Easter Activity: Day 3

Preparation: Cut 14 strips of paper and divide them into two groups. Each strip of paper will contain one word.  On the 1st group of words write: exposed, vulnerable, scared, terrified, weak, alone and humiliated. On the second group write: peaceful, strong, protected, beloved, confident, covered and worthy. (Use a different colored ink for each group)
Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28
“The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped Him and dressed Him in a red robe.” The Message
Also, Isaiah 53:3-7 and Hebrews 2:11-15
Background: Jesus has been arrested and brought before Pilate. Pilate doesn’t think Jesus has done anything wrong, but the Jewish people insist that Jesus be crucified. Pilate gives in to the crowds and hands Jesus over to the soldiers. The soldiers don’t just want to whip and crucify Jesus, they also decide to humiliate Him. So they take His clothes, leaving Him naked, and then place a royal robe on Him, mocking His role as the Prince of Heaven. They also aren’t content to mock Jesus amongst themselves; they invite the whole brigade in so that everyone can watch and participate in Jesus’ humiliation.
Think about this: Jesus – bloody, naked, alone, while dozens of soldiers taunt Him. It’s stomach turning.
And we wonder, why do the soldiers feel that they need to shame and mock Jesus along with punishing Him?
And why does Jesus take it?
When we shame and mock others or ourselves, we do it because we feel ashamed and unworthy and it makes us angry. Those soldiers more than likely, didn’t know Jesus personally.They didn’t hate Jesus – He had done nothing to them. They had no reason to want to see Him suffer more. They were the ones suffering and they took it out on Jesus. Jesus knew that.  God the Father knew that.
And God knew that the only way to make our relationship right with Him and each other was to have Jesus be our sacrifice. Without the covering of Jesus’ blood we would be forever alone, sin covered, feeling naked, weak, ashamed, angry and unworthy.
Jesus offered Himself as our sacrifice because He chose to obey His Father in Heaven. He chose to love us. He chose to give us a new identity as His brothers and sisters, as children of God – that we might be unashamed before everyone.
Activity: Spread out the “negative word” strips of paper. Read them out loud. Think about a time when you have felt those ways and think about Jesus standing in your place. Now, spread out the “joyful word” strips. Read them out loud and match them up with their opposites. Give thanks that because of Jesus, we now belong to the second group forever. Ask Jesus to receive what He says is true about you and to stand with Him. Use the papers to make an Easter collage as a reminder.
Songs: No longer Slaves / No Shame / Jesus, You’re Beautiful (Sara Groves)