Palm Sunday: Introduction to Holy Week

Open Your Bible

Matthew 21:1-11

Text: Matthew 21:1-11

If you grew up with Bible stories, you know the challenge it is to read a familiar passage of Scripture with fresh eyes. When we come to a story like the Good Samaritan or Noah and the flood, our task, as Bible scholar Kenneth Bailey used to say, is to “rescue truth from the jaws of familiarity.”

So it is with the Easter story. Most everyone knows Jesus died on the cross. It is one of those facts essential to the story, like how we know the Titanic sank or that Lincoln was shot in a theater. But the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is drenched in details of remarkably significant insight which affect not only what we understand about the story, but also about Jesus Himself.

How clear are you on the foundational story of Jesus’ death and resurrection? If you are a Christian, your confession is that Jesus died in your place and paid for your sins with His death. But why was He crucified? Was He a martyr? How secure did He make your salvation?

Prior to His arrest, Jesus said, “No one takes [My life] from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again” (John 10:18). This was not simply a passing statement. It was a promise that Jesus was going to the cross on purpose.

During this last week of Lent, as we make our way through the final chapters of Isaiah, our supplemental readings will trace, in real time, the path Jesus walked that last week of His earthly ministry. On Monday, we will read what happened on the Monday before the Resurrection, on Tuesday we will read what happened on Tuesday of that week, and so on.

Our hope as we read these scriptures is that we would know Christ better through the careful study of His Word, and that we would understand that His death and resurrection were purposefully endured for our salvation. His victory over death frees us to serve Him with vigor in this life, secure in the salvation He has accomplished.

As you read, see how He laid His life down. He did this for you.


(34) Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

34 thoughts on "Palm Sunday: Introduction to Holy Week"

  1. Christina says:

    “His victory over death frees us to serve Him with vigor in this life, secure in the salvation He has accomplished.”

    When I know I’m secure, I’m bound to attempt more impossible feats. Father, make this victory, this security, real to my heart. May I respond in faithful, trusting obedience.

  2. Melody Suarez says:

    I want to be moved this Easter. Lord let it not be just another year/another story

  3. Cynthia says:

    Oh,Lord, stir our hearts up for You!

  4. Sarah D. says:

    My pastor said this morning how the same people who screamed “Hosanna!” on Sunday would scream “Crucify him!” on Friday. Wow. It’s just like me cause it takes that amount or even less time for my to forget God’s promises. But He still died for me, died for the people who turned away for Him. But He still knew that despite our sin, there would be the chance of us turning back towards Jesus and learning to build a relationship and accept His love. Thank you Jesus for not giving up on me!

  5. Micah lee says:

    My family is still in the process of learning to participate in church as members, not as leaders. For my whole life my dad was a worship pastor. 20 years non stop. Sunday was a work day. And usually we were involved in it as well in one capacity or another. It would be an understatement to say we’re burnt out on church ministry. Im still trying to figure out how to do Easter and Christmas from the congregation, not the stage.

    1. Zoe says:

      That’s very interesting! I’m sure it is undoubtedly different. Praying for your peace and an open mind and heart to how new leaders carry out the ministry–especially on such special holidays ♥

    2. peanut cheese says:

      May you and family receive lots of blessings in serving the community through your ‘regular’ membership!

    3. Tina says:

      I am familiar with what you are experiencing. I was worship leader for 10 years. The season of rest has allowed me to rekindle my personal worship and relationship with Jesus. He knows what you need before you ask. Enjoy this season.

  6. Evie says:

    Today I read the John version of the triumphal entry. John 12:12-16. I stopped and re-read verse 16, and Praise the Lord, after reading this story so many times, I got something new from it. The disciples didn’t understand. They didn’t understand until he was glorified, raised from the deadly and ascended. That was WAY after. Not only did Jesus arrive to his death on this Sunday, entering jerusalem knowing what will come of this week, his nearest of kin, his beloved 12, who have been with them for 3 years, still did not understand. How disappointing and lonely it must have been for Jesus. Though there were people shouting hosanna, inside he knew what was to come and how these same people would betray him. Oh Lord, the sacrifice you made we will never truly fathom, but we love you so much and we thank you for continually loving us the way you do.

    1. Emily B. says:

      Thank you for sharing that today!

  7. Mari says:

    Stir me up Lord! I’m excited for what MY GOD has for me this week! And just like the rest I want to be “rescued from the jaws of familiarity”.

    1. Mari says:

      rescue “truth” from the jaws of familiarly .

  8. Leslie says:

    Praying ❤️

  9. Emily says:

    Prayers please? My family is going to church for the first time in a couple of years today. You could say we have “church PTSD” and we need courage. We really don’t want to be hurt again.

    1. Rebecca says:

      Praying for you.

    2. Amanda Highley says:


    3. Mari says:

      Praying for you right now.

    4. Tiffany says:

      Many prayers. We are a former pastor family visiting a new church today as well. And the Easter story feels new, as if we are hearing the messages of sacrifice, mercy, and grace for the first time. Keep your hearts open and available for God to work and speak. ❤

    5. Micah lee says:

      Been there. Praying for you dear!

    6. She Reads Truth says:

      Praying for you, Emily. I hope this went well.

      – Stormye

  10. rebecca7395 says:

    Everything we’ve read leads to this…Jesus willingly giving of Himself, for us, regardless of the fact that He knew the people didn’t truly understand Who He was, or why He was there. May our hearts openly receive understanding, may we fully see God’s righteousness and His rightful place as Judge over our sins. But God, in His Mercy, made a Way for us. Help us, Father, truly appreciate what You did for us.

    1. Emily B. says:


    2. Rebecca says:


  11. Kovalentine says:

    “rescue truth from the jaws of familiarity.”

    1. Wendy says:

      That statement caught my attention too. How very powerful.

      1. Rebecca says:

        Mine, too!

    2. Leslie says:

    3. Kersti says:

      ❤️ yes, my heart too needs rescuing from familiarity!

  12. Churchmouse says:

    “When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up…”. I have the Lord. He dwells in me. He has entered in. But I’m praying today that He would stir me up even as Jerusalem was stirred up. That this SRT study of the Easter story would refresh and reinvigorate me. That the familiar story would not be read passively but passionately. Stir me up that I might stir others. Amen.

    1. Ruth says:

      Thank you for your words, Churchmouse. Exactly how I am feeling this morning, too. ❤️

    2. Bethany says:

      Absolutely! Amen!

  13. Dana says: