Journeying With Jesus To Easter: Episode 1 – Palms!

An Accessible Journey With Jesus To Easter

Episode 1 – Palms! (Palm Sunday)

An accessible video and text bible study series journeying with Jesus on the road to Easter. Travelling together we will stop from time to time to explore key moments and understand what they are saying to us. This series will be accessible for everyone, including people of all ages with additional needs.

Find a comfortable spot to watch the video. The video for this first episode is here (it’s part six of a separate Lent series):

Lord Jesus, as we think about your journey to Easter, help us to understand all that you want to show us as we journey with you. Help us to learn from you through what you said and what you did. Help us to be like you and to share the Good News about you with people that we meet. In your own name we pray, Amen!

Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem:
In this session, we learn together about when Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, with all the people calling out to him and shouting “Hosanna!” and “King of Kings!”. It is the time that we remember and celebrate on Palm Sunday and we will be learning about why it’s called Palm Sunday too.

Q. Do you know why Palm Sunday is called Palm Sunday? Does your church celebrate Palm Sunday? How does it usually do it?

Palm leaves

In the Bible reading we will look at in a moment, we will read about how the people greeted Jesus as he entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday by shouting out to him and laying palm leaves on the ground in front of him. Some churches remember this day by giving everyone palm leaves to wave as they shout “Hosanna!” Some churches even have a donkey at the church for everyone to look at and for the children to ride!

Jesus and the journey to Easter:
As we go through Jesus’ journey to Easter together in this three-part series, we will journey with Jesus, looking at what he said and did that can help us to understand his journey better. This time, as we journey on with Jesus, we get nearer to Easter as Jesus arrives in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Today, we will look at the time that Jesus entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The part of the Bible we’re going to read from is John chapter 12 verses 12-15, and the version below is taken from the Accessible Edition New Testament:

An open Bible

‘The next day the large crowd that had come for the feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. So they took branches from palm trees and went out to meet him. They shouted,”Hosanna!” “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it. This is just as it is written in Scripture. It says, “City of Zion, do not be afraid. See, your king is coming. He is sitting on a donkey’s colt.”‘

John Ch12 v12-15 (NIrV Accessible Edition). The verse that the people shouted is from Psalm 118, verses 25-26. The scripture verse at the end is from Zechariah Ch9 v9.

Colourful picture of Jesus riding on a donkey being welcomed into Jerusalem

What does this mean:
Jesus had been going around preaching and teaching and healing people, and the people loved him. As Jesus arrived at Jerusalem, he told the disciples to go and borrow a donkey for him to ride on. He did this because in the Old Testament, many years ago, a man called Zechariah had said that this was how Jesus would arrive in Jerusalem, as a king!

The disciples had found the donkey where Jesus had said it would be and had borrowed it for Jesus to ride on. As he entered Jerusalem, the people were excited and cheered and shouted “Hosanna!” which means “Please save us!” They put palm leaves and their cloaks on the ground for the donkey to walk on, and they welcomed Jesus as the king of kings! It must have been an amazing sight and the whole city must have been there watching and cheering and shouting!

Q. Have you ever ridden on a donkey? Did you like it? Was the donkey calm or a bit jumpy?

A photo of a donkey wearing a harness and saddle

It seems that the donkey that Jesus rode on was a calm donkey because there was a lot of noise with all the people shouting “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” and “Blessed is the king of Israel!” but the donkey still carried Jesus safely. It would have been easy for the donkey to be scared and become jumpy, but he had Jesus on his back and I’m sure that would have helped him to remain calm.

Q. Are there times when you are scared? Maybe next time, like the donkey, you could remember that you have Jesus with you and ask him to help you to be calm too.

Not everyone was pleased to see Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey with all the crowds cheering and calling him the king. Some of the rulers were angry, and they talked together about how they could get rid of Jesus.

The Pharisees were not happy to see Jesus entering Jerusalem

We’ll see what happened just a few days later in the next session in this series, which is all about Good Friday.

Activity: Palm leaves
Make your own palm leaf to wave and greet Jesus with!

Palm leaf template

Carefully cut out the palm leaf template and colour it in (hint, palm leaves are green, but you can choose which shade of green to use for your palm leaf!) You could colour both sides of your palm leaf if you like.

Carefully cut along the lines that go into the leaf, but don’t go further than the line. Ask for some help if you need help with the scissors.

Once you’ve finished your leaf, if you have a stick (a plant stick or a big lollipop stick will do) then attach it to your leaf with some glue or sticky tape. Again, ask for help if you need it.

When it’s ready, you can wave your palm leaf and shout “Hosanna!” “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” like the people of Jerusalem did when Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey.

Lord Jesus, we join with the people of Jerusalem in shouting “Hosanna!” “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna to the king of kings!” We love you and we praise you because you love us and came to save us.

Next time we are scared, help us to be like the brave donkey that you rode on when you entered Jerusalem. Help us to put our trust in you and to know that you are with us caring for us every day.

As we wave our palm branches, we remember all that you have done for us, and we thank you.

In your name we pray, Amen

See you next time, when we’ll be looking at that time when Jesus died to save us on Good Friday.

Arranged by Mark Arnold, Additional Needs Ministry Director at Urban Saints. Email:

All text © Mark Arnold / The Additional Needs Blogfather. Images © unknown.

See also:
With Jesus In The Wilderness: Episode 1 – Bread!

With Jesus In The Wilderness: Episode 2 – Angels!

With Jesus In The Wilderness: Episode 3 – Kingdom!

Accessible Jesus: Modelling Inclusion

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