Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11 and 26:1-56
Memory Verse: “We may make a lot of plans but the Lord will do what he has decided." Proverbs 19:21 (CEV)
1. Through Jesus, God did what God had promised in the Bible.
2. Jesus chose to be an obedient disciple of God.
3. Even though we betray him, Jesus died so our sins would be forgiven.
1. Children will view the video “The Story Behind the Cross.”
2. The children will make a stick cross and discuss the meaning of the cross.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
2. Explain the purpose of this workshop. This unit is a study of Holy Week. We will look for evidence that Jesus knew he was going to die as part of God’s plan. We will see how Jesus chose to obey God even when faced with a terrible death. We will think about who betrays Jesus.
1. Discuss: We can’t predict the future can we? So, we can’t always stop bad things from happening to us. But, if you knew something terrible was going to happen to you, like a car accident, wouldn’t you try to prevent it? (yes!!)
Did Jesus know he was going to die? (yes) If Jesus is God, who become a man, why didn’t Jesus save himself from being crucified? (Jesus knew that his death was part of God’s plan and Jesus was obedient to God even though he suffered a terrible death.)
Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Watch the video and listen for:
· the answer to this question.
· Evidence that Jesus knew he was going to die. As you watch the video and you hear Jesus predict his death, silently raise your hand. (Hint: Jesus calls himself the Son of Man)
(Answer: There are two predictions by Jesus of his death in the video:
· By the river, Jesus tells the disciples that in two days the Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies and nailed to a cross. (Matt 26: 2)
· When the woman poured perfume over Jesus, he reminded the disciples (and Judas) that she was preparing his body for burial. Jewish custom was to anoint the bodies with perfumes, there would not be an opportunity for this to happen prior to Jesus’ death. )
2. Start the video. It’s about 30 minutes long if cued to just after the credits. Give the children a warning: the scene in which Jesus is crucified is very graphic and sad. If you need to, please close your eyes or look away.
3. Distribute the popcorn with help from the Shepherds or volunteer children. (Popcorn should already be made.)
1. Discuss. When did Jesus predict his own death? (see above) By this we know that Jesus knew of his horrible ordeal to come, yet he chose to obey God.
2. Note that Jesus did not defend himself. Why? (Jesus was obedient to God. He knew God had a plan for him.)
3. Who betrayed Jesus? (Everybody – the disciples and Peter in their denials, Judas, the crowds in seeking to have Jesus crucified, the Pharisees and religion leaders who made up charges, Pilate (he washes his hands) and we betray Jesus every time we sin.)
4. Why did Jesus have to die? (Jesus had to die on the cross in order to save us from our sins, for everything we do wrong. Jesus paid a huge price for our sins – every one of us -- so that we are forgiven and can have eternal life. Now nothing can separate us from God.)
Recite John 3:16 (a previous memory verse) together: “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.” (CEV)
5. Show the children a wooden cross that you have made from sticks. Explain that the cross is a symbol of the Christian church. It is not just a reminder of the cruel way that Jesus died, but something much better. Jesus died and paid the price for all our sins. That means that when we do something bad, we can ask for forgiveness and know that God loves us and forgives us. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Point out to the children that the cross is empty; Jesus is not on it. After he was crucified, Jesus arose from the dead. The empty cross is a sign that Jesus has been raised from death into everlasting life and that we, as followers of Jesus, share in his new life. Jesus lives forever in us and in the church.
6. Give each child two stick and some raffia. Use the raffia to tie the 2 sticks together as a cross. Think about the significance of the cross and what it means to be forgiven.
Recite the memory verse together:
“We may make a lot of plans but the Lord will do what he has decided.” Proverbs 19:21 (CEV)
Why is this a good verse to remember? (It was God’s plan that Jesus pay the price for our sins so we can have eternal life. Jesus was obedient to God’s plan. God has a plan for us too. Perhaps that is why some things don’t turn out as we expect. We should seek out God’s plan for ourselves in prayer)
Draw a cross on your journal sheet. Give one reason why you should be obedient to Jesus? (Hint: why did Jesus die for you?)
Prayer: Thank you God for your amazing love. You sent your son to die for us so we can never be separated from You. It is comforting to know that You are always in control of our lives. Help us listen to you and think about Your plan for us. Help us to be obedient as Jesus was. Amen.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up popcorn as they wait for their parents to arrive. Turn out the lights and lock the doors to Holywood.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Workshop Leaders Bible Study.
2. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
3. Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting place.
4. Gather sticks, make a practice cross to determine your best technique.
5. PRACTICE OPERATING THE POPCORN MACHINE. If this is your first time in Holywood, visit the current workshop leader for instructions before your rotation begins. Be sure you have plenty of popcorn popped BEFORE the children arrive. You will need to have your attention on the children at that point. Ask the shepherds or child volunteers to help distribute it to children who are sitting quietly.
· Video: "The Story Behind the Cross" from the Visual Bible for Kids . Distributed by Tommy Nelson. 1999. Thomas Nelson, Inc., 501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214.
· 2 sticks per child – 6-8 inches, finger width in diameter. Gather them from the ground under trees outside. We are going for the rustic look.