For this series you could have a ‘wall hanging’ (newsprint, sheet or large card) – each devotion you add 2-3 ‘paving stones (large coloured paper rounds) plus suitable pictures to show Jesus steps to the cross.
Green paving stones & pic of donkey & fern frond
Bring a fern frond for each child to hold (or get them to cut out a fern/palm shape from green paper). Bring tea-towels & ties for dress-ups & long sticks for a staff – for the drama.
Choose your members for the Drama & make sure all other members have their fern/palm frond. Have rally members sit in 2 lines facing each other with a reasonable gap between. This is the ‘road’. You be Narrator. Choose 7 people – Jesus, owner, 3 disciples, 2 to make the foal. Send the owner & ‘foal’ to the other end of the ‘road’.
Also have a placard for Rally members to see, held by a Rally Leader who stands at the front. Write on it “Praise be to God, Hallelujah.” Members say this as they wave their ferns/fronds.
We are going to do some Bible devotions this term on “Jesus’ last days on earth.” This is what Christians celebrate at Easter time.
Jesus had been teaching the people about God and healing those who were sick for 3 years. But his time on earth was coming to an end. It was the Passover Festival time – this is the same time we celebrate Easter – and Jesus and his disciples were coming to Jerusalem, along with thousands of other people, to worship God and remember how he had brought them out of Egypt hundreds of years before.
We will do a short drama together as we tell the story.
Narrator: The disciples are all walking down the road (coming along towards the ‘road’ from the side of the room at the opposite end to the foal ). They are coming near to a small town when Jesus stops.
Jesus: I want two of you, (choose two) to go ahead of us into the town. As you go you will find a donkey and foal tied up to a post. The foal has never been ridden before. Untie it and bring it here.
Disciples: But what if someone sees us taking the foal. They might think we are stealing it.
Jesus: If someone asks you why you are untying it, tell them that the Master needs it.
Narrator: So 2 of the disciples went off towards the village (walk down to foal on outside of the rows of Rally members) and found the foal tied as Jesus said. (have 2 strong members to be the foal – 1 stands straight & the 2nd leans forward & holds around waist of first so someone can sit on back of 2nd )
Disciples: Here it is. Just as Jesus said it would be. Come on, let’s untie it. Come on boy, Jesus wants you.
Owner: Hey, what are you doing with my foal?
Disciples: The master needs it.
Owner: Oh. That’s okay then.
Disciples: (lead colt to Jesus along outside of the rows) Here you are Jesus. No trouble. It was just as you said. (Help Jesus sit on foal)
Jesus: Thank-you. Now we will proceed to Jerusalem. (lead Jesus on foal along ‘path’ created by members. They throw their fern fronds down in front of the procession)
Members: “Praise be to God. Hallelujah”. (repeat 3 or 4 times while throwing fronds down as Jesus moves along between Rally members)
Thank the participants & ask them to be seated while you finish the devotion.
This event where Jesus rode a foal into Jerusalem has a few interesting meanings.
- It was something that had been predicted hundreds of years before.. (have another Leader read from the Bible – Zechariah 9 v 9).
- Also the reading from Zechariah said this was ‘your king’ who was riding on a foal. The only ‘king’ that the Jews were looking for was the Messiah who was coming from God. So, this was Jesus way of saying “I am the Messiah who God promised to send to you – here I am”. And the people praised God and worshipped Jesus on this day. Along with their palm fronds, they also threw their cloaks down on the road for him to ride over, which was another sign of honouring Jesus as King.
This desire to see Jesus as their king didn’t last long. This was because the people thought that God would send a Messiah that would fight the Romans and kick them out of Israel & then set up his own kingdom. But Jesus didn’t do that. They didn’t understand that Jesus had another & much more amazing reason to come, & that the kingdom he will set up would be further into the future.
Next week we will learn about something Jesus gives us to do, while we wait for this future kingdom.