Holy Week: Palm Sunday

Study Guide

On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, publicly proclaiming that he is the Messiah. As our Savior makes his way through the city, the crowds shout, “Praise God!” and spread their garments and palm branches on the road before him. It is a magnificent scene—one of victory but also likely of loneliness—as Jesus willingly goes forward into what he knows will be his death and ultimately our salvation.
  1. How have you acknowledged Palm Sunday and Holy Week in the past? What is new to you about it from the teaching?

  2. Read Isaiah 62:10-12, Zechariah 9:9, and then Matthew 21:1-5. Read Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:8-11, and then Matthew 21:12. How are Matthew’s references to Old Testament prophecy encouraging to you or strengthening to your faith?

  3. For the disciples, Jesus is their only hope. For the crowd, Jesus represents an opportunity for their life to be improved. And for the religious leaders, Jesus is a threat to their false sense of control.

    Who is Jesus for you? What category from Matthew 21 do you fall under—disciple, crowd, or religious leader?

  4. Read 1 Peter 3:15. In what practical way can you willingly acknowledge the holiness of God this week? What answer do you have for anyone who asks about the hope that you have?

Key Points
  • The holiness of God is impositional—regardless of your religion, culture, circumstances, or whether you acknowledge it or not. He is holy because of who he is. He is ultimately set apart and completely other from us.

  • Jesus reveals himself as both the great prophet and the great king. In just these 17 verses, he fulfills the prophecies of Isaiah 62:10-12, Zechariah 9:9, Isaiah 56:7, and Jeremiah 7:8-11.

  • While the crowds declare Jesus as Messiah, he knows these are the people who will ultimately reject him, knowing that his path to enthronement will lead to the cross.

  • Jesus goes into the temple and clears it out, declaring it a “den of thieves” as the religious leaders use the sacred temple for profit.

  • Jesus is holy, not just to us because we are Christians, but because he is ultimately Holy—Holy over all.

  • Our capacity for self-deception and a sense of control is an extraordinary and distinguishing characteristic of our culture.

Other Scripture References

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Topics: Hope, Prophecy