The Pastor makes reading lists for our church for Advent and Lent. They really are helpful to get you through the season without missing the significance. Here is the Lent Reading for this year. So, I decided to make the kids’ Lent schedule line up with what we adults were doing. I thought it would be a much easier task than it was. But alas, nothing is easy. So, once I had it all done, I figured I better share it since it is so long and took so much work! Plus, I really think you’re family would benefit. I know mine will. And don’t feel the need to be Super Mom (or Dad) and do every single activity. It would be awesome if you could do every daily reading with the kids, but you don’t have to feel bound to the activities. (Some are easy, others will take more preparation, time, and effort.)
*A note about coloring pages on the Internet. Pull them up to view the Print Preview. I usually end up printing them 150-170% instead of how they are, just because the images sometimes end up small on the page.*
All Scripture is included. I used “The Message” translation because it comes across a bit better for kids at times. You don’t have to use this version, just look the verses up in the version you prefer. (Or if you have older kids, let them look them up in their own Bibles.)
February 13: Day 1: Ash Wednesday: In The Beginning: John 1:1-5
The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.
Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
he darkness couldn’t put it out.
Activity: You’ll Need a Dark Room and A Flashlight
Sitting in a dark room, turn on the flashlight. Sit and wait for the darkness to put out the flashlight. Talk about the properties of darkness. Darkness isn’t something in and of itself, it is the absence of something else, light.
February 14: Day 2: John the Baptist: John 1:19-34
When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn’t evade the question. He told the plain truth: “I am not the Messiah.”
They pressed him, “Who, then? Elijah?”
“I am not.”
Exasperated, they said, “Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something—anything!—about yourself.”
“I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”
Those sent to question him were from the Pharisee party. Now they had a question of their own: “If you’re neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”
John answered, “I only baptize using water. A person you don’t recognize has taken his stand in your midst. He comes after me, but he is not in second place to me. I’m not even worthy to hold his coat for him.”
These conversations took place in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing at the time.
The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’ I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God.”
John clinched his witness with this: “I watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him. I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ That’s exactly what I saw happen, and I’m telling you, there’s no question about it: This is the Son of God.”
Activity: Talk about baptism with your children. Show them pictures of their baptisms and talk about that day with them. You’re committing the stories to memory for them by retelling the tales. (If your children are not yet baptized, you can tell them of your own baptism and what baptism is and what it means.)
February 15: Day 3: Calling The First Disciples: John 1:35-51
The next day John was back at his post with two disciples, who were watching. He looked up, saw Jesus walking nearby, and said, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb.”
The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.”
They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day. It was late afternoon when this happened.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John’s witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” (that is, “Christ”). He immediately led him to Jesus.
Jesus took one look up and said, “You’re John’s son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter, which means “Rock”).
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, “Come, follow me.” (Philip’s hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.)
Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding.”
But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.”
When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.”
Nathanael said, “Where did you get that idea? You don’t know me.”
Jesus answered, “One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!”
Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet! Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.”
Activity: Follow the Leader. With story in hand, go around your house beckoning your children to follow you. Parade them around and play a little follow the leader before coming to your reading place to read them the story of disciples being called.
February 16: Day 4: Water Into Wine: John 2:1-11
Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.”
Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.”
She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”
Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim.
“Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did.
When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”
This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
Activity: Grab a clear bottle or jar and fill it with water. Gather the kids around and add some red food coloring. Watch the magic as it disperses through the water. Talk about how Jesus actually turned the water into wine. It didn’t just look like wine, it really was wine!
February 17: Sunday: Tear Down The Temple: John 2:13-25
When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.
Activity: Time to play with blocks! Build a temple. Knock it down. Rebuild it. It took 16,790 days to build the real temple and Jesus said he’d rebuild it in 3 days. Were you able to rebuild your temple in 1 millionth of the time it took to build it the first time?
February 18: Day 5: God So Loved Us!:John 3:16-18
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”
Activity: John 3:16 Coloring Page
February 19: Day 6: Extravagant Gifts: John 3:34-36
“The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that.”
Activity: Let’s talk about what gifts God has given us! On pieces of paper, write gifts the children have (be it talents, character, attitudes, etc.). Place each piece of paper in a small box and tape it up. Have each child wrap a gift (theirs or a sibling’s) and then take turns opening them and reading their gifts!
February 20: Day 7: Living Water: John 4:13-14
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
Activity: Let’s paint water! Grab some watercolor paper and some blue and green watercolors and paint water!
