Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Jesus' last week before crucifixion. He entered into Jerusalem in triumph riding on a donkey. Do you know why he rode on a donkey instead of a horse?
In Biblical times, just as today, symbolism can be very important. In this instance, a man riding into town on a horse and with ceremony usually meant that he was coming as a conquering hero. Horses were usually reserved either for the very wealthy or for the military. On the other hand, a donkey symbolized peace. The donkey was also the animal of the common man. In other words, even though it was a victorious and triumphal entrance, Jesus was entering Jerusalem in peace and as the Christ of all men Ö not just the priviledged.
Here are some activities for you to try while studying the timeline of Jesus entrance into Jerusalem, the celebration of the Passover meal (the Last Supper), his crucifixion and resurrection.
Reading: Read The Gospel of Mark, chapter 11. This passage gives an account of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the first day of the week. There was a large gathering of people that spread their clothes and palm leaves on the road. This was a means of honoring Him. Palm leaves were symbolic of victory.
SCIENCE: Investigate the various types of palms. There are the coconut palms, the date palms, and the royal palms. List the different uses of the coconuts and dates. The date palm was the most important in Biblical times. The entire date palm was used.
Cooking: After researching palms, you may want to try cooking foods that include coconut, coconut milk, or dates. You could also research and cook historically accurate foods that would have been eaten in the Middle East during Jesusí time on Earth, especially those that would have been eaten as the Jewish Passover celebration.
GEOGRAPHY: There is a misunderstanding that events in the Bible happened in locations that no longer exist. Provide a world map. Point out Jerusalem, Bethphage, and Bethany to them. Draw a map of Jerusalem. In what part of the world is Jerusalem located? What country is Jerusalem a part of? What language do they speak? It is possible for this to be a mini - unit in itself.
History: What other world events occurred during this same time period? What was going on in places like Rome, Egypt, etc? Investigate what part Rome had in Jerusalemís governing. Who were the key figures in this time period and location?
Home Ec: Sew replica clothing that would have been worn by the Jewish people in Jerusalem during this time period. Would the Romans have worn different clothing?