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Jesus Died on the Cross

The following is a list of Bible Truths in Matthew 27:11-66, the story of Jesus dying on the cross.

  1. Jesus was a righteous man who did nothing wrong.  Matthew 27:19, 23.
  2. Jesus suffered pain and humiliation.  Matthew 27:26, 28-30, 39-44, 49.
  3. Jesus died on the cross.  Matthew 27:35, 50.
  4. Jesus was crucified not for doing anything wrong, but for who he claimed to be.  Matthew 27:11.

The following Background Information is helpful in understanding the story.

Jesus is king of all heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18).  Those who do not presently believe that Jesus is King will be convinced when He comes again to earth (Revelation 19:16).  See Peter Confessed That Jesus Is The Messiah where Jesus says Peter was blessed because God revealed to Peter who Jesus was.

The following activities can be used to teach the Bible story and truths.

Bible Story Activities.
The Suffering and Humiliation of Jesus.  Use this activity to help the older children understand that Jesus really suffered pain and humiliation when he died on the cross.
If you have a leather whip, show it to the children and explain that Jesus was flogged with a whip.  Matthew 27:26.
Make a crown of thorns using limbs from a rose bush.  Show the crown to the children and explain that the Romans put a crown of thorns on Jesus' head.  Matthew 27:29.
Point out that the Roman soldiers spit on Jesus.  Matthew 27:30.
If you have a cane pole or wooden pole, show it to the children and explain that the Roman soldiers hit Jesus on the head with a staff.  Matthew 27:30.
Show the children long nails (you can get nails about 6" long at the local hardware store) and explain that the Romans nailed Jesus to the cross with nails about this long.  John 20:25.
The people insulted and made fun of Jesus.  Matthew 27:29, 39-44, 49.
Who is responsible for the death of Jesus?  Use this activity to help the children understand that all sinners are responsible for the death of Jesus.
Ask the children who is responsible for the death of Jesus.
Read the following verses to find the suspects, who are Judas, the high priest, the Sanhedrin, the chief priests and elders, the crowd, Pilate, all sinners.  Write the names of the suspects on the board as the verses are read.
Matthew 26:49-50 - Judas betrays Jesus.
Mark 14:55-65 - The high priest and the Sanhedrin condemn Jesus to death.
Matthew 27:20 - The chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to ask that Jesus be executed.
Matthew 27:22 - The crowd said to crucify Jesus.
Mark 15:15 - Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.
1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8 - Jesus died for all sinners.
Explain that all of the suspects are responsible for the death of Jesus.
Sin and its Consequences.  Use this activity to help the children understand that, since even the smallest sins make a person unacceptable to God, Jesus died for our sins so we could have eternal life with God.

Remind the children that God is free from anything wicked or evil.

God is holy.  Leviticus 11:44-45.  God is absolutely pure and good.

God is righteous.  Psalm 19:7-9; Jeremiah 9:24.  God's actions and law are always perfect just like His nature or character.

God is just.  Jeremiah 9:24; Job 34:12.  God fairly rewards or punishes a person's actions.

God rejects sin.  Isaiah 59:2.  Sin makes a person unacceptable to God.  God does not allow any sin into heaven.  Revelation 21:27.

Remind the children that God loves us.  1 John 4:16.

God's gifts are based on grace.  Ephesians 2:7-9.  God meets the needs of His people based on His goodness, not based on what they deserve.

God is patient.  Exodus 34:6.  God will not abandon a person who makes a mistake and will forgive a person who asks for forgiveness and repents.

Ask the children which of the following sins would make a person unacceptable to God..

A lady murders a man who made her mad.

A bank robber stole $5 million from the bank.

A second grade boy steals a piece of gum from the grocery store.

A third grade girl disobeys her mom by watching a "R" rated movie.

A high school boy uses God's name in vain all the time.

A first grade girl uses God's name in vain one time.

A fourth grade boy got mud on the kitchen floor and said his brother did it.

A high school girl steals a car.

A first grade boy lies when his mother asks how many cookies he ate.

A fifth grade girl is jealous of her best friend's new stereo system.

All sins, regardless of how big or how small, make a person unacceptable to God.  Matthew 5:20; James 2:10.

Even the smallest sins deserve serious consequences.

One of the consequences of our sins is that Jesus died for our sins so we could have an eternal life with God.

However, before a person can have eternal life with God, that person must trust in Jesus as Savior and repent from a sinful life.

Punishment Sharing Agreement.  Use this activity to help the students understand that Jesus, having never sinned, took on himself all of our sins and all the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross.
Circulate the Punishment Sharing Agreement.
Explain that a person who signs the agreement is agreeing to take the punishment for any wrong acts done during the week that person signs up for by anyone who signs this agreement.
For example, Billy agrees to take the punishment for Week 1.  Billy does no wrong during Week 1.  But Sue lies to her mother.  Her punishment is no TV for a week.  Since Billy agreed to take the punishment for Week 1, Billy cannot watch TV for that week, but Sue can.
After everyone has an opportunity to sign the agreement, explain that this is similar to Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins.

Brain Teasers

Match the Facts - The Death of Jesus
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