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Holy Week Holiday Club: Thursday - A sad day

Thursday's material looks at the death of Jesus


Today we look at the death of Jesus, and although this may be difficult, it is obviously important. Remember to make sure the children know before they go home that Easter is a celebration of the resurrection.


Set out paper and paints on tables ready for when the children arrive. Each child puts a small amount of paint on one finger and makes some fingerprints on the paper. They can then draw arms, legs, faces, and so on to turn them into a crowd of people. Think later about whether the crowds ignored Jesus or watched him as he was taken through the streets carrying his cross. Do the children think they act differently in a crowd from on their own?


Mark 14.32–15.47

Use a video clip or read the story from a suitable Bible or The Lion Storyteller Bible.

Or use this version:

After the supper, Jesus had spent a long time in a garden, praying to God. Some of his friends stayed with him. Then soldiers came with Judas. They arrested Jesus and took him to the Roman governor. He ordered the soldiers to take Jesus away. They dressed Jesus up to make him look like a king, and then they made fun of him. They made him carry a heavy wooden cross to a place outside the city and there they nailed him to the cross.

When Jesus was dying, all his friends were very sad and very frightened. Most of them ran away. The ones who did stay could not do anything but wait with Jesus until all his pain had stopped. When we think of Jesus dying, we feel sad too, but we also know that he came alive again.


What do we do when our friends are in trouble? Do we laugh at them, or do we help them?


  • Make all sorts of crosses from card, paper or wood. Decorate them in lots of different ways. Make crosses from modelling wire and then thread on plastic beads. Bend the ends of each branch of the cross into a knot so that the beads do not fall off. Stand the crosses up in a lump of plasticine or playdough.
  • Make crosses from self-hardening clay and carve in a pattern like those on a Celtic cross.
  • A group of older children could make a life-size cross from cardboard boxes stuck or stapled together. They could paint it to look like wood. This will be useful for another activity tomorrow.
  • Children write their names in big writing on plain postcard-sized cards. They can decorate them in any way they want. Save them for the worship session.
  • Challenge older children to make a cross on a piece of card by gluing down one unbroken length of string.
  • Make small Easter gardens in polystyrene fruit trays. Use moss, gravel, twigs, and so on. Or a group of children can make a larger one together.
  • Fix wallpaper lining around the top and sides of a table,leaving a large hole in the overhang on one of the long sides. Paint it to look like a stone tomb. Put it where children can see it when they are gathered for worship. Decorate it with some branches, grasses or leaves and put an old round plastic patio table top in front like the stone. Tomorrow you will be able to roll the stone to one side to reveal the empty tomb.


  • Make up bags of things for children to feel. They should put their hand in the bag, find something and guess what it is just through touch.
  • Play musical statues. Children dance around but must be absolutely still when the music stops. Don't make children ‘out’ if they move or they will have nothing to do.
  • Several of the disciples hid when the soldiers took Jesus away. Have a ‘treasure hunt’ with the children searching for hidden items. Tell them what to look for. You could make this a team game, with the first team to find a certain number of items winning, or the team with the most items after a set amount of time.


Make displays of all the crosses. Give each child the name card they have made, then encourage them to sit quietly to get ready to pray. Use music or songs. One by one, they can come out and put their names on a background on the wall, or on the floor, in the shape of a cross.


Dear Jesus,
thank you for dying for us,
even though it hurt you.
We are sorry that we still hurt you sometimes and make you sad.
Thank you for loving us.


Copy these questions and give them to each child:

  • Do you think Jesus was frightened by what was happening to him?
  • What makes you frightened?

Remember that Jesus always knows when we are frightened and he is with us.


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