February 21: Day 8: Harvest Time: John 4:34-38
Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!
“The Harvester isn’t waiting. He’s taking his pay, gathering in this grain that’s ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant. That’s the truth of the saying, ‘This one sows, that one harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.”
Activity: Talk about the words.
Harvest- noun. the process or period of gathering in crops. verb [ trans. ]gather (a crop) as a harvest.
Sow- verb. plant (seed) by scattering it on or in the earth.
Answer some of these questions:
Have you ever heard the saying, “You reap what you sow.”? What do you think that means?
What kinds of things, other than plants, could you sow?
How could you harvest people? (And don’t be surprised when they go all Matrix on you.)
What kinds of “seeds” could you be sowing in those around you? (They may need some prompting. You can help them. Love. Joy. Kindness. Faithfulness. Understanding. Friendship.)
February 22: Day 9: The Officer’s Son: John 4: 46-54
Now he was back in Cana of Galilee, the place where he made the water into wine. Meanwhile in Capernaum, there was a certain official from the king’s court whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: “Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.”
But the court official wouldn’t be put off. “Come down! It’s life or death for my son.”
Jesus simply replied, “Go home. Your son lives.”
The man believed the bare word Jesus spoke and headed home. On his way back, his servants intercepted him and announced, “Your son lives!”
He asked them what time he began to get better. They said, “The fever broke yesterday afternoon at one o’clock.” The father knew that that was the very moment Jesus had said, “Your son lives.”
That clinched it. Not only he but his entire household believed. This was now the second sign Jesus gave after having come from Judea into Galilee.
Activity: Let’s make a book about what happened at the Officer’s house while he was gone! Set the scene: the son dies in his bed. He lies there dead while the servants of the house fret. Suddenly, the boy wakes up! The servants send word to the father, and wonder what on earth has transpired. The father returns and tells them of the healing by Jesus from afar.
February 23: Day 10: The Lame Walk!: John 5:1-9
Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”
Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.
Activity: Grab the yoga mat and prepare to act! Have the kids take turns being the lame man and being Jesus. (You can even cast rolls for the ticked off Pharisees.)
February 24: Sunday: John 5:34-38
“But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved. John was a torch, blazing and bright, and you were glad enough to dance for an hour or so in his bright light. But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete. These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me. The Father who sent me, confirmed me. And you missed it. You never heard his voice, you never saw his appearance. There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.”
Activity: Make clothespin crosses. (http://www.makingmusicprayingtwice.com/kids-activities/lent-activities) You’ll need clothespins, cardboard, scissors, and ribbon. Paint or stain is optional.
February 25: Day 11: Jesus Feeds the Multitude: John 6:1-15
After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick. When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews.
When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.”
One of the disciples—it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter—said, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.”
Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.
When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.
The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. They said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself.
Activity: Let’s have a picnic! Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy feeding your small multitude.
February 26: Day 12: Jesus Walks on Water: John 6: 16-21
In the evening his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark and Jesus had not yet returned. A huge wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” So they took him on board. In no time they reached land—the exact spot they were headed to.
Activity: Do you remember the Mythbuster’s trying to walk on water? No? (Episode 78) They couldn’t do it. So, if the Mythbuster’s cant do it, it was really miraculous that Jesus could! Grab a container of water, grab some corn starch, grab a doll or something to sink. Try it first with just water, doll sinks. (If it doesn’t, get another heavier object!) See how much cornstarch you have to add to make the doll stay on top.
February 27: Day 13: Bread of Life: John 6: 35-38
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.
Activity: Let’s bake! Grab a favorite bread recipe and let’s get to baking! Don’t have a favorite recipe? (Haven’t you heard of Pinterest? Just kidding!) http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2011/4/3/honey-rolls.html – These are my favorite. Don’t feel up to making from scratch? (Even though, I assure you, the Pastry Affair rolls are simple.) Grab some almost homemade stuff and do that!
February 28: Day 14: Bread of Life: John 6:47-51
“I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.”
Activity: Let’s talk about this cannibalism thing. Talk about communion. Still have questions? Write them down and e-mail them to your Pastor. (If you don’t have one of those, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . He’s always more than happy to talk theology!)
March 1: Day 15: Where Would We Go?: John 6:66-69
After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”
Peter replied, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.”
Activity: Coloring Page. http://www.lessons4sundayschool.com/images/Heaven.jpg
March 2: Day 16: Not Yet Time: John 7:1-8
Later Jesus was going about his business in Galilee. He didn’t want to travel in Judea because the Jews there were looking for a chance to kill him. It was near the time of Tabernacles, a feast observed annually by the Jews.
