This is the 4th part in a mini-series of lessons/ activities for a one day Easter VBS event called “A Week with Jesus.” You can find the introductory materials about this event and the teaching materials for the opening ceremony here, the activities for stations 1 & 2 here and the activities for stations 3 & 4.
SERIES INDEX – part one – part two – part three – part four – part five
In this post you’ll find the teaching materials for the final two activity stations.
Station 5- -Jesus Died on the Cross
Read the story– – read from Mark 15 or be prepared to tell the story in your own words. With older kids, encourage them to look the story up in the Bible. Make sure you hit the following points as you go through the story:
- The Jewish leaders took Jesus to Pilate because only the Roman government could have Him killed.
- Pilate asked the people what he should do with Jesus and the people said He should be crucified. Pilate asked why and the people shouted, “crucify Him.”
- The soldiers took Jesus to the Palace. The mocked Him by putting a purple robe and crown of thorns on Him and pretending to bow down to Him calling Him the King of the Jews. They beat Him and spit on Him.
- Then, the soldiers led Jesus out to be crucified.
- Jesus was crucified at 9 in the morning on a cross with a sign that said ‘the King of the Jews’ and there was a criminal on His right side and a criminal on His left side.
- People around the cross teased Jesus and said things like, ‘He could save other people, why can’t He save Himself?’
- At noon it got dark and stayed dark until 3 pm. Jesus cried out ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me. Then, Jesus cried and breathed His last breath.
- At that moment the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom and a centurion said, “surely this man was the Son on God.”
ACTIVITY: Craft- Torn Paper Cross…. After reading the story, remind the kids that when Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the temple tore because the price for sin had been paid and God’s people were no longer separated from Him because of sin. So, to help them remember Jesus dying, why Jesus died and what happened when He died that you’re going to make a torn paper craft.
All kids will make a torn paper cross, following the instructions found here (download here)
AGES 6+– – Walk them through the instructions step by step, everyone working on the same step at the same time. Once they complete the instructions and have the cross and the word ‘life’, they can glue the cross on one side of a piece of paper and ‘life‘ on the other side. If time allows, they can try it again (with different sizes of paper) and add to their picture, or they can draw or write things to help them remember how Jesus died on the cross to give His people life. They might want to write John 3:15-16, John 14:6 or Romans 6:23 on their cross. Talk with them about the significance of life coming from Jesus and how if life is through Him alone, then without Jesus we are dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13).
AGES 4-6– – Make a sample cross for the kids, having them guess what it will be when you’re finished. Go through all the steps and show them the cross and then show them how the little pieces spell out the word ‘life.‘ Then, pull out pre-torn cross shapes (that you prepared in advance) and have them glue their cross onto a piece of colored paper and write ‘life‘ on the cross. Explain that the word ‘life‘ reminds us that Jesus died so that we could live. Read John 3:16 and John 14:6 to the group and tell them that the only way to have life is to believe that Jesus died to pay for their sin. If time allows, let the kids try and tear a cross if they want.
BEFORE SWITCHING GROUPS: say, “The Bible tells us that without Jesus we are dead in our sin and because of sin, we all deserve to be punished and the punishment we deserve is death. But, because of His great love for His people, God sent Jesus to earth to take the punishment that we deserve and die on the cross in our place. Jesus died so that we could live. That’s the good news of the Bible and that’s the best news anyone will ever hear.”
Close in prayer, thanking God for the cross and for Jesus before sending kids to the next station.
Station 6- -Get Ready for Easter
This is either the easiest or the most difficult station of the morning.
Easy because you have no real lesson or story, but difficult for that same reason.
You’re station is designed to help get kids and the room ready for the closing ceremony where we’ll recap the whole week and celebrate the truth that Jesus is alive.
Groups should come to your station from oldest to youngest.
While at your station, they should decorate the room to set the scene for Easter morning. You should be prepared with a backdrop (blank wall, large white sheet, etc.) which can be covered and then decorated to be a hill or garden or whatever the groups think will make the Easter story come to life. You should also have the following for kids to use for props/ decorations – different colors of plastic tablecloths which can be cut, fabric, rolls of paper, a small tent to be the tomb, fake flowers, large cardboard tubes, empty cardboard boxes, etc.
Read through Mark 16:1-8 and then let the kids be creative with designing the room decorations. You should be prepared with some ideas to get them started. Each group will work during their time at your station and the next group will add to it. By the final group, the littlest kids will just be taping flowers on the garden scene or coloring in parts of the design.
While kids work, talk about why Jesus died on the cross – he died to pay the price for our sin- and about how by coming back to life He showed that He has power of life and death. Because Jesus died for us and rose again, we can live forever with Him.
For the final session, you’ll have the littlest kids. After finishing off some of the final details, they need to prepare for their portion of the closing session. They will need to come to the side of the stage (with your help) while the story of the resurrection is told and when the women are looking in the empty tomb they should jump up and say, “Jesus isn’t there. Jesus is alive”….or something along those lines.