Use this article to talk to your children about the crucifixion. We read about the crucifixion in the Gospels. In Matthew 26:6-75 and Matthew 27:1-50 you can read the whole account of how Jesus was betrayed, arrested and crucified. This gives an excerpt of Matthew’s account.
We prepared a special download for this article. As seen in the image above, you can print it out so that your children can colour in the picture and do the activity on the last page to test their memories! We hope you enjoy it.
1. Jesus is anointed
In Matthew 26:6-13 we read about the woman who poured perfume on Jesus’ head. The disciples thought this was a waste of expensive perfume, but Jesus says that she has done a beautiful thing: “When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial” (Matthew 26:12).
2. Judas agrees to betray Jesus
One of the twelve disciples of Jesus, called Judas Iscariot, asked the chief priests what they will give him if he delivers Jesus to them: “So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver” (Matthew 26:15).
3. Jesus eats and drinks with his disciples
Jesus told his disciples to prepare the Passover meal for them (Matthew 26:17-30). During the meal Jesus told them that one of them at the table is going to betray him. All of them denied this, even Judas. Jesus then took bread, broke it and said: “Take and eat; this is my body” (Matthew 26:26) and then He passes them a filled cup and says “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). This is what we now know as communion.
4. Jesus knows that Peter will deny him
In Matthew 26:34 Jesus says to Peter: “… this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” Peter and all the other disciples then say that they will never disown Jesus. After Jesus is arrested, we read that all the disciples deserted Jesus and fled. Later we also read how Peter denies that he knew Jesus, saying: “I don’t know the man!” (Matthew 26:74).
5. Jesus prays in Gethsemane
Jesus then goes with his disciples to the garden of Gethsemane. He then took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him to pray. Jesus prays three times, asking: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 26:42).
6. Jesus is arrested
After the prayer Jesus told his disciples to rise and come with Him as his betrayer was on the way. Judas then arrives with “a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people” (Matthew 26:47). Judas had arranged with them that he will kiss the one they have to arrest. “Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him” (Matthew 26:49).
7. Pilate washes his hands in innocence
After Jesus was arrested, they took him to the high priest and the teachers of the law and the elders. They were looking for reasons to crucify Him. Jesus is also taken to Pilate, the governor. Pilate could not see a reason to charge Jesus but asked the crowd that had gathered: “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” (Matthew 27:22). They all answered, “Crucify him!” Pilate “took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’” (Matthew 27:24).
8. The soldiers mock Jesus
When the governor’s soldiers took Jesus to crucify him, they put a scarlet robe on Him, a crown of thorns and put a staff in his right hand. They then mocked Him and said: “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:29).
9. The crucifixion of Jesus
As they led Jesus away to crucify Him, they met a man named Simon and forced him to carry the cross. “They came to a place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull’)” (Matthew 27:33) where they nailed Jesus to the cross and crucified Him. “Above his head they placed the written charge against Him: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matthew 27:37).
Jesus dies on the cross and is buried, but we as Christians know and believe that after three days He rose from the dead. “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” (Matthew 28:6). Jesus died for our sins so that we may have eternal life. Believers don’t stop at the crucifixion. It is very important to tell everyone that Christ has risen and that He is now in heaven, ruling over us!
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