Holy Week


Apostle’s Playhouse




Palm Sunday                    Matthew 21:1-11

Plot to kill Jesus               Matthew 26:1-5

Judas aggress to betray     Matthew 26:14-16

Last Supper                       Matthew 26:17-30

Praying in Gethsemane     Matthew 26:36-46

Betrayal and arrest            Matthew 26:47-56


Memory Verse:

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



1. God is in control and is all-powerful.

2. Through Jesus, God did what God had promised in the Bible.

3. Jesus took his problems to God in prayer.

4. Jesus chose to be an obedient disciple of God.



1.      Children will learn about the events of Holy Week by listening and acting out scenes from Jesus’and the apostles’ lives during this time.

2.      Creating “frozen picture” scenes of Holy Week and viewing them in correct sequence will reinforce the sequence of events in Holy Week.

3.      The children will begin to understand that Jesus chose to serve God even though at times he suffered.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.      Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.


2.      Explain the purpose of this workshop. During this rotation we are learning about Holy Week which is the week before Easter Sunday (when Jesus rose from the dead). Many things happened to Jesus and his disciples during this week. Matthew wrote about what happened to Jesus during Holy Week and we can read what he wrote in the Bible. Today we are going to pretend to be going to Jerusalem with Jesus to see what happens. We are going to take pictures of important things that happened to make a sort of scrapbook of Jesus’ week.




Set up: Have the room set up in “stops” or “stations” with each area labeled according to event: Entry into Jerusalem, Plot to kill Jesus, Judas agrees to betray, Last Supper, praying in Gethsamane, and betrayal and arrest. You may want to make labels look like road signs as if the class is walking through Jerusalem sight seeing. Put appropriate props and costumes in each area. The class will walk to each area, listen to the story, stage the picture and move to the next event. Have camera ready. The leader should dress in costume to help everyone get in character. The children may also want to put on their biblical costumes before starting rather than taking costumes on and off at each station.


1.      First stop- Jesus enters Jerusalem on Monday  (Matthew 21:1-11) Leader reads the following:

Welcome to Jerusalem! When Jesus and his disciples came near Jerusalem, he told them, “Go into the next village, where you will at once find a donkey and her colt. Untie the two donkeys and bring them to me. If anyone asks you why you are doing that, just say, “The Lord needs them.” Right away he will let you have the donkeys. The  disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do. They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on.

Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches which they had cut from trees. Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting,

Hooray for the Son of David! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hooray for God in heaven above! When Jesus came to Jerusalem everyone in the city was excited  and asked, “Who can this be?” The crowd answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”


Props: donkey (from manger scene), chair to prop donkey, branches, palms, clothes


Wow, that was an exciting time! Let’s see if we can make a picture of Jesus riding in to Jerusalem on a donkey with the crowds spreading branches and clothes in the road.

Position Jesus volunteer on donkey, disciples walking by his side. Have crowds lining path with branches and clothing. Position some children shouting, raising hands etc as if very excited. Tell group to freeze when everyone is positioned. Take picture. Clap when completed. Move to station 2.



2.      Second stop-Plot to kill Jesus on Wednesday. (Matthew 26:1-5)  Leader reads the following:

The disciples were gathered around Jesus and he was teaching them the word of God. When Jesus had finished teaching, he told his disciples, you know that two days from now will be Passover. That is when the Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies and nailed to a cross.” At that time the chief priests and the nation’s leaders were meeting at the home of the high priest. They planned how they could sneak around and have Jesus arrested and put to death.


This day has two parts to it so we can make two pictures. The first picture is a very peaceful picture of Jesus sitting with and teaching his eager disciples. The second picture is of some jealous and angry leaders planning to kill Jesus.

Arrange first picture of a peaceful Jesus teaching his disciples. The disciples are gathered around intent and eager. Take picture.

Arrange second picture of angry, jealous men gathered around, perhaps arguing a little, plotting and scheming to kill Jesus. Take picture.

Move to third station.


3.      Third stop-Judas agrees to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16). Leader reads the following:

Judas was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and asked, “How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?” They paid Judas thirty silver coins and from then on he started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.


Props: silver coins


The picture scene can show some priests paying Judas with some silver coins. Judas is looking guilty and nervous. Take picture.

Move to forth station.


4.      Fourth stop-Last supper on Thursday (Matthew 26:17-30) Leader reads the following:

Jesus was eating the Passover meal with his twelve disciples. He said one of you will betray me. The disciples were very sad, and each one said to Jesus. “Lord, you can’t mean me!” During the meal Jesus took some bread in his hands. He blessed the bread and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.” Jesus picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and drink it. 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.


Props: table, goblet, bowl with bread


Arrange disciples and Jesus around a table with goblets and bread (similar to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “the last supper”). Take picture.

Move to fifth station.



5.      Fifth stop-Praying in Gethsamane on Thursday night (Matthew 26:36-46)

Leader reads the following:

Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus was very sad and troubled and said, “Stay here and keep awake with me.” Jesus walked on a little way then prayed. He came back and found his disciples sleeping, so he said “Can’t any of you stay awake even one hour?” Again Jesus prayed. Finally Jesus came back and found them sleeping again. Jesus said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Get up! Let’s go. The one who will betray me is already here.”


Pose this picture with resting disciples and Jesus praying. Take picture. Move to sixth and last station.


6.      Sixth stop-Jesus is arrested. (Matthew 26:46-56). Leader reads the following:

Jesus was still speaking, when Judas the betrayer came up. He was one of the twelve disciples and a large mob with swords and clubs was with him. They had been sent by the chief priests and the nation’s leaders. Judas had told them ahead of time, “Arrest the man I greet with a kiss.” Judas walked right up to Jesus and said, “Hello teacher.” Then Judas kissed him. The men grabbed Jesus and arrested him. One of Jesus’ followers pulled a sword. But Jesus told him, “Put your sword away. Anyone who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Don’t you know I could ask God and right away and he would send an army of angels? But then, how could the words of the scripture come true, which say that this must happen?” All of Jesus’ disciples left him and ran away.


Props: swords or clubs, handcuffs


In this picture Judas can be embracing Jesus while Jesus is being arrested by a mob carrying swords, clubs etc. The other disciples can be meekly in the back ground.

Take picture.



Reflection Time:

Move to an area where you can sit down to view either the video tape pictures or camera pictures. If  you have photos attach them to a long sheet of paper in sequence. Take time to admire their work and praise their individual parts. Ask the children to think of captions for each picture. The leader will need to transcribe for the younger ones. Older children can take turns writings captions on the sheet.

Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.


Prompts for journal writing: Remember when Jesus was sad and afraid so he went to Gethsemane with his disciples to pray? Think of a time when you were sad or afraid and prayed. How did God help you? Draw a picture and/or write about what happened when you were sad or afraid and prayer helped you.



Prayer: One suggestion for prayer this week is the Lord’s prayer which Jesus taught us and his disciples.   


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Put costumes back in box on stage


Teacher preparation in advance:


1.      Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.      Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. The bin with supplies is located on the stage.

3.      Set up props on each Sunday.

Supply List


·          Props, see suggestions under each stop listed above




·          Notes supplied for writers workshop January 12, 2003 by Lori Houck

·          Lien, Boyd. Journey to Jerusalem: Celebrating and Teaching the Life of Jesus. Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1988.