His brothers said, “Why don’t you leave here and go up to the Feast so your disciples can get a good look at the works you do? No one who intends to be publicly known does everything behind the scenes. If you’re serious about what you are doing, come out in the open and show the world.” His brothers were pushing him like this because they didn’t believe in him either.
Jesus came back at them, “Don’t crowd me. This isn’t my time. It’s your time—it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose. The world has nothing against you, but it’s up in arms against me. It’s against me because I expose the evil behind its pretensions. You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don’t wait for me. I’m not ready. It’s not the right time for me.”
Activity: Coloring page. http://images.hellokids.com/_uploads/_tiny_galerie/20100207/jesus-christ-coloring-page-source_bnq.jpg
March 3: Sunday: John 7:16-19
Jesus said, “I didn’t make this up. What I teach comes from the One who sent me. Anyone who wants to do his will can test this teaching and know whether it’s from God or whether I’m making it up. A person making things up tries to make himself look good. But someone trying to honor the one who sent him sticks to the facts and doesn’t tamper with reality. It was Moses, wasn’t it, who gave you God’s Law? But none of you are living it. So why are you trying to kill me?”
Activity: True or False? http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/quizzes/trueorfalse.html
You could also make a family true or false that would be quite fun. “Mom and Dad met at church camp. True or False?”
March 4: Day 17: John 7: 30-31
They were looking for a way to arrest him, but not a hand was laid on him because it wasn’t yet God’s time. Many from the crowd committed themselves in faith to him, saying, “Will the Messiah, when he comes, provide better or more convincing evidence than this?”
Activity: Coloring Page. http://s.twistynoodle.com/img/r/jesus/jesus-is-the-messiah/jesus-is-the-messiah_coloring_page.jpg
March 5: Day 18: Living Waters: John 7:37-39
On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)
Activity: Aluminum foil water painting! http://tinkerlab.com/aluminum-foil-painting/ You’ll need cardboard, tempera paint, dish soap, paint brushes, cardboard.
March 6: Day 19: Where is the Messiah from?:John 7:40-44
Those in the crowd who heard these words were saying, “This has to be the Prophet.” Others said, “He is the Messiah!” But others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from Galilee, does he? Don’t the Scriptures tell us that the Messiah comes from David’s line and from Bethlehem, David’s village?” So there was a split in the crowd over him. Some went so far as wanting to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him.
Activity: Where were you born? Talk about where everyone was born. Grab a map and mark it! But where did everyone grow up? Is it the same place they were born? http://www.yellowmaps.com/maps/img/US/printable/USA-081919.jpg
March 7: Day 20: Why Didn’t You Arrest Him?: John7:45-53
That’s when the Temple police reported back to the high priests and Pharisees, who demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him with you?”
The police answered, “Have you heard the way he talks? We’ve never heard anyone speak like this man.”
The Pharisees said, “Are you carried away like the rest of the rabble? You don’t see any of the leaders believing in him, do you? Or any from the Pharisees? It’s only this crowd, ignorant of God’s Law, that is taken in by him—and damned.”
Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus earlier and was both a ruler and a Pharisee, spoke up. “Does our Law decide about a man’s guilt without first listening to him and finding out what he is doing?”
But they cut him off. “Are you also campaigning for the Galilean? Examine the evidence. See if any prophet ever comes from Galilee.”
Then they all went home.
Activity: Nicodemas coloring page. http://ministry-to-children.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Nicodemus-coloring-page.jpg
March 8: Day 21: Cast The First Stone!: John 8:1-11
Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
“No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
Activity: Rock painting! Grab some smooth rocks. Large enough to hold in your hand, but small enough to not break a toe. Hunt for the rocks outdoors with the kids, or acquire them at a craft or home improvement store. Grab your acrylic paints. Paint the rocks to remind yourself of God’s grace to us. He doesn’t throw stones when we do wrong.
March 9: Day 22: Where is Your Father?: John 8:19
They said, “Where is this so-called Father of yours?”
Jesus said, “You’re looking right at me and you don’t see me. How do you expect to see the Father? If you knew me, you would at the same time know the Father.”
Activity: Trinity coloring page. http://thefoolishgalatian.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/trinity01.jpg
March 10: Sunday: Missing God: John 8:23-24
Jesus said, “You’re tied down to the mundane; I’m in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You’re at a dead end. If you won’t believe I am who I say I am, you’re at the dead end of sins. You’re missing God in your lives.”
