Gather around the table or cozy up on the couch and read this week’s part of The Big God Story.
All you’ll need is a Bible – you can use a physical copy, biblegateway.com, or the YouVersion app on your phone. Choose a translation that’s easy for kids to understand – the NIV is good, but the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) is probably even better.
After you read, use the discussion questions as a guide to have a conversation.
To end your time together, pray a blessing over your child. (You can use the one below or make up your own!)
The Big God Story:
Today’s part of The Big God Story will be like reading a newspaper! We’ve got six different “articles” we’re going to read together. If your child is old enough, have him or her read each headline as you get to it. If you have multiple children, have them take turns reading the headlines.
“JESUS ARRESTED WHILE DISCIPLES SLEEP ON THE JOB”
The night of Passover, Jesus and his disciples went to a garden to talk to God. There Jesus fell to his knees and prayed. Open your Bible and read Luke 22:39-42. Jesus prayed this because he wrestled with knowing he was going to die. Still, he was willing to do whatever God asked him to do. He was willing to die for our sins on the cross because Jesus loves you and me.
After hours of prayer, Jesus went back to his disciples, who had fallen asleep when they were supposed to be keeping watch. How do you think this made Jesus feel? Invite your child to respond. He probably felt sad. Read Luke 22:46.
“JESUS BETRAYED BY HIS OWN”
Suddenly, a crowd entered the garden carrying torches and weapons. Leading the way was Judas. Do you remember who Judas was? Invite your child to respond. Judas was the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Judas walked to Jesus and pointed him out to the officials.
The disciples knew Jesus was going to be arrested and asked if they should start fighting. Read Luke 22:49-53. Jesus wasn’t going to fight his arrest. After this, the soldiers took Jesus to the home of the high priest and began to mock and beat him.
“JESUS DISOWNED BY HIS OWN DISCIPLE THREE TIMES”
Peter, Jesus’ disciple, followed as they took Jesus away. He went to the home of the high priest where three different people asked if he was one of Jesus’ followers. Three times Peter denied Jesus. Then a rooster crowed and reminded Peter that Jesus had predicted Peter would deny him. Read Luke 22:61-62.
“INNOCENT MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH”
The next morning, the religious leaders questioned Jesus. When he told them he was the Son of God, the leaders were outraged. They sent Jesus before Pilate, the Roman governor, because no one could be put to death without the approval of the Roman government.
Pilate found Jesus to be innocent. But the religious leaders insisted he be charged, so Pilate sent him to Herod, the king of the region. But Herod didn’t find Jesus guilty of any crime and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate said… Read Luke 23:22. But the people wanted to kill Jesus. They shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Finally, Pilate agreed: Jesus would be put to death. Why did Jesus go through all of this? Invite your child to respond. Jesus loves you and me.
“KING OF JEWS IS CRUCIFIED”
Soldiers beat Jesus severely and put a crown of thorns on his head. They forced Jesus to carry a giant wooden cross on his back. These crosses were very heavy and weighed about 300 pounds! Because Jesus was weak after being beaten, he was unable to carry the cross, so the soldiers pulled a man named Simon from the crowd to carry it for him.
At the hill where Jesus would die, the soldiers nailed his hands and feet to the cross. The soldiers began to take Jesus’ clothes and cast dice for them. Some shouted insults and mocked Him: “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One” (Luke 23:35) and “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself”(Luke 23:37). How do you think Jesus responded to the people’s insults? Invite your child to respond.
Jesus responded in a very loving way. There he was, hanging from the cross, humiliated and dying, and Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were torturing him (Luke 23:34). Why do you think Jesus asked God to forgive them? Invite your child to respond.
That’s right–because Jesus loved them. His love is so great. Jesus loves you and me as well.
“JESUS DIES SO WE MIGHT LIVE”
Later that day, the sun stopped shining, and darkness filled the land. Jesus cried out to God, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” and breathed his last breath (Luke 23:44-46).
Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross. He was an innocent man, but he chose to endure the cross so that those who believe in him would no longer be separated from God by their sins. That includes you and me. Jesus loves you and me. We sinners deserve to die, but Jesus died in our place in order to make it possible for us to live with him forever! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life.” Jesus chose to die for us because he loves us so much. Because of his sacrifice, we’re invited to spend eternity with him. If you’re willing, share a personal story about when you put your faith in Jesus and experienced his love for you.
– Who do you love very much? Why do you love that person?
– Why did Jesus go to the garden to pray?
– How do you think Jesus felt when he was praying in the garden?
– What do you think Jesus meant when he prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done”?
– Why did people want Jesus to die?
– Why did Jesus ask his Father to forgive those who hurt him?
– How easy or difficult is it for you to love your enemies?- How does it make you feel to know Jesus loves you so much that he died for you?
Look your child in the eyes, say their name, and then speak this blessing to them: May you know that God loves you, that he’s always with you, and may you become all that he’s created you to be. May you love God with your whole heart for your whole life.