Ministry Resources for Churches


Palm Sunday Message

Shouts of Hosanna



Big Idea: We can all worship God in different ways.


Bible Verse: The people took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, "Hosanna! (John 12:13)


Materials: Palm branches, two basket of plastic eggs


Easter Music Selections: God's Kids Worship: A Basket of Easter Songs, Split-Track DVD (any songs from DVD) 



Have you ever ridden on a donkey? What about an elephant. When I was a kid they used to have a huge elephant at the zoo that kids could ride on. I never had the opportunity to try this. But I could not imagine riding a donkey. A donkey is very strong, and has a good memory. They are stubborn and have a curious nature. Donkeys do not like the rain or being alone.  They are moody and will even kick and bite. I read somewhere that a male donkey is called "Jack" and a female donkey is called "Jenny".  Do you know anyone by those names - Jack or Jenny? Do they sound a little bit like some of the characteristics of a donkey? Maybe, you might even have some of these characteristics?

One day, Jesus asked his disciples to get him a donkey to ride. What do you think the disciples thought? Why in earth would Jesus want to ride a stubborn donkey? If it decided not to go anywhere, what would Jesus do? You know donkeys do have a mind of their own, and will not listen to a master very well. Maybe, sometimes you are like that?

 However, the disciples obeyed Jesus because he had asked them to do this. How many times does your mom have to ask you to do something? One, two, three....and maybe when she calls you by your first, middle, and last name? Then, you think she is mad and you'd probably better do it.

The disciples went and found a donkey and brought it back to Jesus. I wonder if they had to push it, shove it, or maybe bribe it into coming. The bible doesn't say...but the donkey came along with them. They put their coats on the donkey's back which made a cushion for Jesus to sit on. I know a horse uses a saddle, but I have never heard of a donkey wearing a saddle.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem the people were so glad to see him. They gave him a grand welcome. They were so excited to see Jesus that they waved palm branches and shouted praises to Him. All the people lifted up their hands and praised God, saying "Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord".

How many of you have ever been to your favorite baseball or football game? Did you get so excited that you hollered until you hurt your throat? Maybe, you got upset if they did not score the points that you were hoping. All around you your friends and strangers were screaming, jumping up and down, waving their arms throughout the game. You all were really excited about the game hoping the team you were rooting for would win.

These people were really excited. It was not every day that they saw someone so famous as Jesus. They had heard all kinds of amazing things about him, and maybe wanted to see some of these miracles for themselves. Some of them may have wanted to be healed. They were excited! Just like you were at the game you went to. They waved palm branches shouting "hosanna".

The word hosanna means - a cry of praise to God. A palm branch is a symbol of triumph - happiness. In ancient Rome, a precession of people waving palm beaches meant there was a victory of an army. The people were expressing their joy.

When your team wins the game, do you tell anyone? Do you celebrate in some way? Maybe you all go out for ice-cream or pizza? How would you feel if in the middle of your celebration someone came up to you and told you to stop it that there was no reason to celebrate because they only by one score? Your joy may be a little dampened by the comment.

Some of the Pharisees tried to get the crowd to stop praising Jesus. They told the disciples to get them under control.

Often we go to church and forget why we are really there. We are there to worship God. People worship God in different ways. Some jump up and testify, others wave their hand when they sing, and some may clap their hands. This is all part of worshiping God. Some put money in the offering plate while others sit quietly and enjoy the presence of God. These are all ways we can praise and worship God.

Palm Sunday is one week before Easter Sunday, and it is a time to praise God for what He has done. It is good to know that we can express joy, pride, happiness, for His victory over the grave.



Jack: I can't wait until Easter!

Jenny: Why? What's going on at Easter? That is just another day.

Jack: Not for me, Jenny! We have an egg hunt at the church.

Jenny: So that is what Easter is all about. I have seen some signs in some of the churches about an egg hunt. I wonder what it was all about, Jack?

Jack: Would you want to come to our egg hunt and find out?

Jenny: I'll think about it. What do you do?

Jack: You hunt eggs.