Activity: Play a game of Charades with the kids. Let them act out what others cannot touch or see. Let them guess what they see in one another.
March 11: Day 23: The Truth Will Set You Free: John 8:31-38
Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
Surprised, they said, “But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?”
Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. But I also know that you are trying to kill me because my message hasn’t yet penetrated your thick skulls. I’m talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father, and you just go on doing what you have heard from your father.”
Activity: Peaceful Christ coloring page. http://games.net4tv.com/games4tv/members/printables/graphics/color/82_color_jesus.gif
March 12: Day 24:And Abraham Cheered!: John 8:54-58
Jesus said, “If I turned the spotlight on myself, it wouldn’t amount to anything. But my Father, the same One you say is your Father, put me here at this time and place of splendor. You haven’t recognized him in this. But I have. If I, in false modesty, said I didn’t know what was going on, I would be as much of a liar as you are. But I do know, and I am doing what he says. Abraham—your ‘father’—with jubilant faith looked down the corridors of history and saw my day coming. He saw it and cheered.”
The Jews said, “You’re not even fifty years old—and Abraham saw you?”
“Believe me,” said Jesus, “I am who I am long before Abraham was anything.”
Activity: Abraham Coloring Page. http://www.churchhousecollection.com/resources/Abraham%20Coloring%20Pages.jpg
March 13: Day 25: Blind Men See: John 9:1-7
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”
Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”
He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.
Activity: Time to Act! Take turns being the blind man and being Jesus. (Don’t use real spit and mud, though!)
Additional Optional Activity: Clay Masks! Kids think it is fun to put on clay masks. No need to smear dirt on them. French clay or any mask of that type from the drug store will do.
March 14: Day 26: I Was Blind But Now I See: John 9:18-34
The Jews didn’t believe it, didn’t believe the man was blind to begin with. So they called the parents of the man now bright-eyed with sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? So how is it that he now sees?”
His parents said, “We know he is our son, and we know he was born blind. But we don’t know how he came to see—haven’t a clue about who opened his eyes. Why don’t you ask him? He’s a grown man and can speak for himself.” (His parents were talking like this because they were intimidated by the Jewish leaders, who had already decided that anyone who took a stand that this was the Messiah would be kicked out of the meeting place. That’s why his parents said, “Ask him. He’s a grown man.”)
They called the man back a second time—the man who had been blind—and told him, “Give credit to God. We know this man is an impostor.”
He replied, “I know nothing about that one way or the other. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind… I now see.”
They said, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
“I’ve told you over and over and you haven’t listened. Why do you want to hear it again? Are you so eager to become his disciples?”
With that they jumped all over him. “You might be a disciple of that man, but we’re disciples of Moses. We know for sure that God spoke to Moses, but we have no idea where this man even comes from.”
The man replied, “This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It’s well known that God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will. That someone opened the eyes of a man born blind has never been heard of—ever. If this man didn’t come from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.”
They said, “You’re nothing but dirt! How dare you take that tone with us!” Then they threw him out in the street.
Activity: Talk about the story! They threw him out in the street? How do you think the blind man felt about that? Why were the Pharisees mean to the man? Why did they think he was lying?
March 15: Day 27: The Blind Believe: John 9:35-38
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and went and found him. He asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
The man said, “Point him out to me, sir, so that I can believe in him.”
Jesus said, “You’re looking right at him. Don’t you recognize my voice?”
“Master, I believe,” the man said, and worshiped him.
Activity: Talk about the story! Yesterday, we read about this man being thrown out by the Pharisees. Now, Jesus went and found the man. How do you think the man feels now? Do you think the man is happy to see? Do you think he is happy that Jesus came to find him?
March 16: Day 28: The Good Shepherd: John 10:11-18
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”
Activity: Make sheep! http://www.evolvingmommy.com/2010/05/cotton-ball-sheep-activity.html– this is adorable! You’ll need cotton balls, googly eyes, clothespins, cardboard circle, glue, black paint, black paper.
March 17: Sunday: No One Can Steal Them From His Hand: John 10:25-30
Jesus answered, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.”
Activity: Make sheep cupcakes! Chocolate cupcakes. Vanilla Icing. Roll top of cupcake in coconut. Add a little chocolate wafer with decorated face.
