All-age messages

The King is Coming

Palm Sunday – Matthew 21:1-11

I wonder what you do when you’re excited? Maybe you’ve been waiting for something good to happen. Perhaps like looking forward to going somewhere special or counting the days ‘til it’s your birthday. Then at last it comes. Some folk sing or jump up and down with excitement.

People can be like that too when someone important comes to town. The crowds line the streets, cheering and waving. It was a day like that when Jesus came to Jerusalem, the capital city in Israel. People were cheering. Many were singing and shouting. Others took big branches from palm trees and started waving them. Some even spread their coats on the ground for him to walk on. This was a special day. Jesus was the king that God had promised them.

Crowds of people were in the city. They’d come from all over the world for an important holiday called the Passover. When they’d got there they’d been told the story we thought about last Sunday. If you remember, Jesus’ friend Lazarus had died and Jesus had brought him back to life. This had happened just a few weeks before. But now Jesus had come back to stay with Lazarus, who lived nearby, just outside the city. Many people wanted to meet him and to see Lazarus for themselves. (John 12:9,17,18)

Jesus spent the night at his house. Then, in the morning, his friends got a donkey for him to ride on. Lots of people went with him as he rode towards Jerusalem. When the people in the city heard he was on the way, even more went out to welcome him. The crowds around him sang and the crowds coming to meet him sang too.

When the two groups met up, they all joined together. Some walked in front and others walked behind him. Everyone was going wild with excitement. This was their king. The whole city was thrown into uproar when he got there. (Matthew 21:10)

Now you’d think Jesus would have been wonderfully happy. But it wasn’t all joy and laughter.

Jesus knew, despite all the noise and the fun, there was trouble coming. And the people weren’t ready. Yes, it was a day of great excitement. He really was their king. They were shouting, ‘Hosanna’, which means, ‘save us’ or ‘save us now’. They expected him to take charge and rescue them from the Romans who had conquered them. But they didn’t realise they needed to get their hearts right with God. So, in the middle of it all, he started crying. Big tears and loud sobs. “If only you knew what is needed for peace”, he wept, “but you cannot see it now”. (Luke 19:21-24).

Not everyone was pleased to see Jesus either. His enemies didn’t like him and they didn’t want to hear what he had to say about God. So, when they saw the crowds cheering him on, they were angry and plotted to kill him. In fact, they plotted to get rid of Lazarus too. It was because of that miracle, when Jesus brought him back to life, that people were putting their trust in him. (John 12:10)

It was to be the first day of an incredible week. A week that would see Jesus cheered, then betrayed, arrested, tried, condemned, and crucified. But as that week came to an end, another week began just as this one did... with a celebration.

A celebration which would change things forever.


See below for puzzle pages for 5 April to print and complete.


 Sunday 29 March

When tears turned to joy

“Jesus wept” John 11:35
I wonder what makes you cry? We all do, although some of us finder it harder than others to let the tears roll down.
We can cry when we have an accident and it’s sore. We can cry when our feelings are hurt. Perhaps someone has been mean and unkind to us. Maybe we’ve felt alone or afraid. Or we’ve felt embarrassed after doing something silly. Sometimes it’s because we’re disappointed or feeling let down. Things haven’t happened the way we’d hoped.
We can cry too when sad things happen. If things go wrong for someone we love, or we see them upset and hurting, we can feel sad too. They cry and we feel like crying as well.
Some of us can cry watching films. Somehow it touches our hearts and we feel all emotional. But that’s not always because it’s sad. Sometimes it’s over something good – tears of joy or relief. Maybe something wonderful has happened and it moves us.
The Bible tells us that Jesus cried. In fact, the shortest verse in the whole Bible says, “Jesus wept”.
We’re told he cried sometimes when he prayed. It says, “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings with loud cries and tears”. (Hebrews 5:7) 
We’re told he cried when he saw others missing out on what God wanted for them. When he came into Jerusalem on a donkey, he saw the city and cried for its people. Despite all God’s love for them, they were determined to do their own thing. And, as a result, big troubles were coming. It says he wept loudly for them saying, “I wish even today you would find the way of peace but you just can’t see it”. (Luke 19:41,42)
Just a little while before that story, the Bible tells of another time when his friends were sad and hurting. (John 11:1-44) There were three in the family. Two sisters, Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus. Unfortunately, Lazarus became very sick. His sisters sent someone to get Jesus, who was a long way away. But by the time Jesus got there, Lazarus had already died a few days before. Everyone was crying and when he saw how sad they were, Jesus wept too.
But that isn't all that happened. Jesus went with Mary and Martha to visit the tomb where they’d put Lazarus’ body. It was a cave with a large stone across the entrance. When they got there, Jesus told some of the men to take away the stone. Then Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" And to everyone’s surprise, Lazarus walked out of the tomb. Their tears of sadness had turned to joy.
In the book of Psalms, David asked God to collect his tears in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8) He understood that God sees our tears. He hears us when we cry and he cares when we’re sad and upset.
We all cry, and we can be glad we have a Saviour who cries too. In his love he hurts when we are hurting. He feels our pain and shares our tears. But that’s not all. The Bible tells us there will come a day when everything is changed and all things are made new. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more and neither will there be any sadness, crying or pain”. (Revelation 21:4) It’s a day we look forward to. 

Here are some worksheets you can print and complete.
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