Jenny: Hunt eggs! Why would anyone want to hunt eggs?

Jack: It is fun!

Jenny: It does not sound like fun to me. I gather our eggs every day and get tired of looking at eggs.

Jack: The eggs are dyed different colors and some of them are plastic. Jenny, you get candy in the plastic eggs and some are even marked for a special prize.

Jenny: That sounds crazy to me, Jack. You hunt for plastic eggs with candy in them, and hunt eggs that have been dyed?

Jack: Sure thing! Jenny, why don't you come and try it?

Jenny: If that is what Easter is, I don't think it sounds too interesting,

Jack: We normally have a play on the meaning of Easter that the youth put on.

Jenny: And what's that?

Jack: It's about Jesus who rose from the grave.

Jenny: Jack, you really are sounding weird. You hunt eggs with candy in them, and now you tell me someone rose from the dead. That sounds freaky.

Jack: It's not that bad. Come, Jenny, and see for yourself; then, we'll go out for pizza.

Jenny: Well. I do like pizza. I'll go with you and see what this is about and then we can have pizza?

Jake: Promise.

Jenny: It's a deal!


Small Group or Large Group Discussion Questions:

  • 1. What does Easter mean to you?
  • 2. How can we celebrate Palm Sunday?
  • 3. What are some ways that we can show God we love Him?
  • 4. How would you explain to someone what Easter means?
  • 5. Why do you think the Pharisees felt the way they did about the people praising Jesus?


 Message Application Game

Write on slips of paper things for the kids to do. Place these in separate plastic eggs all placed in a large basket. As they answer the questions provided in the lesson, have them then select an egg from another basket, and read what is inside the egg. They must then follow what the instructions say for them to do.



  • 1. What does hosanna mean?
  • 2. How are we sometimes like a donkey?
  • 3. Why do you get excited at a ball game?
  • 4. How do people show their excitement when they worship God?
  • 5. What does Easter mean to you?
  • 6. Why do we celebrate Easter?
  • 7. Say the memory verse?
  • 8. Who tried to stop the people from praising God?
  • 9. Why did the Pharisees try to stop the people from praising God?
    10. What did the people wave?
    11. What is Palm Sunday?
    12. What did Jesus tell the disciples to go and get him?
    13. What did the disciple put on the back of the donkey?
    14. What did the Pharisee tell the disciples to do when the   people were praising God?
    15. Why do we go to church?
    16. How can we praise God in church?
    17. How do you like to praise God?

 Instruction to place inside the eggs

  • 1. Sing "Jesus Loves Me"
  • 2. Wave your hands and shout "Hosanna"
  • 3. Stand on one foot, and say the memory verse.
  • 4. Clap your hands, and say the memory verse.
  • 5. Snap you fingers, and spell "hosanna"
  • 6. Clap and turn around, and around, as you say the memory verse.
  • 7. Sing your favorite song
  • 8. Say the ABCs in a sing song chant
  • 9. Sing the names of the kids in your group today
    10. Tell someone you love them - but sing the words
    11. Share what God did for you this week.
    12. Share one thing you learned today.
    13. Sing the memory verse.
    14. Do a cartwheel or ask someone else to do it if you cannot.
    15. Share who your favorite sport player is an why.
    16. Share why Jesus is important to you.
    17. Wave two palm branches and spell hosanna three times.


 Bible Memory Game

Give all the kids a palm branch. You can use a paper one if you do not have real or plastic ones. As you say the memory verse have the kids wave their braches high on the word Hosanna and say it loudly. If you use paper ones, have them tear off one of the leaves each time they say the verse. Repeat until all have been torn off. Give them a new one to take home with them.


 Closing Prayer:

Dear God, we thank you for Palm Sunday. We are glad that we can praise you anytime and you hear us. Help us to take time to worship you every day and read you word. Walk with us through this next week and protect us. Help us to show your love and kindness in our actions and in our words. Use us to be a light to others of your love in our hearts. We love you, and thank you for Palm Sunday and how we can praise you better.

 © Jeanne McIntosh March 8, 2010. All rights reserved.




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