March 18: Day 29: John 10:34-38
Jesus said, “I’m only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, ‘I tell you—you are gods.’ If God called your ancestors ‘gods’—and Scripture doesn’t lie—why do you yell, ‘Blasphemer! Blasphemer!’ at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world, just because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I don’t do the things my Father does, well and good; don’t believe me. But if I am doing them, put aside for a moment what you hear me say about myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes. Then perhaps things will come together for you, and you’ll see that not only are we doing the same thing, we are the same—Father and Son. He is in me; I am in him.”
Activity: Son of God coloring page. http://canvasworksneedlepoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/mary-mother-of-god-coloring-page-i6.png
March 19: Day 30: Lazarus: John 11:1-44
A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”
When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days. After the two days, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”
They said, “Rabbi, you can’t do that. The Jews are out to kill you, and you’re going back?”
Jesus replied, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in daylight doesn’t stumble because there’s plenty of light from the sun. Walking at night, he might very well stumble because he can’t see where he’s going.”
He said these things, and then announced, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. I’m going to wake him up.”
The disciples said, “Master, if he’s gone to sleep, he’ll get a good rest and wake up feeling fine.” Jesus was talking about death, while his disciples thought he was talking about taking a nap.
Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”
That’s when Thomas, the one called the Twin, said to his companions, “Come along. We might as well die with him.”
When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. Bethany was near Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away, and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.
Martha said, “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you.”
Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.”
Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”
“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”
After saying this, she went to her sister Mary and whispered in her ear, “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.”
The moment she heard that, she jumped up and ran out to him. Jesus had not yet entered the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “Where did you put him?”
“Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept.
The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.”
Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.”
Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!”
Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.”
They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.”
Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face.
Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”
Activity:http://orthodoxeducation.blogspot.com/2012/03/lazarus-arise.html – Play Lazarus arise! Grab some TP and wrap each other up!
March 20: Day 31: John 11:45-48
That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”
Activity: Miracle Coloring Page. http://holybiblecoloring.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/healing-of-the-man-at-the-pool-of-bethesda.jpg
March 21: Day 32: Plans to Arrest Jesus: John 11:53-57
From that day on, they plotted to kill him. So Jesus no longer went out in public among the Jews. He withdrew into the country bordering the desert to a town called Ephraim and secluded himself there with his disciples.
The Jewish Passover was coming up. Crowds of people were making their way from the country up to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the Feast. They were curious about Jesus. There was a lot of talk of him among those standing around in the Temple: “What do you think? Do you think he’ll show up at the Feast or not?”
Meanwhile, the high priests and Pharisees gave out the word that anyone getting wind of him should inform them. They were all set to arrest him.
Activity: We’re leading up to the crucifixion. So, today we’re making a crown of thorns, http://chasingfireflies.typepad.com/chasing_fireflies/2010/02/crown-of-thorns-1.html, using clay and toothpicks.
March 22: Day 33: Anointing of Jesus:John 12:1-11
Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus’ feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house.
Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, “Why wasn’t this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces.” He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them.
Jesus said, “Let her alone. She’s anticipating and honoring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don’t always have me.”
Word got out among the Jews that he was back in town. The people came to take a look, not only at Jesus but also at Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead. So the high priests plotted to kill Lazarus because so many of the Jews were going over and believing in Jesus on account of him.
Activity: Coloring page. http://just4kidsmagazine.com/40dayslent/anointing-jesus.gif
March 23: Day 34: The Triumphiant Entry: John 12:12-16
The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered:
Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Yes! The King of Israel!
Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it:
No fear, Daughter Zion: See how your king comes,
riding a donkey’s colt.
The disciples didn’t notice the fulfillment of many Scriptures at the time, but after Jesus was glorified, they remembered that what was written about him matched what was done to him.
Activity: Make palm branches. Have a parade of hosannas! Make palms out of paper, add sticks or paint stirrers for reinforcement.
March 24: Sunday: Palm Sunday: The World’s In A Stampede After Him!: John 12:17-19
The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”
Activity: Listen to the song “A Stick, A Carrot, & String” by MeWithoutYou
Read “The Donkey” by G.K. Chesterton
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet
March 25: Day 35: Holy Monday: Put Your Glory On Display!: John 12: 24-33
Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”
A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”
The listening crowd said, “Thunder!”
Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.
Activity: Listen to “Enough” by Chris Tomlin.
Paint a picture with the word “glory” in mind.
Glory-(1) high renown or honor won by notable achievements. (2) magnificence; great beauty.
March 26: Day 36: Holy Tuesday: Be Children of Light: John 12:35-36
Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.”
