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The Passion of Christ (Children & Young People resources)

Holy Week resources suitable for children, young people and families, based on paintings by Nebiyu Assefa.

These striking pictures by Ethiopian artist Nebiyu Assefa tell the story of Jesus’ Passion in a distinctive and moving way, and we offer them as a resource to help children, young people and families reimagine Jesus’ journey to the cross and beyond.

 

Download the pictures (PDF or powerpoint) and use them as a static display, or a sequence of prayer stations, each with its own meditation, question to reflect on and prayer activity to do.

  • Invite families to do a prayer walk during Holy Week.
  • Use the resources as the basis of a children’s and/or young people’s activity session.
  • Hold a community outreach event in church on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or Holy Saturday.
  • Alternatively, give out the downloadable Family Sheet for people to do at home together.

Scroll to the end of the page to find links to all the PDF and powerpoint versions of the different resources.

 

1 Foot washing

based on John 13.1-15

A meditation

Look at the picture.
Jesus washes his disciples’ dusty feet.
He wants to show them that no one is more important than anyone else.
‘Do as I have done’, he says.

 

Talk together

• Who is God challenging you to serve today?

 

Prayer activity

Take a piece of string and quietly think of three people whom you could treat more kindly. Tie three knots in your string, one for each person, and take it away as a reminder to care for them.

 

2 The Last Supper

based on Luke 22.14-20

A meditation

Look at the picture.
Jesus has supper with his friends for the last time.
He takes bread and a cup of wine and holds them up.
‘This is my body – given for you.
This cup is my blood – poured out
for you.’


Talk together

• Why do we remember Jesus with bread and wine?


Prayer activity

Break off and eat a piece of bread and drink a small cup of grape juice.
Remember Jesus, as you eat and drink them.

 

3 The Garden of Gethsemane

based on Luke 22.39-46

A meditation

Look at the picture.
Jesus asks his disciples to stay awake while he goes to pray in the garden.
Jesus is upset. He feels alone. He knows he will die.


In the darkness, Jesus prays to his Father to save him, saying, ‘but please, not what I want, but what you want be done.’ Jesus comes back to find the disciples sleeping. He challenges them to ‘Get up and pray.’


Talk together

• What might Jesus want us to pray for?


Prayer activity

Listen to the song ‘Keep watch with me’ by Margaret Rizza, or the Taizé chant, ‘Stay here and keep watch with me’.

 

4 Peter denies Jesus

based on Luke 22.54-62

A meditation

Look at the picture.
What do you see? Which person is Peter? Where is Jesus?
Peter decides to follow Jesus and those who have arrested him into the high priest’s house.
How is he feeling?
Peter is recognised – he’s a disciple.
Why does he lie?
The cock crows.
How does he feel now?

 

Talk together

• What do you need forgiveness for?

 

Prayer activity

Take a small piece of play dough. Roll it into a ball and lay it on your hand. God has created us and we are perfect. Now put your thumb into it. Look at the messed up ball. We make mistakes and spoil what God has created. We need to say sorry. Think of things you need forgiveness for. Now make the ball into a heart, as a symbol of God’s forgiveness and the love he pours into us.

 

5 Jesus carries his cross

based on Luke 23.26-27

A meditation

Look at the picture.
Imagine that you are one of the people in the crowd.
You watch as Jesus carries his cross.
Then Simon is forced to carry it for him.
Jesus is hurt from the whippings he’s had.
The cross is heavy.
This is your Lord they are taking away.
This is the one you thought would save the world
He is going to die.

 

Talk together

• Who might feel hopeless today?

 

Prayer activity

Light a tealight and place it on a wooden cross. Think about Jesus knowing he was going to die.

 

6 Jesus is dead

based on Luke 23.44-56

A meditation

Look at the picture.
See Joseph of Arimathea ready to wrap Jesus’ body in a linen cloth.
See Mary and John in the background, crying.
See the wounds on Jesus’ feet and hands and side.
‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,’ Jesus had said.
He has cried his last. He has died.
Darkness has come on all the land.
Darkness in our hearts and in our minds.
Jesus is dead.
We do not understand.
A linen cloth will wrap his body.

 

Talk together

• How can we be like Jesus in the world?

 

Prayer activity

Make a pipe cleaner figure and wrap it in a strip of material.

 

7 The empty tomb

based on John 20.11-18

A meditation

Look at the picture.
Mary is outside the tomb crying.
She sees two angels.
‘Why are you weeping?’ they say.
‘They have taken my Lord.’
Mary sees the gardener.
‘Why are you weeping?’ he asks.
‘Tell me where he is’ she says.
Jesus calls her by her name: ‘Mary.’
Mary recognises that it is Jesus,
‘Teacher!’
Mary runs to tell the others,
‘I have seen the Lord!’

 

Talk together

• How can we share the good news of Jesus’ resurrection with others?

 

Prayer activity

Respond to God’s call by making a flag with a sticky label and a cocktail stick. Write your name on it and place your flag in a sand tray.

 

Artist Nebiyu Assefa’s paintings feature in Joanna Brown’s book Jesus, that interweaves the pictures with her own photos of the Holy Land to tell the story of Jesus. She links the life of Christ and his message of love and hope with her encounters with Israelis and Palestinians, and the paradoxes that she found. www.jozart.org

 

(See also The Passion of Christ - Adult & All Age resources)

 

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