The Passion of Jesus

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  • To list events from Luke 23:26-56 and John 19:17-42
  • To recognize that Jesus willingly went to the cross
  • To compare and contrast the thieves and Jesus

Materials: Inductive Bible Study Form; a picture or model of a lamb

Geography: Jerusalem

Background: The ministry of Jesus is at an end. After three years of traveling, preaching, teaching, healing, and casting out demons, the Jewish leaders arrested Jesus through the help of Judas, one of Jesus’ own disciples. After a mock trial, beatings, mockings, and betrayal, Jesus carried His own cross as far as He could. He was unrecognizable after the beatings. His blood flowed down his body and into the sand as he struggled up the hill called Calvary. Can you picture it?

Main Events of The Passion of Jesus:

{Hold up the lamb.} I heard a man tell a story one time about shearing sheep. This man watched the sheep follow its shepherd to where the shearing would take place. Then, without making a sound, the sheep allowed the shepherd to place the sheep in many different body positions, including on its back, so he could use the razor to cut off the wool. The man looked the sheep in the eyes and never saw any fear. Only trust. After all of the wool was off, the shepherd led the sheep outside. He took a knife, slit the sheep’s throat, and then prepared the meat for freezing. The man said that throughout this entire process, the sheep never made a sound. It wholly trusted its shepherd.

Do you remember what John the Baptist said of Jesus when He came to the river to be baptized? [Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.] Lamb of God. That is one of Jesus’ many names. Keep the picture of the shepherd and the sheep in your mind as we read about the last moments of Jesus.

{As you read the scriptures, create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the thieves vs. Jesus. I found that this works best with 1-2 children, OR, be sure that each child has a Bible and can write out the diagram on his own as he reads. This did not work well as a large group.}


Now let’s think a minute. Remember the story I told you about the shearing of the sheep and then how it was slaughtered? Think about what we learned about Jesus. Do you think he argued with the soldiers? Did he fight with the thieves? Do you think he yanked his arms away and fought being nailed to the cross? I wonder if Jesus calmly laid on the wooden cross and placed His arms out for the soldiers to nail. Jesus totally trusted His Father. Although He knew that what was to happen would be awful and hard, Jesus chose to die anyway. At any time He could have “poofed” off the cross. But He didn’t. God’s Son died for you. Jesus’ behavior must have been different because even the Centurion at the cross stated, “Surely this was the Son of God.”

Application of The Passion of Jesus:

You are a sinner. I am a sinner. If we say we do not have sin, then we are deceiving ourselves. God can have nothing to do with sin because He is holy. What was it that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did? [Took Jesus off the cross and placed Him in the tomb.] Both of these men were of the Jewish Leadership. And the scripture tells us that Joseph was a disciple of Jesus. Both of these men knew the Jewish law. It was the time of Passover. It was the Friday before the Sabbath…yet they touched a dead body. This made them unclean. But it didn’t bother them, because I think they knew what had just happened. They knew their sin was no longer on them, but on Jesus. They were touching the unclean body that made THEM clean. They knew that loving their Lord was more important than the Law. They were not afraid of getting their hands dirty and serve the needs of Jesus.

Are we willing to get our hands dirty when serving others? Are we willing to step out from the angry crowd and tell others by our actions that we are disciples of Jesus? Nicodemus carried 100 pounds of spices in order to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. That was expensive and heavy. Are we willing to give up our money to help others? Are we willing to do hard work to help others?

How can you honor the death of Jesus this year? How can you be like Joseph and Nicodemus?

This lesson is linked to The Jesus Storybook Interactive Activities. Be sure to check out the other lessons! Click the image below.

Jesus Storybook

Other Activities and Resources for The Passion of Jesus:


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