This Sunday School lesson for Good Friday was designed for parents to use with their children at home on the week of April 12, 2020. Everything is included in the PDF download below (teaching notes, coloring pages, craft directions, game ideas, and worksheets). Use what is most helpful for your kids and ignore the rest. Families can also watch our children’s message, suggested music, and craft demonstration in the video playlist below.
“Last Supper & Good Friday”
Home Sunday School Lesson on John 13, 19
The World’s Darkest Night… “In Home” Sunday School Suggestions to Study and Contemplate the Last Supper and Good Friday
This “special edition” Sunday school lesson contains adaptations that are geared to doing at home, if circumstances present you with the need to stay away from the larger group church. With a little creativity, you can still guide your child(ren) through a fun and meaningful Bible lesson!
Holy Week is an especially essential time to continue studying and celebrating Scripture. As we approach Easter and consider the final events in Christ’s life, there are many ways to bring these important stories to life. Make it meaningful and make it your own, depending on the needs and ages of your audience.
Lesson focus: Jesus came to Earth to serve, and gave up His very life for our sins. The ideas in this lesson cover the Last Supper He shared with His disciples, as well as His crucifixion. You may wish to break this up into two separate lesson chunks.
Passage: John 13:1-20, John 19:16-37 *Note: other Gospels feature these stories, as well, but John goes into particular detail regarding some of the events. It is highly recommended to read through the chapters entirely, especially if you have older kids who can appreciate and understand them.
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (or whoever you might have at home!)
Materials Needed: Paper or plastic cups, paper, “resurrection egg” items (optional: Easter eggs, nails, cloth, vinegar, spices, dice, thorns, crackers, yarn, stone, coins), bucket, towel.
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Game & Lesson Introduction
Lesson Opening: Here are some activity ideas to incorporate with your experience of the Passion. There are many methods and additions that you can use as you see fit! Some of these lend themselves to the Last Supper (in church holidays we call the day “Maundy Thursday), and some are connected to the events of the crucifixion (Good Friday). Select what will bring extra emphasis to the story for your kids.
Prepare kids to dive into some of the Biblical specifics in these stories. It’s important to communicate the significance of the death of Jesus. It can be challenging for young kids to comprehend why Jesus had to die. It might be helpful to make the analogy of taking a punishment. If there was a time-out to be inflicted, and someone who had not done anything wrong took the guilt instead, that would seem strange. But that’s exactly what Jesus did for us!
Ask: How do you feel when you know something hard is going to happen? What is a time or event that has been especially difficult for you?
Good Friday & The Last Supper Bible Lesson for Kids
How you choose to experience the story will vary according to the ages and abilities of your children (and how many are participating). For younger children, you may wish to use a children’s or storybook version of the Bible, and explain details as you go. Older kids can take turns helping to read the story. You can also turn this into a skit and have children act out the various parts as you are reading the narrative. You might find a short video version to reinforce it. If your students have longer attention spans, feel free to read the whole story at once, and then discuss questions. If it works better, break things up into chunks and pause for questions as you go along.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” -John 13:1-11
If you haven’t already done the “foot washing” activity, now is a great opportunity to do so. You can also discuss what is happening in this passage. Emphasize what it meant that Jesus would do this. Foot-washing was the job of a servant. People in those days wore sandals, and streets were often dusty and dirty. Feet would be a nasty, gnarly mess! Upon entering a house, the servant would clean the feet of the guests so that the house would not become dirty. Jesus was cleaning the outside of His disciples’ feet, but soon His actions would make their insides clean, as well. He was also indicating that He came to be a servant, and was willing to do the work of the servant.
Ask: Why didn’t Peter think that Jesus should wash his feet? (He didn’t want Jesus to do such a menial task, and didn’t feel worthy of the Master doing such a thing for him.)
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,[d] ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” -John 13:12-20
What is going on here? Jesus is emphasizing the kind of life He came to lead. He also wants the disciples to serve one another. Not only should they be serving in the circle of twelve (minus Judas), but Jesus wanted them to serve others as well.
Ask: What is a way that you can serve other people? How can you help others?
*Break here if you plan to separate into two chunks or lessons.
Lead into the next segment of Holy Week, explaining what events brought Jesus to the crucifixion. Feel free to describe, read, or watch video depicting the prayer in Gethsemane, the arrest, and trial of Christ. For older students, point out the significance that many events in these passages fulfill prophecies from long before Christ’s birth.
After His trial, Jesus is taken to a hill and crucified. It’s worth mentioning that this was a way that the Romans executed criminals. They made it a point to find a high place or a roadside where many people could see what was happening, so that they would be warned not to disobey the law themselves. The condemned would have a label placed on their crosses to let the world know what wrongs they had committed. For Jesus, even that title caused argument:
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” -John 19:16-22
Why were the priests upset? Even now that they finally have what they’d wanted, the death of this upstart teacher, they’re still worried about what others will think. They don’t want anyone getting the idea that Jesus truly was their king, after all…but Pilate leaves the title.
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.[d] But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. -John 19:23-27
Here is another reflection of ancient prophecy. From the cross, Jesus is doing things that had been spoken about many years prior. And the soldiers are also fulfilling prophetic words, though they don’t realize it. Now, who is watching this happen? Scripture does not tell us that all of the disciples were present at the crucifixion. In fact, we know many of them had already run away to hide. But John (the “disciple he loved”) was there, along with a trio of Marys. Jesus asks John to take care of his mother. In His final moments, He wants to make sure His family is provided for.
Ask: Why is it comforting that one of the last things Jesus did was make sure His mom would be looked after? (It shows He cares for each of us!)
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. -John 19:28-30
Ask: What was “finished”?
Is this Jesus in despair, knowing His life is over? Was He done with the sour wine? Jesus is done. He has fulfilled what He came to Earth to do. His death conquered the power of sin, and made it possible for us to receive forgiveness. The people watching may not have understood this. They might just have looked upon a man delirious with pain and in the last gasps of life. But we know what was finished. The work was accomplished. The battle won…
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” -John 19:31-37
For clarification, it might be helpful to explain why the criminals had their legs broken. The Jews had specific rules for how to celebrate the Sabbath, and they had to prepare for it before sunset.
Ironically, in order to practice their religious obligations, they wanted to hurry the execution process. By breaking the legs of a crucifixion victim, death would come more quickly, since the person could not push up to breathe. However, Jesus was already dead. To make sure of this, one of the soldiers jabbed Him with a spear (this wound will leave a scar that Thomas demands to see later).
Ask: How would you feel if you were watching Jesus die?
So Christ died. He endured agony and suffering, and at last died. His body was taken off of the cross, and a man named Joseph, who was a secret disciple, asked to help bury Him. Nicodemus helped in this process, and they laid His body in a tomb, rolling a huge stone over the entrance to prevent anyone from getting inside.
That’s it, isn’t it? Death, defeat, all hopes over? Well, fortunately, we know that is not quite the end of the story for Jesus, or for us. Allow kids to sit with the solemnity of these events. Easter is all the more joyful because Good Friday is so dark and painful. Consider the fact that this was all done for US, to conquer sin and death. Yes, the death of Jesus is sad. But Easter Sunday is on the way…let us not lose hope.
Close with prayer. Thank God for the remarkable sacrifice of Jesus. Pray for mindfulness of the severity of that gift. Ask God for ways to serve others, just like Christ served us.
Children’s Message: Jesus on Holy Week
This Children’s Sermon will teach kids about Jesus on Holy Week. It’s based on Matthew 21:1-11; John 13:1-17 . The Bible object lesson teaches about that JESUS is the true king, even if he acted humble. Download the teachers notes, watch our Children’s Message example, and gather your supplies.
Bible Craft “Last Supper Cup”
You will need:
- Paper or Styrofoam cups
- Stickers (optional)
- Markers or crayons
- Construction paper
1. Decorate the cup with notes, stickers, or markers
2. Trace a foot shape onto the construction paper.
3. Cut the foot out, and add a caption or verse to it.
4. Place the “foot” into the cup. Use as a reminder decoration, or miniature coin collector!
Other Bible Craft Ideas: (For Good Friday)
- Decorate a cross: this could be as simple as cutting out a paper or cardboard cross, or a more elaborate version. Consider a “wax melt” with crayons, if you have the materials.
- Bracelet: make a bead bracelet with colors that signify portions of the story.
- Personalized towel/wash cloth: use fabric markers to decorate a towel, in honor of the foot washing in the Last Supper.
- “Stained glass” style painting with a cross in the center.
- Tomb stone: Decorate a large rock to remember the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus.
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