Trying to plan your Palm Sunday sermon? It’s easy to lose track of Palm Sunday in the midst of Easter preparations. Your plate is full, planning Easter Egg hunts, coordinating Easter worship, and planning your Easter sermon. 

As a church leader, it’s challenging to keep Easter and Christmas plans fresh. Luckily, there are many resources online to help. Palm Sunday presents different challenge. There are fewer resources available, but you still want to celebrate Christ in a relevant way on this special Sunday – and promote your following week’s Easter service at the same time.

Lent Sermon Series Outlines

Free Lent Sermon Series Templates

Four series templates with message suggestions for the weeks leading up to Easter.

Your congregation doesn’t care how this year’s Palm Sunday message compares to last year’s, or the year before. They’re looking for a message that is meaningful, well-spoken, and relevant to their lives today.

Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter) is a celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It’s a time to reflect and remember how the crowds welcomed Him with palm branches. And it’s not a stand-alone event – it’s the beginning of your church’s Easter celebration. It’s easy to put Palm Sunday planning at the bottom of your to-do list, but as the beginning of your Holy Week celebration, it’s important to make it a priority.

Before you start drafting Palm Sunday sermon outlines, use this list to find inspiration and get a head start on planning. Continue reading for ideas to make this Palm Sunday at your church unique and relevant.

Palm Sunday Sermons Outlines

One of the greatest blessings for modern day preachers is sermon research, outlines, and ideas lists. In decades past, only the churches with the largest budgets and a well-built staff would be able to afford the luxury of sermon research assistants. Today, there are entire organizations dedicated to doing this work for the everyday pastor. 

At Ministry Pass we have two stand-alone sermon outlines dedicated to Palm Sunday. These are starting places for your Palm Sunday message. You can use as many or as few of the insights and directions included — no matter what you use, you’ll begin your prep with a head start that was previously impossible for 99% of pastors in America.

Palm Sunday

This standalone message is designed to be used on Palm Sunday—the day set aside to remember Jesus’ Triumphal Entry and the beginning of Holy Week. By telling the story of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, this message challenges listeners to wonder if their self-righteousness and pride is keeping them from recognizing and participating in God’s work.

Palm Sunday

Find this sermon here.

The Triumphal Entry

 This five-sermon series is designed to either be used over the course of five weeks, or individually through the last week of Lent—often referred to as Holy Week—on the church calendar. This bundle includes a guide and graphic for:

  • The Triumphal Entry
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday
  • Easter Sunday

The church calendar invites us into a different sort of spirituality, one in which we sync our lives up with the rhythm of Jesus’s life. This is most true of Holy Week. From Palm Sunday on, we walk with Jesus into Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and finally to see his empty tomb.

The Triumphal Entry

Find this sermon here.

Palm Sunday Sermons Ideas

One of the greatest sources of ideas for Palm Sunday are Lent sermon series outlines. While there will be plenty of Palm Sunday relevant content inside of a Lent sermon series, there will be plenty of additional material you could consider incorporating for your Palm Sunday celebration. 

In addition to Lent resources, Holy Week resources will incorporate great sermon ideas to help you develop your Palm Sunday approach, helping you craft an outline that is strong, easily moldable (to your voice), and communicates the Good News with truth and grace. 

All of the Holy Week and Lent Sermon Series from Ministry Pass

Palm Sunday Sermon Illustration Ideas:

Sometimes all you’re lacking is a strong illustration. Using a website like Illustration Ideas is one source of inspiration no matter what type of illustration you need.

Check out the entire website for thousands of illustration ideas. Here are just two ideas directly related to Palm Sunday.

The Humble King

In The Avengers (directed by Joss Whedon [Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2012]), Loki terrorizes a crowd after having publicly killed a man. He demands that everyone kneel before him and honor him as their ruler. A valiant old man stands up and says, “Not to men like you.” This powerful moment shows the exact opposite of how Jesus shows up. He is the humble King riding on a donkey. The people can’t help but erupt in praise. When the leaders try to stop it, Jesus tells them that the rocks will cry out if the people don’t. We do need a King, but the King we need is Jesus. And the terms of his kingdom might be very different from what we expect. Serving him means relinquishing our expectations into his hands.

Joining the Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade started as a simple idea from the store’s leaders. The parade participants only took up two blocks when it started. By the end of the story, thousands of people had joined the parade instead of just watching from the side (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kubRyY9b_w). In a similar way, Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem started on a donkey, but it ended with people shouting and rejoicing about him. Even more, we get to join in Jesus’s parade every time we worship him as King.

Additional Ideas and Insights

Ideas can come from anywhere and inspiration is everywhere. If the above resources didn’t get your creative juices flowing, here are three more insights to look to as you plan your sermons for Palm Sunday.

Preaching Palm Sunday from A New Perspective

Pastor Kevin Horath wanted to make his Palm Sunday service unique – so he looked at the story from the perspective of the donkey. His church hosted a children’s petting zoo, food truck, coloring contest, and used the donkey as the theme of the sermon. 

Consider preaching from a different perspective this year – whether you choose to preach from the perspective of an often-overlooked character, or focus on another angle of the story, like the roads Jesus took on His path to the Cross. By approaching the story from a new angle, you’ll shed new light on a story many people know so well.

Connecting Palm Sunday to the Current Culture

In order to connect your Palm Sunday sermons to today’s culture, incorporate a clip from a popular movie or TV show. For example, reference the scene in The Avengers where Loki demands everyone bows to him, and contrast that with Jesus’ humble entrance. Using an illustration like this will help your listeners understand your message – and as a bonus, when they watch that movie in the future, it’ll remind them of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.

The Road to Easter: A Holy Week Series

Palm Sunday As An Introduction to Holy Week

As we mentioned before, it’s important to make sure your Easter celebration doesn’t just last one day. Palm Sunday is the beginning of an entire week of focus on Jesus’ entry, death, and resurrection. This Palm Sunday, preach a sermon that leads into Holy Week. Preach a cohesive message series throughout the week (or month) leading up to Easter that leads listeners through the entire story, and applies it to their lives.

To prepare for Holy Week, provide your congregation with daily devotionals (or to reach more people, have a pastor or church leader host live videos on social media daily leading up to Easter, to share encouragement and Scripture). Remember – your Easter celebration is more than just one Sunday. Lead into Holy Week with resources to understand the season, and focus on Palm Sunday as a kickoff to a very important week in Church history.

Don’t Skip Over Palm Sunday this Year

Palm Sunday isn’t a Sunday to skip over in the midst of Easter preparation. It’s the beginning of Holy Week – one of the most important events in Christian history. In order for your congregation to understand the resurrection, they need to understand what led up to that incredible moment – which means they need to hear relevant sermons on Palm Sunday.

Use this list of Palm Sunday sermons to jump-start your planning. Find ideas, topics, and even whole sermons prepared for you. Whatever topic you choose this Palm Sunday, this important celebration still matters – so make sure you preach a message that is impactful, memorable, and relevant to people’s lives today.

Sermon Calendar Mockup Laptop

Excel Calendar Worksheet

Plan a year’s worth of sermon series in advance with this simple, but powerful spreadsheet!