Today Christians throughout the world remember Jesus’ death. Jesus was arrested late Thursday night, remained in custody until Friday morning, and then on Friday afternoon, after His trial, He was crucified. Before sundown, He was removed from the cross and buried in the tomb of a man named Joseph of Arimathea. Christ followers remembered well what happened while Jesus was on the cross since there were many eyewitnesses that day. Jesus spoke numerous words and each has been studied carefully. Perhaps the most famous words are those reported by Luke: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 ESV). This is a fulfillment of His frequent teaching: “I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’” (Matthew 5:44 ESV). On the cross, He forgave and loved even those who were hostile to Him
We know as Christians, we should love our enemies as Jesus did. But there is more here. Not infrequently, we know we are often disgruntled disciples, angry with God because of something that has happened and we wonder if these attitudes separate us from Jesus’ love. Jesus forgave those who crucified him. He does the same for us.
Jesus was crucified on the cross to take away the sins of the world. His death made it possible for us to not get what we deserve. How amazing is that? But, why do we call it “Good Friday?” On that day, it would have been hard to see the good in anything, or the plan that God had for us all. Jesus, the Messiah, had just been crucified like a criminal! What in the world can be so good about a day in which all hope looked lost and the Messiah died? It must have been a devastating day for the disciples and friends of Jesus. But, the story is not finished yet. Our hope did not die on the cross that day. There is victory to come!
Read aloud Mark 15:22-39 with your family
*Use an easy to read version such as NIV or NLT. Note that if you have younger children you may want to read this out of a children’s bible such as The Beginner’s Bible. The story is simplified for their ease of understanding.
Parents, instead of asking a lot of questions of your children. Use this time to talk about Jesus’ crucifixion and what that means for us as Christians. Allow them to ask questions, don’t be afraid to not have the right answer (if you don’t know, be honest with your son/daughter, but go look for the answers). Feel free to share your thoughts about the crucifixion and what it means to you. Here’s an example of how one mom explained the crucifixion to her kids.
Prayer: During this prayer time, I encourage you to pray and give thanks to God for sending his son to die on the cross for us. Use this prayer time to pray for non-believers, if there are some in your family, lift them up to God together. Ask God to show you, how your family should live in response to Christ’s work on the cross.
Activity #1: You’ll need two horseshoe nails or carpenter’s nails, light gauge wire, and a shoelace for each child. Help children lay their nails across each other like a cross, then start wrapping the wire around the point where the nails intersect to bind the nails into a cross. Criss-cross the wire in the center to help hold the nails in place. While you are doing all of this, have the kids recall an event of the Crucifixion with each wrap. Wrap more wire around the top and make a loop to hold the shoelace. Your kids can wear these simple necklaces to help them remember what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Activity #2: Use this cross coloring page to help your kids remember that Jesus died for them. If they need it, help them write their names on the two blank lines in the sentence that says “Jesus loved ________ so much He died for _________.” Talk with them about how Jesus loved them so much that He wanted to save them from their sin.
Remember to color the Good Friday circle to attach to your Palm Branch -Holy Week Mobile.
Please share with us your stories and photos this week as we worship and thank God together for the priceless gift of Jesus.
Connect with us: Share your Family Night photos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @vistachurches @vistadublin @vistaworthington #talkpraydo #vistafamilies