Holy Week Devotional Activities
Day 5 – A Very Good Friday
Bible story: Luke 23: 36-38
Even the soldiers made fun of him. They came to Jesus and offered him some vinegar. They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” (at the top of the cross, these words were written: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
We don’t normally celebrate someone’s death – so why is Good Friday actually good?
Complete the sentence: “If I was king for today, I would…….”
Today is Good Friday. On the first Good Friday, Jesus was the king. Remember how he chose to spend it.
• Can we find different ways people made fun of Jesus?
• What did they tell Jesus to do?
• Everyone was shouting horrible things at Jesus, how do you think Jesus was feeling?
• Could Jesus have got himself off the cross? Why didn’t he?
• Why did the soldiers think that a king should save himself?
• What sort of a King is Jesus?
Imagine Jesus walked in right now and sat down next to you. What would you say to him?
Day 4 – The Last Supper
Bible story: Luke 22:19-20
Then Jesus took some break. He thanked God for it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. Then Jesus said, “This bread is my body that I am giving for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup shows the new agreement that God makes with his people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you.”
Have you ever felt unloved? Or alone? Jesus sat next to his friends and told those he loved that he would lay down his life for them. He says the same to us. How does that feel? To know there is someone (and not just anyone!) who has laid down his life for you? How can that help when we feel unloved?
Why not use some real bread and a purple drink (juice or blackcurrant?) to experience something of what Jesus was explaining.
Break your break and pass it around as you say the words that Jesus used.
Pass round the purple drink as you say the words Jesus used.
• Did you notice who Jesus said his body would be broken for and who his blood would be spilt for?
• What do you want to remember about Jesus from this story? Why do you want to remember this?
Imagine you had been sitting at that table? Jesus was asking that his followers eat bread and drink wine to remember his life, which he was about to give for them.
If you’d been there, what would you have wanted to say to him?
Try saying that to him right now… because at this moment, he is closer to you than he was to his disciples at that meal.
Day 3 – Just as Jesus said
Bible Story: Luke 22:7-16
They asked, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”
Jesus said to them, “Listen! After you go into the city, you will see a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him into the house that he enters. Tell the person who owns that house, ‘The Teacher asks that you please show us the room where he and his followers may eat the Passover meal.’ Then he will show you a large room upstairs. This room is ready for you. Prepare the Passover meal there.”
So Peter and John left. Everything happened as Jesus had said. So they prepared the Passover meal.
When the time came, Jesus and the disciples were sitting at the table. He said to them, “I wanted very much to eat this Passover meal with you before I die. I will never eat another Passover meal until it is given its true meaning in the Kingdom of God”
It all happened just as Jesus said….
Jesus told Peter and John exactly what would happen…. Imagine if we got instructions like that each day?!
Here we see how much Jesus delights to be with his friends. Can you imagine Jesus loving you? He knows you as an individual. He knows your name, what you love, what you hate, what you are frightened of, what makes you laugh..? When would it help to remember this?
Get some paper and pens and draw the scene that Jesus described to Peter and John.
• Jesus told Peter and John to find a man carrying a …… what?
• Can you remember what Jesus got exactly right? Can you list the details?
• How do you think Jesus got it exactly right?
• We call this meal ‘The Last Supper’. It was a very special meal. What clues are there that it was special for Jesus?
• How do you see Jesus’ love for people in this story?
What is surprising or amazing about Jesus in this story? Why don’t you tell him?!
Day 2: Who’s against Jesus?
Bible Story: Luke 22:1-6
It was almost time for the Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover Feast. The leading priests and teachers of the law were trying to find a way to kill Jesus but were afraid of the people.
One of Jesus’ 12 apostles was named Judas Iscariot. Satan entered Judas and he went to the leading priests and some of the soldiers who were guarding the temple. He talked to them about a way to give Jesus to them. They were pleased and promised to give Judas money. Judas agreed. They he waited for the best time to turn Jesus over to them without the crowd knowing it.
Jesus knew he was in the middle of a fight between good and evil, but he carried on.
Gather together some objects that could represent people (pieces of pasta? Or toy figures? Or Lego people or pieces? Or marbles? Anything you can get your hands on!)
Have one of the pieces as Jesus and divide the rest into two groups, ‘people for Jesus’ and ‘people against Jesus’.
Using the Bible story (and the stories from the last few days) chat about who is in each group (ie. The 12 disciples, people who were listening to him in the temple, Judas, the chief priests and teachers etc.)
Using your imagination, put yourself in the story and put yourself into one of these groups. Use this as a special time to decide if you’re ‘for Jesus’ or ‘against Jesus’. Where will we put our trust?
• Who were the people who were against Jesus?
• What group of people did Judas belong to?
• Jesus looked after his followers. They were his friends. Do you want Jesus to look after you?
• What was Judas given to make him want to change sides?
• Those against Jesus were powerful and rich and there were a lot of them. But Jesus wasn’t worried or scared. Why do you think that was?
Thank you, Father that Jesus wasn’t surprised or worried by the enemies he had. Thank you, Father for who Jesus is – the one with all the power, all control, and all goodness, who can stand against all evil.
Day 1: Clearing out the Temple
Bible Story: Luke 19:45-48
Jesus went into the temple. He began to throw out the people who were selling things there. He said, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘My Temple will be a house where people pray.’ But you have changed it into a ‘hideout for robbers’!
Jesus taught in the temple every day. The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and some of the leaders of the people wanted to kill Jesus. But all the people were listening so closely to him and were interested in all the things he said. So the leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the leaders did not know how they could kill him.
Is it ever right to be angry?
This is a rare moment when we see Jesus angry. Sometimes it is right to be angry. Jesus wasn’t losing his temper and he wasn’t out of control. Jesus was rightfully angry about how his Father’s house was being used.
This passage also reminds us that Jesus makes some people absolutely furious! They want to stop anyone from hearing his words. Have you ever seen anyone behave like that?
Collect some unbreakable objects that can be swept off a table.
Maybe gather together some loose change or toy money.
Create a scene of buying and selling.
Then one person could sweep some of the unbreakable objects off the table and say: “Get out! This should be a place where people can talk to God but you are using it to take people’s money!”
Take it in turns to be the one who gets to sweep the objects off the table.
• Why was Jesus so angry?
• What did the religious leaders think?
• When they saw him clearing the temple, what did they want to do to him?
• If you had been standing there, seeing Jesus throw tables around, driving animals out and shouting at people, what do you think you would have said about Jesus?
• Why do you things the religious leaders hated Jesus so much for clearing the temple?
Dear Father, please help us to understand why Jesus was so angry. We pray that we would be the people who love everything Jesus does, and want to hear the things he says – just like the crowd did. Amen