If we’re not diligent, however, the focus of this holiday can quickly shift from our risen Lord to the more secular practices of our culture (e.g. Easter bunny, egg hunts, or just an overbooked day full of busy activities). It’s easy to get swept up in the temporary fun and frivolity of these celebrations, but we have an amazing opportunity to teach our children about the power of Christ’s resurrection and its profound implications.
The events leading up to the resurrection can be difficult for children to understand, and some parents may feel uncomfortable sharing them with their younger kids. Let’s face it – death and suffering are not easy topics to discuss, but it’s important that our children recognize the significance of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. It is the cornerstone of our Christian faith.
One way to broach this topic is to present it as “good news” …. because it is! In fact, this is literally the meaning of the Gospel. And this good news becomes amazing news when we first understand the bad news – that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). When kids recognize their need for a Savior, hearing the good news about Christ’s death, burial and resurrection becomes a priceless treasure!
Below you’ll find a daily Bible study of the events that took place leading up to Calvary. As you go through each passage, you may want to remind your children of a few essential doctrines. Here are some suggestions:
Palm Sunday (Triumphal Entry): Read Luke 19:28-44
This was the day when Jesus was first celebrated as King, as a multitude of people shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Jesus rode through the town and was praised by the crowd. This angered the Pharisees and they asked Jesus to tell the people to stop. Jesus refused and said, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Later Jesus wept over Jerusalem, looking down on many lost souls and knowing about the dire future of that city.
Monday: Read Luke 19:45-48
Jesus drove out all the money-changers because of His disgust at what they had made of God’s house of prayer. He said, “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” Every day that Jesus was at the temple, the priests and other leaders tried to find a way to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t because He was surrounded by so many people listening to everything He said.
Tuesday: Read Luke 20:1-21:4
Jesus taught at the temple. The priests questioned His authority. Jesus told the parable of the wicked vinedressers. The priests knew that Jesus was referring to them in this story and wanted to arrest Him. “But they feared the people – for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.”
Wednesday: Read Luke 22:1-6
Motivated by sin and greed, Judas agreed to betray Jesus.
Thursday: Read Luke 22:7-65
Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper with His disciples – the first communion. He told them that soon He would no longer be with them, but they didn’t understand. Afterwards, Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives to pray. Soon Judas arrived with soldiers and Jesus was arrested. Jesus was taken to the house of the high priest and Peter followed behind. Three times Peter was asked if he knew Jesus, and three times he denied that he did. The guards who held Jesus mocked and beat Him and spoke horrible things about Him.
Friday: Read Luke 22:66-23:55
Jesus went before the chief priests and they took Him to Pontius Pilate. Pilate didn’t find any fault in Jesus, so he sent Him to Herod. Herod and his men treated Jesus with contempt, mocked Him, put Him in a beautiful robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. Pilate was going to set Jesus free, but the angry crowd demanded that Jesus be put to death. Pilate gave in and sent Jesus to be crucified. Jesus carried His own cross and was crucified between two thieves. Many of the people continued to mock Jesus, telling Him to save Himself if He was truly the Messiah. One of the criminals believed in Jesus, and our Lord told the man he would go with Him to Heaven. When Jesus died, the veil in the temple ripped in half. After Jesus died, He was taken down from the cross, wrapped in cloth and placed in a tomb cut out of rock.
Saturday: Read Luke 23:56
This was the Sabbath – a day of rest for the Jews, but also a day of extreme sadness for those who loved Jesus.
Sunday: Read Luke 24:1-53
The tomb where Jesus was buried was found empty! Angels appeared to the women at the tomb, telling them that Jesus was alive. When the women shared this with the disciples, they didn’t believe them. But Peter ran to the tomb and saw the pieces of cloth lying on the ground. Soon Jesus visited the disciples. They were terrified at first, thinking that they had seen a ghost, but then they realized it was really Jesus. He explained how all these events fulfilled the prophecies about Him and how they were necessary to save God’s people. After Jesus’ spent time with His disciples, He led them out of the city, blessed them, and then ascended into Heaven.
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