Today’s lesson covers two events-Jesus’ joyous entry into Jerusalem and His death on the cross. While preschooler’s don’t need to know all the details of how Jesus died at this time, they do need to know that Jesus is really the King and that He died for them. This lesson is taught in two parts in hopes that children will understand that Jesus died for them.
Lesson Title: Jesus is Tried and Crucified
Bible Reference: Luke 19:28-40, 23:1-49
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 1 ½ hour
Learning Aim: Jesus loves you so much that He died for you.
- Colorful Scarves
- Toy Instruments
- Paper Plates
- Painters or Masking Tape
Work together to make a list of everything the class knows about Jesus. You can write the list or have the class draw what they know about Jesus. You can talk about anything that the kids have recently learned about Jesus.
Say, You all know so much about Jesus! Do you remember why He came to Earth? He came to Earth to be our Savior. God sent Jesus to Earth because He was prefect. The people in the world are not perfect and people who are not perfect are not allowed to go to Heaven. But God wants them to go Heaven so He came up with a plan. Since Jesus is perfect He came to Earth to die. When Jesus died it was so that we could go to Heaven someday. He is our Savior. But don’t worry Jesus doesn’t stay dead for long!
Retell the story of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, Luke 19:28-40.
Say, Today we have two stories to talk about. One is happy and one is sad. Let’s tell the happy one first. Jesus was going to Jerusalem with his disciples. Whenever they got close to the city Jesus sent the disciples into the city to get a young donkey for Him to ride on. Whenever Jesus walked into to city it was a big celebration. They put their coats on the donkey’s back for Jesus to sit on. Then people started putting their coats on the ground for the donkey to walk on. Everyone praised God as loudly as they could. They had seen Jesus do miracles and were so excited to see Him now. They said, “Blessed in the King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!’ and ‘Peace in Heaven and glory in the highest!’ Some people didn’t like all the noise and told Jesus to make the crowd be quiet, But Jesus said that if the people were quiet then the rocks would start praising God!
Can you imagine how exciting this day was? The people finally understood that Jesus was King! They showed their respect for Him by laying down their coats for Him to walk on and their love for Him by shouting their praises!
A Parade for Jesus
Have a Parade for Jesus. Provide the class with colorful scarves to wave in the air and/or musical instruments to play as they march around the room. After a few times around the room have everyone sit down and be very quiet. Say, Everyone praised Jesus because they finally were starting to understand who He is. Jesus said that if the people stopped praising God then the rocks would speak up and praise Him! Our God is amazing and deserves all of our praise.
A Crown for Jesus
Make crowns out of paper plates. Give each child 1 flimsy paper plate. Fold the plate in half and cut the middle of the plate into triangles that stick up like a crown. Let the kids color their crown and then wear them.
Say, Jesus is the King. He is God and there is no one greater than Him. Let’s make a crown to remember that Jesus is the King. I imagine that the crowd would have liked to give Jesus a crown when He entered Jerusalem.
Bible Story Part 2
The rest of the Bible story is from Luke 23 and focuses on the fact that Jesus died for us instead of the details of how He was crucified.
Say, One week later the very same crowd that praised Jesus became very angry. Some people thought that Jesus was a liar did not deserve to be treated as a King. They wanted to hurt Jesus.
At this time make the kids take off their crowns and put them on the floor.
The crowd didn’t want to praise Jesus and treat Him like a King anymore. It’s like the took the crown off His head and threw it on the ground like you just did. They hung Jesus on a cross and He died. Jesus’ family and disciples were very, very sad. Jesus could have stopped the people who wanted to kill Him but He didn’t. Instead, He died so that you can go to Heaven someday. Jesus is our Savior remember? How do you feel knowing that Jesus died for you? It is sad now, but don’t worry. Jesus really IS the King and He doesn’t stay dead for very long!
A Cross for Jesus
Make a cross on a piece of paper out of painters or masking tape. Stick the tape to a piece of clothing or carpet first so it won’t be too sticky. Let the kids color over the cross and then peel the tape off to reveal the cross on the white paper. Say, when you walk through the church you will see lots of crosses. That is because Jesus died on a cross. Our cross is made out of paper and tape but Jesus’ cross was made out of very strong wood. He was willing to die on the cross for us.
Jesus Died for Us Game
First let the kids look at themselves in a mirror. Say, When you look in this mirror you are seeing the person that Jesus died for-YOU! Jesus loved you so much that He was willing to die for you.
Now play a mirroring game. The teacher will be the leader. The kids must follow the teachers lead and copy the teacher’s action exactly, like a mirror. Then switch it up and let the kids lead.
Close the lesson in prayer. As you pray let each child take a turn saying ‘Thank You’ to Jesus.