Easter Activity: Day 2

Supplies: Egg # 2 – 3 Dimes to Represent 30 Pieces of Silver

Matthew 26:14-16
Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

 

Luke 22:39-53 New Living Translation (NLT)

39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
47 But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. 48 But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.
51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 53 Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”
 
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Unfortunately, we have all been on both ends of betrayal, or at least the disappointment by and of people. Life is messy because people are involved and we as people fall for Satan’s lies far too often. The sad thing is that when you place the importance of things, whatever those things may be (power, money, toys, experiences, etc.) over people, the trust that we build in relationships is broken and takes much time to rebuild – and can only be done with God’s help.
There is beauty in the betrayal of Jesus – we call it MERCY and GRACE. He knew that the sin of betrayal was a part of the big plan. As ugly as Judas’s actions were, Jesus was even willing to die for him. The tragic thing is that Judas never realized the depth of Jesus’s love to grab hold of it and let it change him.
 
The act of unforgiveness holds us as slaves. We hold onto it (even toward ourselves), and it stews. Forgiving doesn’t mean that the wrong didn’t occur; it just means that you are taking a stand against being held hostage to it, and letting it drive us to unthinkable actions. Jesus knew that we all would be in situations that would make us feel this way and He gave us the perfect example in how to get beyond the hurt. We are not perfect, but He certainly was. During His ultimate sacrifice, He wasn’t just forgiving Judas’s wrongdoing – He was covering all the past AND future betrayals of you and I as well with His perfect MERCY and GRACE.
 
Is our relationship with Jesus more important than (fill in the blank)? Let’s be honest with ourselves and when we feel those emotions rising up in us, ask the question, “What am I letting be more important than Jesus in my life?”
 
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Idea for Discussion: Make sure that your children understand the difference between Mercy and Grace.
Grace: the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. There was nothing we could do to earn this salvation yourselves.
Mercy: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
 
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Here is a short cartoon depiction of how Luke 22:39-53 plays out for our younger kids. Be warned that it does show the cutting off of the ear, but it isn’t gruesome.
 
 
Here are some songs that remind us of how unfailing, faithful, and loyal God is to us. Be blessed!

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Easter Activity: Day 1

 
SUPPLIES: some kind of bread or crackers and juice, Bible, Egg #1
 
VERSE: “As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave them to the disciples saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” Matthew 26:26

Background Scripture: Exodus 12:21-30, the original Passover.

(Depending on the age and attention span of those you are with, discuss the first Passover and its importance in understanding the crucifixion of Jesus.)
 
Before the Israelites left Egypt, God told them their deliverance was coming-first, in the angel of death “passing over” all those who had the blood of a lamb on their doorways and sparing their sons and livestock and second, in the Israelites “passing through” the Red Sea to safety-delivered from their enemies. The Israelites were to travel yearly to Jerusalem to remind themselves of God’s salvation, provision and protection and to offer sacrifice. The death of Jesus comes deliberately during this week of remembrance and thanksgiving as the people are gathered in Jerusalem. His death is the beginning of a new covenant, one that will require no further sacrifice or pilgrimages to Jerusalem. His sacrifice-body and blood-will cover all people, everywhere who call on Him, for all time. It is permanent and binding-not ever removed or shaken, and it destroys the power and stain of sin.
 
THIS is what Jesus asks His disciples and us to remember and celebrate. With deep thankfulness and gratitude. As we walk toward Easter, let us begin by pausing and remembering.
 
Suggested Activity: give each person who wishes to participate whatever “bread” and “juice” you have. Before eating together, remember the body and blood of Jesus given-the final sacrifice. Recount how His death and resurrection have changed you personally. Meditate on His offering. And then eat with gladness and thanksgiving (if so inclined, conclude your time with a “Jesus dance party”).
 
Additional Readings for this Week: Psalms 115-118 which would have been sung/recited during Passover week.
 
Suggested Songs: “Forever” / “Here Now (Madness)” /  “Defender”

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