How to Teach Kids the Events of the Passion Week

The Passion Week is usually referred to the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is nothing special or holy about these dates at all. We should celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus every day of the week!

The reason for this post is to help parents teach their children these events on any day of the year. You can use six items that you may already have at home: a sprig of herb or leaf, a piece of bread, a string or thread, a nail or three, a piece of white cloth, and a rock.

Leaf/Herb

I used a sprig of rosemary herb to signify the branches that people used when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem while riding a donkey. nA alternative is to use a toy donkey, if you have one at home. Read the passage from Matthew 21:1-11. Jesus was riding into the city as the king of Israel had always done when they came to the throne.

Bread

The bread represents the Last Supper as recorded in Matthew 26:17-29. The Passover meal with the disciples points back to the night in Egypt, and points to the time when God would send His own Son to die in the place of sinners like us. This meal shows us that Jesus was the Lamb, who came into the world to be slain for the sins of His people.

String/Thread

This piece of jute string represents the whip used by the Roman soliders to mock Jesus, as well as how Jesus endured the betrayal of his friends, particularly Judas. These events were written down in John 18:1-19:27. It was you and I who deserved to be beaten, ridiculed, and rejected because of our many sins. But Jesus took our place, and bore all this suffering for us.

Nails

I realized that using nails can be a bit dangerous for younger kids, so using screws without pointy ends would be better in this case. Making a small wooden cross out of two toothpicks put together would be another alternative. The three nails or the wooden cross signify how Jesus was nailed on the cross. You may retell the passage found in Matthew 27:32-56. Jesus gave His very life to pay for our sins. Jesus lived the life that we should have lived, and died the death that we should have died. And this same Jesus calls us to follow Him, trust Him, and love Him. Shall we not serve Him who finished the work of salvation for us on the cross?

White Cloth

Matthew 27:57-60 shows us the story of Jesus’ burial, and this piece of white cloth represents the clean linen shroud that was used to wrap the body of Jesus.

Stone

You could use a stone to represent the earlier point about Jesus’ burial or you could use it to illustrate this next story found in John 20. When Mary Magdalene and other women came to garden to visit Jesus, they found that the stone was already rolled away. And the angel told them not to be afraid for He is no longer there. He is risen! He is risen indeed! The disciples didn’t believe the story of the women. Their hearts were so sad with grief that they hardly realized what Mary was saying. They had not understood that Jesus is stronger than death itself. By rising from the dead Jesus brought eternal life to all who love and trust in Him.

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how to TEACH THE STORY

Some people like to use these items and place them inside plastic eggs. The seventh egg would be left empty to signify that Jesus is no longer in the tomb for He is risen. I love the idea of a surprise but since eggs do not have anything to do with the story of the resurrection, I would like to avoid it as much as possible. There are also pagan overtones represented in those eggs.

So an alternative would be a sensory activity (as pictured above) using a salt box or kinetic sand box.

          • Put all the items in a box with iodized salt or kinetic sand.
                  • Ask the child to find all the items.
                          • Retell the story by arranging the items according to their proper order.
                                  • For an additional activity or memory work, scramble the items and ask the child to rearrange them according to their proper order.

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                                  You may also use the book The Donkey Who Carried a King by Dr. RC Sproul to share the story of the Passion week. An audio recording of the story book read by Dr. Sproul himself is also available for streaming at Renewing Your Mind.

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                                  Another additional activity is to sing the hymn of the month suggested by Happy Hymnody, that is Man of Sorrows aka Hallelujah, What A Savior by Philip B. Bliss.

                                  “Man of Sorrows,” what a name
                                  For the Son of God who came
                                  Ruined sinners to reclaim!
                                  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

                                  Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
                                  In my place condemned He stood;
                                  Sealed my pardon with His blood;
                                  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

                                  Guilty, vile, and helpless, we,
                                  Spotless Lamb of God was He;
                                  Full redemption—can it be?
                                  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

                                  Lifted up was He to die,
                                  “It is finished!” was His cry;
                                  Now in heaven exalted high;
                                  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

                                  When He comes, our glorious King,
                                  To His kingdom us to bring,
                                  Then anew this song we’ll sing
                                  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

                                  I truly pray that you would find this resource useful and Jesus beautiful as you teach and train children about our wonderful Savior!

                                  Please feel free to share how you will use these items to retell the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.