Trial and Crucifixion
Scripture: Luke 23 with emphasis on verses 13-23
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)
Concepts: Even though he was accused of doing wrong, Jesus was innocent.
Jesus is obedient to God
Objectives: This workshop will help children better understand the great injustices that led to Jesus’ death on the cross. It will also help the children realize that Jesus did not fight the charges brought against him, but was fully obedient to God’s plan for Jesus’ life.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. After the skit, ask the children to return to their seats for a discussion time.
2. Ask the class to compare the puppet skit and the Bible story. How are the two stories similar? How are they different? Specifically ask how Marcus and Jesus responded to the crowds and the charges against them. Although Marcus said a little in his defense, Jesus said nothing to the crowds.
3. Ask why they think Jesus didn’t protest or fight against what the crowd was saying. This will probably be a difficult question for the children—and the answer may have to come from the workshop leader. Jesus knew that he was following God’s plan in all of this. Jesus was so obedient to God that Jesus did not even fight against the charges that were being brought on him.
4. Ask if they think there were any people in either crowd who might have thought Jesus or Marcus were not guilty. If there were any people like that in either crowd, what did they do in these stories? Nothing—they just went along with the crowd.
5. Why didn’t any of those people say anything? Answers may vary——but during this discussion suggest that people in both crowds might have been afraid to say anything different because they thought they would be punished or hurt, too.
6. What might have happened if some of those people spoke up? Answers will certainly vary here, and of course, we don’t know for sure, but suggest that the ending of the stories might have been different if the crowds had responded differently.
7. Do you think any of the people in the crowd felt differently when they saw Marcus or Jesus being punished? No right answer—but probably many people wished later they had not gone along with the crowd in either story.
8. The children may still have unanswered questions about why Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s plan. These types of questions are indeed difficult. The Presbyterian Church (USA)’s “Study Catechism,” approved for use in churches by the 1998 General Assembly, explains it this way:
Question 45. Why did Jesus have to suffer as he did?
Because grace is more abundant—and sin more serious—than we suppose. However cruelly we may treat one another, all sin is primarily against God. God condemns sin, yet never judges apart from grace. In giving Jesus Christ to die for us, God took the burden of our sin into God’s own self to remove it once and for all. The cross in all its severity reveals an abyss of sin swallowed up by the suffering of divine love.
Prayer: Close with a simple prayer thanking God for Jesus. Thank God that Jesus loved the world enough to die on the cross. What an amazing gift for us!
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up as they wait for their parents to arrive. Put pillows behind stage area. Put away boom box, workshop bin, etc
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Workshop Leaders Bible Study.
2. Make 10 copies of each script.
3. Highlight the scripts so there are two for each part. The extra copies can be posted behind the stage or used by the workshop leader or shepherd.
4. Prepare a closing prayer.
5. Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, along with meditative music for reflection time.
STAGE NOTE: For first and second grade mixed classes, the younger, less experienced readers can be the “crowd” in this script. They can each have a puppet and practice their short lines before the play. The workshop leader can easily prompt these lines and the kids say them as a group.
For other classes, use whatever number of puppets for the “crowd” that is convenient.
MARCUS: “Look at this birthday card, Grandpa sent me! And there’s money in it-- $10!!! I can’t believe it. Grandpa has never sent me money before!”
MOM: VOICE OFFSTAGE—DOES NOT REQUIRE A PUPPET ONSTAGE. “Marcus, It’s time to go to school now.”
MARCUS: “Ok, Mom, I’m going to take this money Grandpa sent me to show to my friends. It’s a brand new $10 bill! They won’t believe it.”
MARCUS MOVES TO ANOTHER PART OF THE STAGE AND SEES RYAN.
RYAN: “Hey, how’s it going?”
MARCUS: “Great, I got a brand-new $10 bill from my grandpa! See?”
RYAN: “Cool, but that looks just like the $10 I lost yesterday. I think you took it out of my lunch box.”
MARCUS: “Ryan, I wouldn’t take your money. Besides, one $10 bill looks just like the next one.”
RYAN: “Well, it doesn’t matter. That’s my $10 bill and I want it back.”
MARCUS: “Come on, Ryan. I’m sure you left your money in your pocket or something. Have your mom check the wash.”
RYAN: CALLING OUT TO CROWD “Hey, listen everybody—Marcus stole my money.”
CROWD: “Marcus—give it back.”
RYAN: “Yea—that’s my money!”
CROWD: ** “It’s Ryan’s money. It’s Ryan’s money.”
TEACHER: “What happened here?”
RYAN: “Marcus stole my money!”
CROWD: ** “Give it back! Give it back!”
TEACHER: “Did anyone see Marcus take Ryan’s money?”
CROWD: ** “Make him pay. Make him pay.”
RYAN: “I had $10 in my lunch box and now it’s gone. See?”
CROWD: ** “Stealer. Stealer. Stealer”
TEACHER: “Marcus, even though I didn’t see you take the money, the other kids sure are convincing. It sounds like you’re the guilty one. I don’t like to punish you—but give Ryan his $10 now.”
**CROWD NEEDS TO SAY THESE LINES IN SING-SONGY OR CHANT-LIKE TONE OF VOICE.