Activity: Make a star box. Get a large cardboard box. Poke one hole in. Place a single Christmas light into the hole. (The rest of the lights will be outside the box.) Turn it on. Have kids get in (depending on the size of your box, they may have to take turns). This is the light of a single person. Poke a couple more holes. Add a couple more lights. Get back in the box and turn the lights on. This is a small group of people. Repeat until all your lights are poking into the box, lighting up the world.
March 27: Day 37: Holy Wednesday: Jesus Washes The Disciples’ Feet: John 13:3-17
Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”
Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”
Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
“Master!” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”
Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.
Activity: Nothing beats a good old fashioned feet washing! Grab a tub and some suds. Make it fancy if you’d like. Grab some towels. Get to washing. Each member of the family should wash another’s feet. (Going in birth order makes sense so it is a bit more humbling, but if you’ve got two kids that fight often, it can be cathartic to have them wash the feet of one another.)
March 28: Day 38: Maundy Thursday: John 13:34-35
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
Jesus Prays For His Followers: John 17: 1-26
Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:
Father, it’s time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.
I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right .
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
Now I’m returning to you.
I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,
Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.
I’m not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them
In the same way you’ve loved me.
Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.
Activity: Write a family prayer. Sit down together and write a prayer. Goals for the family, outreach of the family, neighbors, church, etc.
In The Garden Coloring Page. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_LtIJFjCfRU/TnH0Y_c1czI/AAAAAAAAAxs/10gMUyQ2z2k/s1600/gethsemane.gif
March 29: Day 39: Good Friday: The Crucifixion: John 19:1-42
So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.
Pilate went back out again and said to them, “I present him to you, but I want you to know that I do not find him guilty of any crime.” Just then Jesus came out wearing the thorn crown and purple robe.
Pilate announced, “Here he is: the Man.”
When the high priests and police saw him, they shouted in a frenzy, “Crucify! Crucify!”
Pilate told them, “You take him. You crucify him. I find nothing wrong with him.”
The Jews answered, “We have a law, and by that law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this, he became even more scared. He went back into the palace and said to Jesus, “Where did you come from?”
Jesus gave no answer.
Pilate said, “You won’t talk? Don’t you know that I have the authority to pardon you, and the authority to—crucify you?”
Jesus said, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That’s why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault.”
At this, Pilate tried his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: “If you pardon this man, you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone setting himself up as ‘king’ defies Caesar.”
When Pilate heard those words, he led Jesus outside. He sat down at the judgment seat in the area designated Stone Court (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for Passover. The hour was noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.”
They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!”
Pilate said, “I am to crucify your king?”
The high priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.”
Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified.
They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read:
jesus the nazarene
the king of the jews.
Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Jewish high priests objected. “Don’t write,” they said to Pilate, “‘The King of the Jews.’ Make it, ‘This man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”
Pilate said, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”
When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)
While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.
Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.”
A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done… complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.
Then the Jews, since it was the day of Sabbath preparation, and so the bodies wouldn’t stay on the crosses over the Sabbath (it was a high holy day that year), petitioned Pilate that their legs be broken to speed death, and the bodies taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man crucified with Jesus, and then the other. When they got to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out.
The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe.
These things that happened confirmed the Scripture, “Not a bone in his body was broken,” and the other Scripture that reads, “They will stare at the one they pierced.”
After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.
Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus’ body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.
Activity: Make a Resurrection Garden. http://wearethatfamily.com/2012/03/diy-mini-resurrection-garden/ You’ll need a pot base, some dirt, some rocks, small terra cotta pots, a rock, some sticks, and some glue (or you could make your crosses with twine).
March 30: Day 40: Holy Saturday: And the whole earth waited….
Activity: Talk about the day. The day after Jesus died, how do you think people felt? How do you think the disciples felt? How do you think Jesus’s family felt? How do you think the multitudes felt? We have hope because we know the outcome. We know that tomorrow, He’ll rise. But what would it be like to not know the ending? What do you think Jesus was doing? This would be a good time to discuss atonement theory. Although it will be over most kids’ heads, there is no need to shield them from such theological thought.
Activity: Make Resurrection Rolls. http://www.4tunate.net/2011/04/easter-traditions-making-resurrection-rolls/ Make sure you stress that today is the day Jesus would be in the tomb, awaiting resurrection. So, the time while the rolls are baking make up Holy Saturday.
March 31: Sunday: Easter: Resurrection!: John 20:1-18
Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”
Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
“They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
Jesus said, “Mary.”
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”
Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.
Activity: Since Easter is such an activity packed day, no additional activity has been added for the day. But make sure you really celebrate in the risenness of our Lord! He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed.