FAITH QUEST

 

Trial and Crucifixion

This lesson is copyrighted by the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian, Cary, North Carolina.

It may be used for non profit purposes only.

 

ANTIOCH ARCADE

 

 

Scripture: Luke 22 (for background) and 23 (main emphasis).

 

Memory Verse: “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.” (John 3:16, CEV)

 

Concept: Jesus suffered and died so that our souls can live forever.

 

Objectives:  Participants will:

1.      Be able to find the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion in the Bible (grades 3-5).

2.      Learn the context (Luke 22) of the events of Luke 23

3.      Learn the details of the story as told in Luke 23.

4.    Discuss why Jesus suffered and died.

 

Procedure:

Welcome and Introductions:

1.      As the children come in the door, count them off by color -- Red, Orange, Green and Purple -and have them go to the area of the room that is designated with their color. Introduce yourself and open with a prayer.

2.      Make sure that everyone is wearing a nametag, including you.

 

Scripture/Bible Story:

1.      Review the story. The first- and second-graders will not use Bibles, but do open yours to Luke to show them the story is in there. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. 

Help the students find the book of Luke. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.) If necessary, review the organization of the Bible: The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. The first four books of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – the gospels, which tell the stories of Jesus’ life.

Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they’ll usually land in the book of Psalms in the Old Testament.   Point out that the book name is at the top of each page.  After finding Psalms, if they then take the pages on the right side and divide them in half, they’ll land in one of the gospels.  From there they can find Luke. (Some of the older children should know the books of the Bible.  Encourage everyone to learn them.)

After they’ve found the book of Luke, help them find chapters 22-23, and tell them this is one of the places where the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion is told in the Bible. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.

2.      Tell the story using the summary below as a guide. Let those who can follow along in their Bibles. Consider using pictures from a children’s Bible or other visual aids. Tell the children that even though they’ve heard the story before, they need to listen very carefully and remember the details in order to play the game that’s coming up.

After the first week, you might go over the background (chapter 22) and then let the children help you tell the rest of the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. (All workshops focus on chapter 23, but they will not have been exposed to chapter 22 unless they have already been to Holywood.)

Other ideas for reviewing the story after the first couple of weeks:

Photocopy the passage (remove verse numbers), cut it up and see if they can put it back together correctly. (Works with older kids.)

Hand out, or call out, key words and ask the kids what they have to do with the story. Or have them find the key word in the Bible passage and then read it.


(For more tips on biblical storytelling, see Amy Crane, Storytelling Manual, <http://www.rotation.org/lessons/storytell.htm>)

 

SUMMARY OF STORY

 

Chapter 22

Jesus and his disciples were in Jerusalem for the Passover. The Jewish priests and other leaders were afraid of the crowds that followed Jesus, so they wanted to get rid of him. After the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus went to a garden to pray.  Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, led the priests and other leaders to Jesus, and they arrested him.  They brought him before a council of leaders who questioned him, then they took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

 

Chapter 23

The council members told Pilate, “This man caused the people to riot, told them not to pay their taxes, and claims to be the Messiah.”

 

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “That’s what you say.”

 

Pilate did not think that Jesus had done anything wrong. He wanted to let Jesus go, but the leaders said, “He stirs up the people by teaching all over Judea and Galilee.”

 

(Show older kids Judea and Galilee on a map. Point out that Jerusalem was in Judea. Jesus was from Galilee, the region to the north.)

 

Herod, the ruler of Galilee, happened to be in Jerusalem. When Pilate learned that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent him to see Herod.  Herod had heard of Jesus and wanted to see him perform a miracle.  Herod questioned Jesus, but Jesus refused to answer, and the Jewish leaders stood by, repeating their accusations.  Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus.  They put an elegant robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.

 

Pilate told the leaders, “I still don’t see where this man has done anything wrong, and neither does Herod.  I will have him beaten and then release him.”

 

But the crowd kept yelling, “Release Barabbas instead! Crucify Jesus!” Barabbas was a man who was in prison for causing a riot and murdering someone. The crowd kept demanding that Jesus should be crucified, until Pilate gave in and sentenced Jesus to death, and set Barabbas free.

 

As they led Jesus away, they met a man named Simon from the town of Cyrene, and forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.  A large crowd followed them, including many women who were crying.

 

When they got to a place called “The Skull,” the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. They crucified two criminals at the same time.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”

 

The soldiers played games to decide who would get Jesus' clothes.  The people watched.  The leaders and the soldiers made fun of Jesus, saying “If he is the Messiah, let him save himself.” The soldiers offered him sour wine and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” They put a sign on his cross that said, “This is the king of the Jews.”

 

One of the two criminals also made fun of Jesus, saying, “ Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us.  But the other criminal said, “Don’t you fear God? We were sentenced fairly, we’re getting what we deserve for our crimes, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into power.” And Jesus answered, “I promise that today you will be with me in Heaven.”

 

It was the middle of the day, but suddenly, the sky became dark.  It stayed dark for three hours. The curtain of the temple split into two pieces.  Then Jesus called out, “Father, I put myself in your hands.”  And he died.

 

A Roman army officer, who saw these things, praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

 

There was a rich man named Joseph, from the town of Arimathea.  Joseph was a member of the Jewish leaders’ council but he did not agree with what they had done to Jesus.  Joseph went to Pilate and asked to have Jesus’ body.  Pilate agreed.  Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean cloth.  He put Jesus' body in a new tomb that was cut from a wall of rock.

 

Some of the women followed Joseph and watched him put the body in the tomb.  Then they went back to the city.  The women prepared spices and ointments to put on Jesus' body later.  But it was time for the Sabbath, so they rested for a day, as the law required.

 

Application:

 

1.      The children are already divided into four teams, named for the four colors on the buzzer box – Red, Orange, Green, and Purple.  Have either four (one from each team) or eight players (two from each team) gather around a table with the buzzer box in the middle (One of the round tables from the main room is good for this). Each player holds a buzzer (the buzzer wires are color-coded; players on the same team hold the same color wire). See instructions for using buzzers at the end of this lesson plan.

2.      Explain that you will call out a question and players who think they know the answer should press their buzzer.  The first to buzz gets to give the answer.  After several questions, switch to the next group of players.  Make sure everybody gets to play
.

3.      Questions:  At the end of the lesson plan you’ll find two lists of questions. The ones for the younger kids are in multiple-choice format.  Feel free to improve the questions or add to the list.  If you have the younger kids early in the rotation, you might ask the questions in the order given, to reinforce the sequence of events.  If it’s later in the rotation, they might know the story well enough to mix the questions up.

Older kids:  Let players use their Bibles to find the answers.  Be ready to switch to the multiple-choice questions if needed.

Younger kids: The buzzers are tricky for first-graders.  If you’d rather not tackle using buzzers with first and second graders, you can just divide them into two teams and alternate asking questions of each team.  Let children take turns answering.  (Or you might have a better idea!  Feel free to devise your own game for them.)

4.      Scoring: Ask the shepherd keep score on the white board.  Award 5 points for a correct answer.  No points for a wrong answer; let anyone who knows the correct answer tell it. (You can use a different scoring system if you prefer, but keep it simple.)

Tips: Try not to let one knowledgeable or fast-fingered child dominate the game. Rotating the players partially takes care of the problem, but you might run into a team that doesn’t want to rotate, wants to let the sharpest member play the whole time.  In this case you can announce that anybody who answers three questions in a row will be retired as permanent champion (with a big round of applause) to give everybody else a chance to compete. (You might as well make this announcement in the beginning when you have fifth-graders). Also, don’t let non-playing team members help the players; this in effect lets the fast kid answer by proxy.

Be sure they know the answer before buzzing.  If they are buzzing and then taking too long to think of the answer, use the timer in the supply bin and give 5 seconds to answer after buzzing (this has not been a problem in the past).

You might have to adjust the game as you go along.  If it turns out that eight players make the game chaotic, try letting just four play at a time.

Wrap-up:

1.      Gather the children and discuss: The people in the crowd and the soldiers and one of the criminals on the cross all made fun of Jesus and said, “If you’re the Messiah, save yourself.” Do you think that a temptation for Jesus? Why didn’t Jesus save himself? Jesus loved people so much that he suffered and died for them.  That includes us.  Jesus died so that our souls can live forever.

 

2.      Have the children recite the memory verse: “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” (John 3:16, CEV).  Emphasize: Jesus’ death shows us how much God loves us.

 

Reflection Time:

 

Have the shepherds pass out the journals.  Optional:  Give the children a sticker appropriate to the story, or some other memento to put in their journals.  Suggest that the children write down or draw a picture of one thing they learned that they hadn’t known when they came into the workshop.

 

Closing:

 

Prayer – Close with prayer.  Suggestion: Thank you, God, for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to die for us.  Amen.

 

Tidy and Dismissal – Ask the children for help with collecting Bibles and any other clean up. The shepherd should collect nametags and journals.

 

Note:  I find that the kids participate better if they get little rewards along the way.  Skittles are highly motivating for some reason.  If I were leading this workshop I’d give them a Skittle for bringing their Bible, for finding the Bible passage, for attempting to answer a question, a Skittle to all 4 or 8 players after their turn is done, a Skittle to everybody on the winning team, a Skittle for participating in the discussion or writing in their journal, a Skittle to everybody on the way out the door, etc.  I’d have several small jars of Skittles on hand and put the shepherds in charge of distribution.  (Better check with shepherds and make sure nobody is diabetic!)  

 

 

Extra Activity (Grades 3-5)

If you have extra time at the end, let the children race to find the other gospel accounts of the trial and crucifixion in their Bibles (or choose shorter passages within these chapters, such as Matthew 27:15-23, where the crowd chooses Barabbas).

Matthew 27

Mark 15

John 18:28-19: 42

 

Teacher preparation in advance:

 

1.      Read the Scripture to familiarize yourself with the details of the story.  Be sure you know the meaning of unusual words.

2.      Attend the Faith Quest Workshop Leaders Bible Study.

3.      Make four small signs saying Red, Green, Purple, and Orange.  Have questions for the game ready.  You can read them off the sheet or put them on index cards for easy mixing.

4.      Practice using the buzzer box and be sure you understand how it works.

 

5.      Post the signs designating Red, Orange, Green, Purple teams in different areas of the room. Display the Scripture memory verse somewhere in the room.  (Not on the white board; you’ll need that for scorekeeping.)

6.      Prepare an opening/closing prayer.  Ask for prayer concerns.

 

Materials:

Buzzer system

Timer

Dry-erase marker

Stickers or other mementos for journals

Skittles (optional)

Four signs with colors

Maps (optional) of Judea, Galilee, Jerusalem and possibly Arimathea for use in storytelling.

Any pictures of props you choose to use for storytelling

 


Questions for game (Grades 3-5)

 

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, what was one thing he was accused of doing?

Answer: any of these:

Trying to get people to riot

Trying to get people to stop paying taxes

Claiming to be the Messiah

 

What was another thing Jesus was accused of?

Answer: one of the two remaining answers from above

 

What was another thing Jesus was accused of?

Answer: the final remaining answer from above

 

When Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” What did Jesus answer?

“Those are your words.”

 

Where was Jesus from?

Galilee

 

Who was the ruler of Galilee?

Herod

 

Why was Herod happy to see Jesus?

He wanted to see him perform a miracle.

 

Herod asked Jesus a lot of questions. How did Jesus reply?

He did not answer.

 

What did Herod do then?

He and his soldiers made fun of Jesus, put a fine robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.

 

When Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate, what did Pilate tell the Jewish leaders and the crowd?

“I have not found Jesus guilty of anything you said he has done, and neither has Herod.”

 

What did Pilate say he would do to Jesus instead of having him put to death?

Have him beaten with a whip and set free.

 

How did the crowd react to that proposal?

They shouted, “Kill Jesus! Give us Barabbas!”

 

Why was Barabbas in jail?

He had started a riot and murdered someone.

 

How many times did Pilate speak to the crowd, saying that Jesus was innocent and he would have him beaten, not killed?

Three times.

 

What did Pilate finally do?

Gave into the crowd, freed Barabbas and handed Jesus over to be crucified.

 

Whom did the soldiers force to carry the cross?

Simon of Cyrene.

 

Not everybody in the crowd wanted to see Jesus killed. How do we know that?

A lot of women in the crowd were crying for him.

 

What was the name of the place where Jesus was crucified?

The Skull

 

Who else was crucified at the same time?

Two criminals

 

As Jesus was nailed to the cross, what did he say?

Father, forgive these people. They don’t know what they're doing.

 

What did the soldiers do with Jesus’ clothes?

They gambled to see who would get to keep them

 

The Jewish leaders, the soldiers, and one of the criminals all insulted Jesus. What did they say?

If you are the Messiah, save yourself.

 

What did one criminal say to the criminal who insulted Jesus?

We are getting what we deserve, but this man didn’t do anything wrong.”

 

What did the second criminal say to Jesus?

Remember me when you come into power.

 

What did Jesus say to the second criminal?

I promise that today you will be with me in heaven.

 

What happened to the sky?

It turned dark in the middle of the day.

 

What happened at the temple?

The curtain split down the middle.

 

What did Jesus say before he died?

Father, I put myself in your hands!

 

What did the Roman officer say when he saw what had happened?

Jesus must really have been a good man!

 

What did Jesus’ friends do after Jesus died?

They stood at a distance and watched.

 

Who took Jesus’ body down from the cross?

Joseph of Arimathea.

 

What did Joseph do with Jesus’ body?

Wrapped it in cloth and put it in a new tomb cut from rock.

 

After Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, what did the women who had followed him do?

They prepared sweet-smelling spices to put on his body.

 

Why didn’t they put the spices on the body right away?

It was time for the Sabbath, and the law commanded them to rest.

 

 


Questions for game (Grades 1-2)

 

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, what was one thing he was accused of doing?

Stealing food

Trying to get people to riot

Killing someone

 

What was another thing Jesus was accused of?

Cheating poor people

Robbing rich people

Trying to get people to stop paying taxes

 

What was another thing Jesus was accused of?

Claiming to be the Messiah

Smuggling drugs

Frightening children

 

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” What did Jesus answer?

“Those are your words.”

Yes, I am.

No, I am not.

 

Where was Jesus from?

Jerusalem

Galilee

Judea

 

Who was the ruler of Galilee?

Pilate

Simon of Cyrene

Herod

 

Why was Herod happy to see Jesus?

He wanted to see him perform a miracle.

He wanted to have Jesus put to death.

He wanted to give a party for Jesus.

 

Herod asked Jesus a lot of questions. How did Jesus reply?

He gave answers that were very clever

He answered angrily.

He did not answer.

 

What did Herod do after he questioned Jesus?

He ordered Jesus put to death

He and his soldiers made fun of Jesus, put a fine robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.

He set Jesus free

 

When Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate, what did Pilate tell the Jewish leaders and the crowd?

“I have not found Jesus guilty, and neither has Herod.”

“Herod and I both find Jesus guilty as charged.”

“This man deserves to die.”

 

What did Pilate say he would do to Jesus instead of having him put to death?

Set him free with no punishment.

Have him beaten with a whip and set free.

Make him pay a big fine and set him free.

 

How did the crowd react to that proposal?

They agreed and shouted, Hooray!

They shouted, “Kill Jesus! Give us Barabbas!”

They shouted, “Kill Barabbas! Give us Jesus!”

 

Why was Barabbas in jail?

He had stolen money from the temple.

He had started a riot and murdered someone.

He had claimed to be the Messiah.

 

How many times did Pilate speak to the crowd, saying that Jesus was innocent and he would have him beaten, not killed?

Two times.

Three times.

Seven times.

 

What did Pilate finally do?

Ignored the crowd, set Jesus free and kept Barabbas in jail.

Gave in to the crowd, freed Barabbas and handed Jesus over to be crucified.

Handed both Barabbas and Jesus over to be crucified.

 

Whom did the soldiers force to carry the cross?

Joseph of Arimathea.

Barabbas

Simon of Cyrene.

 

Not everybody in the crowd wanted to see Jesus killed. Who in the crowd showed their support for Jesus?

The Roman soldiers

Some disciples who tried to fight the crowd and free Jesus

A lot of women who were crying for him.

 

What was the name of the place where Jesus was crucified?

The Skull

Mount Sinai

The temple

 

Who else was crucified at the same time?

Two women

Two criminals

Two Jewish leaders

 

As Jesus was nailed to the cross, what did he say?

“Father, punish these people for what they’re doing to me.”

“Father, help these people to see what they're doing.”

“Father, forgive these people. They don’t know what they're doing.”

 

What did the soldiers do with Jesus’ clothes?

They burned them.

They gambled to see who would get to keep them

They took turns trying them on.

 

The Jewish leaders, the soldiers, and one of the criminals all insulted Jesus. What did they say?

“If you are the Messiah, save yourself.”

“If you are the Messiah, turn this water into wine.”

“If you are the Messiah, heal a sick person.”

 

When the first criminal insulted Jesus, what did the second criminal say to him?

“You’re right, if he’s the Messiah he should save us and himself.”

“We are getting what we deserve, but this man didn’t do anything wrong.”

“You are getting what you deserve, but I didn’t do anything wrong.”

 

What did the second criminal say to Jesus?

“Help me get down from this cross.”

“Today I’ll be with you in paradise.”

“Remember me when you come into power.”

 

What did Jesus say to the second criminal?

“You’re right, you’re getting what you deserve.”

“Today you will be with me in paradise.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

What happened to the sky?

It turned dark in the middle of the day.

It turned cloudy and started to rain.

It got unusually sunny and bright.

 

What happened at the temple?

The door fell off.

The curtain split down the middle.

The ceiling came falling down.

 

What did Jesus say before he died?

“Father, don’t let me die.”

“Father, punish my enemies.

“Father, I put myself in your hands!”

 

What did the Roman officer say after Jesus died?

“I’m glad that’s over with.”

“Jesus must really have been a good man!”

“Jesus must really have been a bad man!”

 

What did Jesus’ friends do after Jesus died?

They stood at a distance and watched.

They helped to take down his body.

They started a riot in the city.

 

Who took Jesus’ body down from the cross?

Simon of Cyrene.

Joseph of Arimathea.

The Roman officer.

 

What did Joseph do with Jesus’ body?

Wrapped it in cloth and put it in a grave he had dug in the ground.

Wrapped it in cloth and put sweet-smelling spices on it.

Wrapped it in cloth and put it in a new tomb cut from rock.

 

After Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, what did the women who had followed him do?

They did nothing.

They prepared sweet-smelling spices to put on his body.

They put sweet-smelling spices on his body.

 

Why didn’t they put the spices on the body right away?

It was time for the Sabbath, and the law commanded them to rest.

They were afraid of the crowd.

It was nighttime and too dark.