On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, publicly proclaiming that he is the Messiah. As our Savior makes his way through the city, the crowds shout, “Praise God!” and spread their garments and palm branches on the road before him. It is a magnificent scene—one of victory but also likely of loneliness—as Jesus willingly goes forward into what he knows will be his death and ultimately our salvation.
How have you acknowledged Palm Sunday and Holy Week in the past? What is new to you about it from the teaching?
Read Isaiah 62:10-12, Zechariah 9:9, and then Matthew 21:1-5. Read Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:8-11, and then Matthew 21:12. How are Matthew’s references to Old Testament prophecy encouraging to you or strengthening to your faith?
For the disciples, Jesus is their only hope. For the crowd, Jesus represents an opportunity for their life to be improved. And for the religious leaders, Jesus is a threat to their false sense of control.
Who is Jesus for you? What category from Matthew 21 do you fall under—disciple, crowd, or religious leader?
Read 1 Peter 3:15. In what practical way can you willingly acknowledge the holiness of God this week? What answer do you have for anyone who asks about the hope that you have?
The holiness of God is impositional—regardless of your religion, culture, circumstances, or whether you acknowledge it or not. He is holy because of who he is. He is ultimately set apart and completely other from us.
Our pastoral and ministry staff is engaging with our community and mobilizing our resources to serve in this rapidly changing environment. Your generosity allows us to not only care for the immediate and present needs in our community but also to prepare and plan for the impact this will have on the most vulnerable, even beyond the end of the COVID-19 crisis. If you would like to give above and beyond your normal gift to Grace, we have created a special fund called the COVID-19 relief fund. Consider contributing here.
Week 2 Study Questions
The resurrection of Jesus gives us freedom—its victory gives us new life, hope, and an eternal inheritance that reaches far beyond our life here on earth. Because of our faith in him, we give our lives to honor his name and become “up next” for resurrection as we are reborn, regenerated, and made new.
Paul has one motivation: to honor Christ. How does he describe what that would look like for both his life and his death? Can you say the same for your life and death? Why or why not?
Read 1 Peter 1:3-5. What are your thoughts about being “up next” for the resurrection? Do you feel the tension between believing that this world has more for you than the next and the comfort and victory in the hope of eternal life? How so?
Do you have faith that this resurrection is real? In what practical way have you experienced God’s protection through your faith? How has Jesus changed your soul and given you a new kind of hope and new view of your inheritance?
What does it look like for you to grow as a believer in Christ and live in a way that other people can see that you have a living hope?
Paul lives in freedom, unattached to this world, and entirely motivated in everything by honoring God. He truly does not care if he lives to serve others or dies to be with Christ, because in both he honors God.
We are “up next” for the resurrection through Jesus. Because of Jesus, we get a new life. We are regenerated and have the hope and inheritance of eternal life.
We can trust that the next world far surpasses this one and can be free to live with the sole motivation of honoring God.