's look at what the people say about Jesus.

1. They are saying that Jesus is coming in the name of the Lord (v9)
(draw the letter L)

In other words, Jesus is coming as the representative of God.

If the Headteacher at school stops you in the corridor as you are going into a lesson and tells you to ask another teacher to come and see him, you are sent in the name of the headteacher. If someone stops you in the corridor and asks you why you are not in lesson, it's OK because you're doing something in the name of the head. When you go to the teacher and say, 'Sir, Mr HT wants to see you', they leave because you've come in the name of the head.

Jesus came in the name of the Lord. Elsewhere Mark tells us that Jesus is not only God's representative, ambassador, but God's Son.

So if we wish to know what God is like and what God desires, then we can do no better than look at the one who rode into Jerusalem on a colt.

2. They are saying that Jesus is coming as the King (v10)
(Draw the letter K)

Jesus is coming as King of the Kingdom that God promised in the past. David was the great king of Israel.

This is political stuff. Jesus has come to bring God's Kingdom of righteousness, mercy and justice.

And the people recognise this. They declare his Praises. And they symbolically throw themselves before him, as they spread their cloaks on the ground before him.

3. They are declaring that Jesus is Saviour (v10)
(Draw the letter S)

Hosanna is both a prayer ('Save us Lord') and a statement ('The Lord saves').

It is a prayer because the people were in captivity both to the Romans, but also to the power of sin and death - and all the consequences that that brings.

But it is also a statement. Jesus is the Saviour. He had come not to defeat the Romans, but to defeat sin and death. And if you look here, we see how that salvation might look. This is a glimpse, a preview, a foretaste of what that salvation might look like. Creation serves him (in the shape of a Colt that has never been ridden before and the branches), the Disciples obey him, the People Praise him (worship and praise is so important. It's great when it is spontaneous, but it cannot always be spontaneous. We can praise him by using the words of a hymn or song, or - for example - the doxology 'Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit', or the words at the end of the Lord's prayer: 'for the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours'. Worship is what we are all about, and often when we speak the truth even when we feel nothing, we are then taken out of ourselves so that we can be lost in Him in joy). But the people not only praise him - they also Spread their garments in surrender before him and offer him their allegiance and their service.

And one day Jesus will return and establish this Kingdom. The victory was won when he died and rose again. He has come as Lord and King and Saviour. He will come as Lord and King and Saviour.

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