This series framed around Lent and Holy Week will provide children and their families an opportunity to build upon the spiritual practice of prayer. Throughout the series, the children will create prayer beads as they learn through the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Each week, a bead will be added that connects prayer to the weekly message. This is especially important as we continue to face difficult days ahead with COVID-19. Families can create prayer times in their homes using the prayer beads. Thanks to Rev. Dr. Leanne Hadley for providing the instructions of how to make prayer beads for the children.
John 18:1-19:42 NIRV
18When Jesus had finished praying, he left with his disciples. They crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden. Jesus and his disciples went into it.
2Judas knew the place. He was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Jesus had often met in that place with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the garden. He was guiding a group of soldiers and some officials. The chief priests and the Pharisees had sent them. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons.
4Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him. So, he went out and asked them, “Who do you want?”
5“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. Judas, who was going to hand Jesus over, was standing there with them. 6When Jesus said, “I am he,” they moved back. Then they fell to the ground.
7He asked them again, “Who do you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8Jesus answered, “I told you I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken would come true. He had said, “I have not lost anyone God has given me.” (John 6:39)
10Simon Peter had a sword and pulled it out. He struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus.
11Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shouldn’t I drink the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”
12Then the group of soldiers, their commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They tied him up 13and brought him first to Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. 14Caiaphas had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Peter Says He Is Not Jesus’ Disciple
15Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. The high priest knew the other disciple. So that disciple went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. 16But Peter had to wait outside by the door. The other disciple came back. He was the one the high priest knew. He spoke to the servant woman who was on duty there. Then he brought Peter in.
17She asked Peter, “You aren’t one of Jesus’ disciples too, are you?”
“I am not,” he replied.
18It was cold. The slaves and officials stood around a fire. They had made it to keep warm. Peter was also standing with them. He was warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
19Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus. He asked him about his disciples and his teaching.
20“I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I didn’t say anything in secret. 21Why question me? Ask the people who heard me. They certainly know what I said.”
22When Jesus said that one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this any way to answer the high priest?” he asked.
23“Have I said something wrong?” Jesus replied. “If I have, then tell everyone what it was. But if I spoke the truth, why did you hit me?” 24Annas sent him, tied up, to Caiaphas, the high priest.
Peter Again Says He Is Not Jesus’ Disciple
25Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself by the fire. So, they asked him, “You aren’t one of Jesus’ disciples too, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
26One of the high priest’s slaves was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off. He said to Peter, “Didn’t I see you with Jesus in the garden?” 27Again Peter said no. At that exact moment a rooster began to crow.
Jesus Is Brought to Pilate
28Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning. The Jewish leaders did not want to be made “unclean.” They wanted to be able to eat the Passover meal. So, they did not enter the palace. 29Pilate came out to them. He asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
30“He has committed crimes,” they replied. “If he hadn’t, we would not have handed him over to you.”
31Pilate said, “Take him yourselves. Judge him by your own law.”
“But we don’t have the right to put anyone to death,” they complained. 32This happened so that what Jesus said about how he was going to die would come true.
33Then Pilate went back inside the palace. He ordered Jesus to be brought to him. Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34“Is that your own idea?” Jesus asked. “Or did others talk to you about me?”
35“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
36Jesus said, “My kingdom is not from this world. If it were, those who serve me would fight. They would try to keep the Jewish leaders from arresting me. My kingdom is from another place.”
37“So you are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “you say that I am a king. In fact, that’s the reason I was born. I was born and came into the world to be a witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me.”
38“What is truth?” Pilate replied. Then Pilate went out again to the Jews gathered there. He said, “I find no basis for any charge against him. 39But you have a practice at Passover time. At that time, you ask me to set one prisoner free for you. Do you want me to set ‘the king of the Jews’ free?”
40They shouted back, “No! Not him! Give us Barabbas!” Barabbas had taken part in an armed struggle against the country’s rulers.
Jesus Is Sentenced to Be Crucified
19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. 2The soldiers twisted thorns together to make a crown. They put it on Jesus’ head. Then they put a purple robe on him. 3They went up to him again and again. They kept saying, “We honor you, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
4Once more Pilate came out. He said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing Jesus out to you. I want to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Then Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. I myself find no basis for a charge against him.”
7The Jewish leaders replied, “We have a law. That law says he must die. He claimed to be the Son of God.”
8When Pilate heard that, he was even more afraid. 9He went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus. But Jesus did not answer him. 10“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you understand? I have the power to set you free or to nail you to a cross.”
11Jesus answered, “You were given power from heaven. If you weren’t, you would have no power over me. So, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
12From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free. But the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend! Anyone who claims to be a king is against Caesar!”
13When Pilate heard that, he brought Jesus out. Pilate sat down on the judge’s seat. It was at a place called the Stone Walkway. In the Aramaic language it was called Gabbatha. 14It was about noon on Preparation Day in Passover Week.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
15But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Should I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
16Finally, Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be nailed to a cross.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
So, the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17He had to carry his own cross. He went out to a place called the Skull. In the Aramaic language it was called Golgotha. 18There they nailed Jesus to the cross. Two other men were crucified with him. One was on each side of him. Jesus was in the middle.
