Jesus arrives in Jerusalem for Passover and is welcomed like a King. People waved Palm branches and shouted "Hosanna!" No doubt many of the people wanted Jesus to be King and free them from their Roman oppressors. However, Jesus rides in on a donkey showing humility, and his plan was not to fight Rome, but to die bringing them spiritual freedom from their sin. Later, this same crowd shouting "Hosanna!" will shout "Crucify Him!"
As we prepare to celebrate resurrection next Sunday, focus on the cross this week. Read the following Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus this week: Monday - Matthew 27, Tuesday - Mark 15, Wednesday - Luke 23, Thursday John 19. Then Join us for Good Friday services and Easter at the Expo.
Small Group Discussion Questions
Series: Easter 2019 (Part I) The Triumphal Entry
Text: Matthew 21:1-17
1. Have you ever gotten the wrong idea about someone? Their motives? Who they were as a person? What they were up to? What eventually changed your mind about them?
2. Read Matthew 21:1-11. We know that just a few days after this story takes place, the crowd is once again shouting at Jesus, but instead of shouting praise they will be shouting “Crucify Him!” Why does the crowd seem to love Jesus so much in this text? Do they simply have the wrong idea about who he is and what he’s going to do for them?
3. Read Matthew 21:12-13. What does it teach us about Jesus that he got so angry and drove certain people out of the Temple? How does this differ from the way people typically perceive him?
4. What’s the difference in righteous anger and unrighteous anger? When was the last time you were righteously angry about something and what did you do about it?
5. As Dave mentioned, part of the reason Jesus was so angry is that the Temple had become a place for insiders (Jews) at the exclusion of outsiders (Gentiles). What can/should we as a church learn from this? What are some things you think we do well to ensure that outsiders feel welcome in our church? What are some tangible things we can/should always do to make sure those who are far from God feel loved, welcomed, and wanted at our church?
Reminder… The action step this week is to focus on the cross as we prepare to celebrate Resurrection next Sunday. You can do so by specifically taking time to read the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus as recorded in Matt. 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19. Then join us for Good Friday services on Friday at the EXPO Center in Belton. (If you’ve been doing these readings this week, feel free to share any thoughts or insights with the group on how it has helped you focus on the cross and what Christ accomplished for you).