Easter Story
for Older Children

Did you know....

that Jesus came to teach us how God wants us to live with each other and to show us that there is life after death?

This is the Easter story of the crucifixion of Jesus.

The Pharisees were very strict religious men who discouraged other people from believing in God. When they heard that Jesus claimed to be the Saviour of all people, they became angry. They were afraid that everyone would believe in Jesus and that the Romans would destroy their whole nation -- and so, they plotted to kill Jesus.

The feast of Passover was approaching and Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem.  He told His twelve disciples, “When we reach the city, my enemies will arrest me and condemn me to death. They will torture me and nail me to a cross until I die. Three days later, however, I will rise from the dead.”

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, many people were happy and shouted “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” They spread palm branches on the road.

When the people in Jerusalem asked who this man was, the crowds answered, “This is the prophet Jesus from the town of Nazareth. He is the Son of God.”

Jesus Palm Sunday

Meanwhile, the priests and the Pharisees were plotting ways of capturing and killing Jesus, but they were afraid of the people because most of the people loved Jesus and His teachings, and they didn’t want to cause a riot amongst his followers.

Satan made his way into Jesus’ disciple Judas and he turned evil. Judas made a deal with the high priest named Caiaphas. For thirty pieces of silver, Judas promised to betray Jesus to those wishing to harm him. 

On the day of the Passover, Jesus sat at a table surrounded by His disciples. He took a loaf of bread, asked for God's blessing on it, broke it into pieces and gave it to the disciples saying, "Take it and eat it, for this is my body." Then He took a cup of wine, gave thanks and shared it with the disciples saying, "Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which seals the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many." Jesus also said, the next time they would have wine together, it would be in God’s heaven.

Jesus bread

After the Passover supper, Jesus walked with his disciples to the Mount of Olives to a grove called Gethsemane. He told the disciples to sit while he went ahead to pray. 

Jesus Gethsemane

Jesus felt sad about what was going to happen, and so he prayed to God and said, “Father, please don't let me suffer. I want your will, not mine.” When he returned to the disciples, he found that they had all fallen asleep. Three times Jesus prayed, saying it was God's decision as to what was going to happen. Each time the disciples had fallen asleep.

Jesus praying

Soon came the temple guards with swords and clubs and surrounded Jesus and His disciples. The soldiers did not know which one was Jesus, so Judas went over and said, "Greetings Teacher" and then kissed Jesus to show the guards who to arrest.

One disciple tried to defend Jesus with a sword, but Jesus said to him, "Put away your sword. If I wished to go free, I could call an army of angels to fight for me. I am ready to give up my life according to God's plan."

Judas betrays Jesus

Jesus was taken to the home of Caiaphas where the teachers of religious law and other leaders had gathered. Caiaphas declared Jesus to be guilty since Jesus said that he was the Son of God and would sit at God's right hand in the place of power coming back on the clouds of heaven.

The priests were furious and said that Jesus must die. 

High Priest Jesus

 Jesus was next taken to the palace of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Pilate believed that Jesus was innocent, but the angry crowd shouted, “Kill him!”. The priests demanded that Jesus be killed.  

Jesus Pilate

Judas, who had betrayed Jesus realized that Jesus had been condemed to die. He felt sorry for what he had done and took the thirty pieces of silver back to the priests saying, "I have sinned for I have betrayed an innocent man." Judas felt so guilty for what he had done that he went and hung himself.

It was the custom during Passover celebration to release one prisoner. A very bad man named Barabbas was also a prisoner. Pilate did not want to hurt Jesus, so he gave the people a choice to free one of the prisoners hoping they would pick Jesus. “Will you release Barabbas or Jesus?” Pilate asked. The high priest turned the people against Jesus and they answered back to release Barabbas. They began to shout, "Crucify Jesus!"  

Pontius Pilate did not know what to do. "What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" he asked. "Crucify him!" came the reply from the people. The crowd was getting out of control. Pontius didn't want to make a decision so he said to the crowd, "I am innocent of this man's blood. It is your responsibility." The crowd answered, "His blood be on us and our children."

Jesus Pontius Pilate

Pilate released Barabbas and handed over Jesus to be flogged and crucified.  Jesus was given to the Roman soldiers who beat Him, put a crown of thorns upon His head and made Him carry a big wooden cross through the streets of Jerusalem to a hilltop named Golgotha.

Jesus soldiers

The Roman soldiers made Jesus carry His own cross.
Two criminals sentenced to death by crucifixion were forced to do the same. They were led out of the city to be crucified. A large crowd followed, including women who mourned and wailed for Jesus.

Jesus cross

When they got to the top of the hill, the soldiers hammered nails into Jesus’ hands and feet. Jesus prayed to God and said, “Forgive them, Father; they don’t understand what they are doing.” Jesus and two criminals were left hanging on the crosses to die. The priests and the Pharisees mocked Jesus telling Him to save himself.

Jesus cross

Those who passed by hurled insults at Jesus, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You said you would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. Come down from the cross and save yourself.’

Suddenly the sky became very dark as if a storm was about to begin. After hours of suffering, Jesus said, "It is finished". His work was complete. Jesus cried out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!” And then He died.

Jesus cries out

All of a sudden, the ground began to shake, rocks split in half, and graves opened. The curtain in the temple was torn in half. The people were very frightened and said, “Truly, Jesus WAS the Son of God.” 

Images are the copyright Sweet Publishing (Jesus Jerusalem, The Last Supper,  Gethsemane, Jesus Trials, Jesus Crucified) for teaching purposes only, all rights reserved, and are used according to their terms of use - Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.   Distributed under a license with FreeBibleimages.    
Bible lesson activities

Learning Activity Extensions

Read the story in the Bible: 
Matthew 21:1-11; 26:17-75; 27:11-66
Mark 11:1-11; 14:12-72; 15:1-47
Luke 19:28-44; 22:7-71; 23:1-56
John 12:12-17; 13:1-17:26; 18:1-40; 19:16-42

Fun activity courtesy of AKidsHeart.  Ensure you allow Adobe Flash Player to run:
Stained Glass -  Place the tiles on the frame so that the colours of the touching sides of the tiles are the same.  Seems easy? try the next level, and the next!

Father into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit

Sheila Hamil - Children from Central Middle School Wallsend sing from The Easter Story musical (1998/99) (2:18 min)

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