19Pilate had a notice prepared. It was fastened to the cross. It read,
Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.
20Many of the Jews read the sign. That’s because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. And the sign was written in the Aramaic, Latin, and Greek languages. 21The chief priests of the Jews argued with Pilate. They said, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews.’ Write that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
22Pilate answered, “I have written what I have written.”
23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes. They divided them into four parts. Each soldier got one part. All that was left was Jesus’ long, inner robe. It did not have any seams. It was made out of one piece of cloth from top to bottom.
24“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s cast lots to see who will get it.”
This happened so that Scripture would come true. It says,
“They divided up my clothes among them.
They cast lots for what I was wearing.” (Psalm 22:18)
So that is what the soldiers did.
25Jesus’ mother stood near his cross. So did his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26Jesus saw his mother there. He also saw the disciple he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.
28Later, Jesus knew that everything had now been finished. He also knew that what Scripture said must come true. So, he said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar of wine vinegar was there. So, they soaked a sponge in it. They put the sponge on the stem of a hyssop plant. Then they lifted it up to Jesus’ lips. 30After Jesus drank, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died.
31It was Preparation Day. The next day would be a special Sabbath day. The Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath day. So, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus. Then they broke the legs of the other man. 33But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead. So, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers stuck his spear into Jesus’ side. Right away, blood and water flowed out. 35The man who saw it has been a witness about it. And what he has said is true. He knows that he tells the truth. He is a witness so that you also may believe. 36These things happened in order that Scripture would come true. It says, “Not one of his bones will be broken.” (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20) 37Scripture also says, “They will look to the one they have pierced.” (Zechariah 12:10)
Jesus Is Buried
38Later Joseph asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Joseph was from the town of Arimathea. He was a follower of Jesus. But he followed Jesus secretly because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. After Pilate gave him permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39Nicodemus went with Joseph. He was the man who had earlier visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought some mixed spices that weighed about 75 pounds. 40The two men took Jesus’ body. They wrapped it in strips of linen cloth, along with the spices. That was the way the Jews buried people. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden. A new tomb was there. No one had ever been put in it before. 42That day was the Jewish Preparation Day, and the tomb was nearby. So, they placed Jesus there.
- Thin ribbon
- Charm in shape of cross.
Through this season of Lent, we have continued to learn the prayer that Jesus taught us. We have learned many things about our relationship with God. We have learned how to have a better prayer life. This is known as a spiritual discipline. When we pray, we grow closer to God and the life that God wants for us.
Now we are here on Good Friday. A lot has happened in Jesus’ journey toward the cross. (Show the children the cross pendant on your prayer beads.) A lot has happened to us as well, as we have learned sentence by sentence the power of the Lord’s Prayer.
Good Friday is a very dark and sad day. Why do you think this day is called Good Friday? What is good about this day? (Allow children to answer.) We normally wear black to represent the day that Jesus died on the cross. Our Scripture passage today tells us about Jesus’ arrest in the garden, Peter denying him, the high priests questioning him, Pilate placing him in prison, and Jesus being crucified and buried. This is a very upsetting and sad day. But thankfully, the story of God’s love for us doesn’t end on Friday.
Can you imagine the pain that Jesus went through that day? I can imagine that as he looked out on those who had gathered around the foot of the cross, he remembered all the pain that he had experienced. He saw some of the disciples. He saw his mother and the other women who had been with him during his ministry. He saw the soldiers who had pounded the nails. And he loved each one. With all he went through, Jesus still had love and concern for others in need. He remembered all the pain, all the suffering, was for them. Those who would turn to him and ask forgiveness for their sins would be forgiven. Jesus’ death on the cross meant they wouldn’t have to die for their sins.
Jesus hung on that cross in agony all day. Late in the afternoon, he yelled out in pain; then said in a loud voice, “It is finished.” And he died. Jesus died a terrible death, so we could be saved and have eternal life in heaven.
The Lord’s Prayer ends with “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.” That phrase reminds us that God is powerful. He will always be powerful, and we want to serve and honor God with everything and anything we do. The Lord’s Prayer is an excellent way to deepen our relationship with God. We can always say the prayer that Jesus taught us if we are unsure of the words or topics to pray about. We might pray it just like this, or maybe we can use our own words and phrases. But isn’t it great that God helps us when we don’t know what to say? God wants to hear from us all the time. We can pray anywhere and everywhere. Never forget that God loves us and hears us no matter what!
Let’s say the entire Lord’s Prayer as I touch each prayer bead and end the prayer with my finger on the cross to remind us of this Good Friday. (Together in unison with children/entire congregation.)
(This week, touch each bead as you recite the entire Lord’s Prayer and conclude by touching the cross).
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
From the Ritual of the Former Evangelical United Brethren Church, United Methodist Hymnal, 896