The Palm Frond and the Rooster


A study in contrasts for Palm Sunday


Palm fronds and a picture of a rooster


John 12:12-13; Luke 22:22-24

Hi kids! Do you know what day today is? It's Palm Sunday! That’s why we're carrying palm fronds. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people were happy to see him, so much so that they waved palm fronds as he passed and threw them at his feet. It was the sign of an approaching King—and in the case of Jesus, it was a celebration that the Messiah—the savior of the world had come in triumph to Jerusalem, the holy city—the city of David.

Everybody wave your palm fronds and shout Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Let’s look at another symbol that was also seen in the Gospel account today: the rooster. What’s a rooster got to do with the coming of the Messiah, the King of the Jews? Does anybody know?

The rooster in this story symbolized betrayal—of promising to stick by Jesus no matter what and then “chickening” out when it got tough and scary.

Let’s all crow three times: Cock a-doodle-do! Cock a-doodle-do! Cock a-doodle-do!

So we have two symbols today day on Palm Sunday to remind us that we often both celebrate the coming of the savior of the world and at the same time we turn on him and betray him when times get hard.

Which do you do? Praise God and celebrate his coming or do you betray him by not keeping your promises? I think for all of us we do both, just like Peter and the disciples.

Let’s both celebrate by waving palm fronds and then let’s remember that we need that savior forgiveness because we have also denied him. One half the congregation yell Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, and the other half say cock a- doodle-do, cock a-doodle-do, cock a-doodle-do.

Let’s pray: Dear Lord, we humans are an odd people; On one hand we celebrate and praise you and then we often turn around and betray you. Lord, forgive us. Help us to see our sins and repent.