Jesus fulfilled his earthly life of service by dying on the cross. In part 2 of “Jesus Served Through His Crucifixion” (Lesson 9 of the Servanthood Series), children will learn how Jesus’ arrest, appearance before officials, and mockery from others didn’t stop his service. Through his example we see that trials and obstacles can be endured when we are committed to obedient service to God.
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Servanthood for Kids: The Life of Jesus
OBJECTIVE: To discover how Jesus served others and was obedient to God by dying on the cross.
MAIN IDEA: Jesus was abused and mistreated before he died on the cross. He is the best example of a servant because he gave up his life so we could have a relationship with him.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Mark 14:32-41 & 43-46, Luke 22:66-71, Luke 23:13-19 & 25, Matthew 27:27-31, 35, 45 & 50
MATERIAL(S): markers, lesson activity/coloring sheets (download here)
OPTIONAL: Jesus died on the cross coloring sheets
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, it’s hard to discuss the abuse Jesus faced as he died on the cross. Please help us understand and accept the love he displayed for us by giving up his life. Amen.”
PREVIOUS LESSON REVIEW: Say, “Last week we learned the definition of ‘crucify’: to put someone to death (as a punishment) by tying or nailing them to a cross. We discussed several things that happened before Jesus was arrested, beaten, and crucified. Can anyone name the disciple who betrayed Jesus (Judas Iscariot)? And which disciple denied Jesus three times (Peter)?” Emphasize that we will continue to see in today’s lesson how Jesus willingly went to the cross as a servant in spite of betrayals and false accusations.
Lesson (20 minutes)
- Comment, “After being betrayed by Judas Iscariot and sharing the Lord’s Supper with his disciples, Jesus went to a garden to pray.” Read Mark 14:32-41. Discuss the intense emotions Jesus felt as he prayed – deep distress, overwhelming sorrow, etc. Ask, “Which disciples did Jesus take with him to pray (Peter, James, and John)? Why was he frustrated with them (because they kept falling asleep)?” Explain that Jesus was trying to teach his disciples that physical barriers – such as exhaustion – can get in the way of important, spiritual matters. We have to rely on the Lord for strength as we serve!
- Next, announce that Judas came with the priests to arrest Jesus while he was in the garden praying. Read Mark 14:43-46. Ask, “Why is it strange that the crowd came with swords and clubs? Do you think Jesus could have escaped?” Reiterate that Jesus wasn’t a criminal yet they arrested him like he was dangerous and unpredictable. Furthermore, the betrayal of his disciples continued because they fled when Jesus was taken away. Comment, “Again Jesus shows us that obedient service to God is a personal commitment. When everyone else had abandoned him, Jesus chose to continue following God’s will for his life.”
- Jesus was then sent before the Sanhedrin (a council of religious leaders and elders) and they decided he was guilty of blasphemy. Read Luke 22:66-71. Say, “Even though Jesus spoke truthfully that he was the Son of God, the religious leaders saw his words as a curse and challenge to God’s authority. The Sanhedrin sent him to the governor, Pilate, to be punished.” Read Luke 23:13-19, 25. Ask, “What is unbelievable about this passage (that the people wanted an actual criminal to be released instead of Jesus)? What does this teach us about the power of sin and denial of truth (that it corrupts everything good)? Again, Jesus continued to serve God in the midst of unfairness and persecution.”
- Lastly, discuss the details leadings up to Jesus’ crucifixion by reading Matthew 27:27-31. Ask, “What would have been your reaction to being mistreated this way? Jesus’ love for us is amazing because he took the abuse on our behalf.” Next read Matthew 27:35, 45 & 50. Discuss the verses: the mockery and ignorance of dividing Jesus’ clothes, the effect on nature as Jesus was dying, and the final release of his spirit that marked his death. Say, “Jesus suffered and died for us because he knew our sin separated us from God. Without the service of giving his life, we wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with him and go to heaven. Isn’t that message worth sharing with others? We honor Jesus’ sacrifice when we serve God and others.”
Lesson Activity and Coloring Page (15 minutes) *See attachment*
Pass out the markers and “My Sins Died with Jesus” coloring pages. Say, “We are going to write sins inside the cross as a reminder of why Jesus died. His act of obedience unto death was the perfect example of servanthood.” Encourage the students to fill the cross with numerous sins and give suggestions if necessary. Afterward, the class may decorate and color the pages.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Jesus’ was arrested, beaten, mocked, and killed even though he never sinned. He equips us through the Holy Spirit to serve even when we face struggles and hard circumstances.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Thank you, God, for Jesus. We know by studying his life that we too can be servants and lead others to you. Please give us the desire and strength we need to serve you and others. Amen.”
Servanthood Lessons in the Life of Jesus
This lesson is part of a 10 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that follows the life of Jesus and explains how he was a model of serving others.