Holy Week Sequence




Scripture:  Matthew 21:1-11, 26:1-5, 14 – 30, 36 - 56


Key Scripture Verses:  Matthew 26:39  Jesus walked on a little way.  Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed.  “My Father, if it is possible, don’t make me suffer.  But do what you want and not what I want”   (Contemporary English Version)


Memory Verse:   

 “We may make a lot of plans, but the Lord will do what he has decided.”  Proverbs 19:21 (CEV)



·        Jesus chose to be an obedient disciple of God.




 1. Learn that Jesus lived, taught and died in a real place that exists today. 


2. Understand the layout of Jerusalem and the routes that Jesus traveled during his last week of life. 


3. Follow the events of Holy Week and illustrate some of them on a map.



Welcome and Introductions:


1.  Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag


2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short prayer thanking Jesus for teaching us about God would be appropriate.


Bible Story:


1.  Discuss the background to today’s story. Have the children use their Bibles to locate the story in Matthew.  This is an account of Holy Week – the time from when Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing that he would soon die until Easter when he rose from the dead.  Although the Bible reading stops with the betrayal, the children should be reminded of previous lessons about Jesus’ trial and death on the cross.


2.  Jesus had been teaching and healing people for three years.  It was nearing the time of Passover the celebration of Moses’ leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt. Jesus and his disciples headed for Jerusalem and stayed at the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha in the region of Bethany.  Before he entered Jerusalem, he went to Bethphage and told two of his disciples;  Go into the next village, where you will at once find a donkey and her colt.  Untie the two and bring them to me.  If anyone asks why you are doing that, say the Lord needs them.  Right away, he will let you have the donkeys.”  The disciples did what Jesus asked.  Then they put clothing on the donkeys’ backs and Jesus rode into Jerusalem (probably entering through the Golden Gate).  The people there had heard about Jesus teaching and traveling about.  They were very excited to have him arrive and welcomed him as the Messiah (Son of David).  They threw their clothing and branches on the ground to create a carpet to welcome him. 


3.  Jesus visited the temple during the next few days and talked to many people.  Two days before Passover, Jesus said; “On Passover the Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies and nailed to a cross.”  Jesus was talking about himself.  At the same time the priests from the temple were planning to have Jesus arrested and put to death.  They offered to pay the disciple Judas thirty silver coins to help them arrest Jesus.


4.  On the first day of Passover (Festival of Thin Bread) Jesus asked his disciples to go to a certain man in the city and tell him, “Our teacher says ‘My time has come!  I want to eat the Passover meal with my disciples in your home’” We do not know the exact location of this building, but we know it was inside the city).   When Jesus was eating with his twelve disciples that evening he said, “One of you will surely hand me over to my enemies.”  The disciples were very sad and hoped he didn’t mean them.  Jesus answered, “One of you who has eaten with me will betray me.  The son of Man will die as the scriptures say.  But it is going to be terrible for the one who betrays me!  That man would be better off if he had never been born.”  During the meal Jesus took some bread and broke it.  Giving it to his disciples, he said, “Take this and eat.  This is my body.”  Jesus picked up the cup of wine and giving it to his disciples said, “This is my blood, and with it God makes his agreement with you.  It will be poured out so that many people will have their sins forgiven.”  We celebrate this ‘Last Supper’ when we have communion.


5.  After the meal they all went to the Mount of Olives and stopped in a garden named Gethsemane.  Jesus told them to sit while he prayed. He asked Peter, James and John to come accompany him.  He was sad and troubled, and he said to them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I’m dying.”  He walked a little way and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, don’t make me suffer.  But do what you want, not what I want.  If there is no other way and I must suffer, I will still do what you want.” 


6.  Jesus returned to find his disciples asleep.  He said, “Get up!  Let’s go.  The one who will betray me is already here.  Jesus was still speaking when Judas came up with a mob of people carrying swords and clubs.  Judas walked up to Jesus and kissed him.  This was a signal to the men to arrest Jesus.  The disciples wanted to defend Jesus but Jesus told them, “Anyone who lives by fighting will die by fighting.  Don’t you know that I could ask my Father and right away he would send me more than twelve armies of angels?  But then how could the words of the scriptures come true, which say that this must happen?”


7.  After this, the crowd took Jesus to Pilate, then to Herod and back to Pilate for a trial.  Jesus was made to carry a cross (along the map’s dotted line) to a place called Golgotha where he was put to death.  The tomb that he was laid in was nearby.    




1.  READ:  We will study a map, which approximately shows the important parts of Jerusalem when Jesus spent his last week, almost 2000 years ago.  Since then Jerusalem, like our own town, has changed a great deal.  Buildings have been torn down and new ones built, trees have been cut and the city walls have been moved many times, changing the boundaries.  Still, remains of many of these places can be found.  Some now have churches built on top of them to honor Jesus.


2.  Show the globe of the world and point out where home is.  Then show them Jerusalem at the extreme eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.  Pass out copies of the Jerusalem map.  Read the Bible Story (above) having the children locate the highlighted places as they appear.  At the end, remind them of the events that occurred; Jesus rode a donkey from Bethany to Jerusalem, he was with his disciples at Passover and celebrated the very first communion, he prayed at Gethsemane and was betrayed with a kiss by Judas.


3.  Create!  Pass out markers.  Tell the children to draw some of the last mentioned events in the proper place on their maps.  If they have time, they may also wish to add a cross or a tomb at Golgotha.


4.  Clean up


Reflection Time:


1.  Ask the shepherds to pass out Journals and pencils/markers.  The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson – Why did Jesus choose to ride a donkey instead of a horse?  Although Jesus knew that the Passover meal was his Last Supper, instead of feeling sorry for himself, what did he speak about to his disciples?  How did Jesus act at Gethsemane?




1.      Encourage the children to think about some of the events and how Jesus obeyed God


2.      Say the Key Memory Verse together (see above). You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.


3.      Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Thank God for giving us Jesus to teach us how that by following God's ways we will have eternal life.


Teacher preparation in advance:


1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.


2.  Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.


3.  Check the art room to see what supplies exist.  Make enough copies of the map (enlarge if necessary) and purchase markers if there are not enough.


4.  Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process.  Have the materials ready to go. There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.


5.  Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer or use one of the group suggestions.




Globe of the world

Map of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus

Fine tip Markers