On April 10, our elementary students listened to and reflected on the Easter story. Stations displayed symbols of Passion Week, and students walked as a group from station to station in what is called a Passion Walk. Fifth graders read scripture passages, the group sang songs at each station, and fourth graders led the procession with drums.
Triumphal Entry (donkey, palm fronds)
Two of Jesus’ friends went to look for a donkey. Jesus had told them just where to find it. It would be tied right by the village gate. It was going to be a special donkey. Jesus was going to ride on it. When the friends found the donkey, they took it to Jesus.
They put their coats on its back, and Jesus got on. When the people saw Jesus coming, they began to shout with joy. “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.” Some people cut branches off the palm trees.
They laid the branches on the road. Other people spread their coats on the road. And they all praised God in loud voices for the wonderful things Jesus had done. Jesus rode to the big city of Jerusalem. The crowds followed him. The leaders of the people were angry. “See how all the people follow Jesus now? They do not follow us anymore. We must get rid of Jesus,” they said.
Last Supper (pitcher, bowl, towel)
Jesus knew that not everyone liked him. He knew the leaders were angry with him. But, Jesus still had his special friends: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Simon, Matthew, James, Thomas, Thaddeus and Judas. They had been his friends for a long time. On the night of Passover, they all got together for dinner in the upper room.
While they were eating, Jesus got up. He put a towel around his waist. He poured water into a large bowl. Then he began to wash his disciples’ feet. “I served you by washing your feet,” said Jesus. “You also must serve others. I am your Lord and Teacher. If I can be kind and help you, then you can be kind and help each other.” Then Jesus and his friends ate supper together.
“One of you is planning to do something bad to me,” Jesus said. “Who is it?” asked John. Jesus said, “It is the one I give bread to.” Then he gave a piece of bread to Judas. “Go on,” Jesus told him. “Do what you are planning to do.” Judas got up and left. Only Judas and Jesus knew what Judas’ bad idea was.
Then Jesus gave thanks, and broke some bread. He gave it to his disciples. “This is my body,” Jesus said. “My body will be broken for you. Then I want you to break bread together and remember me.” Next he took a cup of wine and gave thanks. He shared this with his friends, too. “This cup is a new promise. When I die, my blood will be poured out for you. Then I want you to drink the cup together and remember me.”
Then Jesus said, “I will not be with you much longer. I have to leave. But do not worry. Do not be afraid. I will come back. You are my friends. Love each other as I love you.”
In the Garden (pieces of silver, box)
It was night. Jesus took his friends to a garden. There, Jesus prayed to God. “Father, you can do anything,” he prayed. “Take this suffering away. But do what you want, not what I want.” An angel came to Jesus to help him. And there, Judas carried out his bad idea.
He knew that the leaders were angry with Jesus. Judas wanted money more than anything. So he told the leaders that he would show them where Jesus was if they would pay him some money. He showed them where Jesus was. And they paid him 30 pieces of silver.
Jesus knew this would happen. And it was all right. He went with the soldiers. You see, it was time for Jesus to die. God had planned it long ago. Jesus knew it would happen when he came to the earth. He came to take the punishment for all the wrong things anybody had ever done, or ever would do.
He knew that the leaders would not like what he was doing and preaching. And now it was time. The soldiers took him to the leaders. The leaders did not believe he was God’s Son. They said, “He must die, because h calls himself the Son of God.”
The Crucifixion (crosses, purple scarf)
The leaders knew he must die, so they put a purple robe on him. They put a crown of thorns on his head. Making fun of him, they said, “Here is the kind.” Then Jesus had to carry a heavy wooden cross to a hill called Calvary. A crowd followed him. On the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.”
Two robbers hung on crosses beside Jesus. “Jesus remember me when you are king,” said one. Today you will be with me in my heavenly kingdom,” Jesus told him.
Then darkness covered the whole earth. Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, I give myself to you!” And Jesus died. At that moment, the temple curtain in Jerusalem ripped in half. The earth shook and rocks split. The soldiers at the cross said, “Surely he was the Son of God!”. It was a sad day for Jesus’ friends.
After Jesus died, a rich man named Joseph took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in clean linen cloths. He put it in a special tomb. He rolled a huge stone over the opening of the tomb to close it tight. The leaders set guards to watch the cave to make sure no one took Jesus’ body.
The Resurrection (flowers, white cloth)
But early on the first day of the week there was an earthquake. An angel came from heaven and rolled the stone away. When the guards saw him, they shook with fear and fell down. One of Jesus’ friends named Mary Magdalene and some other women came to the cave-tomb early that morning. They carried sweet-smelling spices to place around Jesus’ body. “How will we get into the tomb?” asked one of the women. “Who will roll the stone away?”
Then she saw the stone was not in front of it so she went in. She saw an angel there. “Jesus is not here,” the angel said. “He is alive! Go tell his friends that they will get to see him again!” Mary was not sad anymore. Jesus was not dead. He was alive! She ran back to tell the wonderful news. At first, Jesus’ disciples did not believe her. But she was right! Jesus did come back to see them. He really was alive!