(Based on Matthew 20:29-21:11; John 12:9-36; Hebrews 12:2; Zechariah 9:9)
Actors: Narrator (teacher), Jesus, Disciple (1 and 2), Crowd (assign speaking and non-speaking parts so everyone in class can participate), Blind men (1 and 2).
Props: Palm branches, cloaks, and Bible-time apparel (optional).
Narrator: Jesus and his disciples were on their way to Jerusalem. People from all around the region were coming to celebrate the Passover Feast. When the crowd heard Jesus was there, they went out to greet him . . .
Blind Man 1: (shouting) Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!
Crowd 1: Shhh. Be quiet.
Blind Man 2: (Louder) Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!
Crowd 2: Don't bother Jesus!
Crowd 3: Yeah, he's got more important things to do!
Jesus (to blind men): What do you want me to do for you?
Blind Man 1: Lord, we want to see!
Narrator: Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.
Blind Man 2: Praise God! I can see!
Blind Man 1: We've been healed! Lord, we want to follow you too!
Narrator: Because the crowds had seen and heard about Jesus' miracles—how he healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and had even raised his friend, Lazarus, from the dead—they wanted to follow and obey him. But this made the Jewish rulers angry; they wanted the people to follow them and not Jesus, so they plotted to kill him, and Lazarus too!
Jesus (to his disciples): Go to the village up the road. You will find a donkey and her colt tied there. Untie them and bring them to me.
Disciple 1: But someone might think we're stealing!
Jesus: If anyone says anything to you, tell him the Lord needs them, and he will send them with you.
Disciple 2: Alright! If you say so.
Narrator: The disciples did as Jesus told them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut palm branches from the trees and spread them on the road. This was how kings were welcomed into the city.
Crowd (All shouting, throwing cloaks down, and waving palms and throwing them down): Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
Narrator: When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was excited and stirred up. They asked, "Who is this?"
Crowd 4 (shouting): This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.
Jesus: Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me. The Father will honor anyone who serves me.
Narrator: Jesus rode into the city and was praised like a victorious king. But rather than riding in on a horse, as was the custom for a king, he rode in on a donkey. This was to fulfill what the prophet Zechariah said, "Rejoice . . . your king comes to you . . . riding on a donkey . . ." Jesus also said something very strange. . .
Jesus: The hour has come for the Son of Man to die. A seed must be planted in the ground and die to produce more seeds. Those who serve me must follow me, and my Father will honor them. I'm very troubled; I want to ask God to save me from dying on the cross, but the whole reason I've come to earth is to die as a sin offering to God. Father, may I honor and glorify your name!
Narrator: Then a voice from heaven spoke, "I have honored and glorified it again."
Crowd 1: Did you hear that?
Crowd 2: It sounded like thunder!
Crowd 3: No! It was an angel!
Jesus: You heard the voice to help you believe in me. God's judgment is near. The prince of this world will be forced out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.
Narrator: Jesus said this to show the kind of death he was going to die—he would be lifted up on a cross.
Crowd 4: But Jesus, how can you die? God's Law says the Christ, the Messiah, will live forever!
Jesus: You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.
Narrator: When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. Sadly, just a short time later, those same people cheering for Jesus would be jeering and screaming, "Crucify him, crucify him!" They did not understand that God's kingdom is different from earthly kingdoms. They wanted Jesus to rule over their earthly enemies. But God knew mankind first needed to defeat Satan, sin, and death—our true enemy. The Bible tells us that Jesus willingly went to the cross for the joy that was set before him. He found joy in dying in our place, to take the punishment for our sins, because he loves us that much!
1) What do you think Jesus wanted the crowd (and us) to know when he said a seed must be planted in the ground and die to produce more seeds? (When a seed is planted in the ground it dies and then grows to become a plant. Then the plant grows and produces dozens of seeds. Jesus used this example from nature to help us understand an eternal truth: Jesus had to die and was raised from the dead, so we can have eternal life.)
2) Why do you think the people followed and cheered for Jesus? (Because of the miracles he did, they believed he was the Messiah who would deliver Israel from her enemies, Isaiah 35:3-6.)
3) Why do you suppose the people turned against Jesus? (They didn't understand the Scriptures that said the Messiah had a different mission, to defeat Satan, sin, and death (Isaiah 53). Jesus didn't fit their "mold" for Messiah. Rather than riding into the city on a horse like a conquering king, he came with humility, riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). When the people realized Jesus wasn't coming to defeat their earthly rulers, they turned against him.)
4) Jesus said that anyone who wants to be his disciple must do what? (Follow him.)
5) What does it mean to follow Jesus? (To trust and believe in him. Imitate him with our words and actions, which we learn to do by knowing God's Word.)
6) Jesus said, "When I am lifted up I will draw all people to myself." What did he mean by this? (He was referring to being lifted up on a cross. When Jesus died, he didn't die just for the Jewish people; he died for all of humankind. His death and resurrection makes it possible for all people to come to God when they place their trust in him.)
7) Who is the prince of this world that will be forced out? (This is a reference to Satan. Jesus' resurrection defeated sin, death, and Satan's stronghold on humankind. Satan's power and time on earth is limited.)
8) How many names for Jesus can you find in this skit? (Son of David, Son of Man, Messiah or Christ, Light.)
Copyright 2013 Sarah A. Keith
If you liked this skit, then you'll love our Lights, Camera, Action, Bible Skits.
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