Holy week begins a week before Easter Sunday on Palm Sunday. Here are a few ways you can walk through the week with Jesus together, as a family.
I plan out my devotions for our 3, 6 and 8 year old, but all of this can be adapted to simpler concepts for younger children or enjoyed by adults! I highly recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible for younger kids and The Action Bible for school aged kids.
We remember we learned at Christmas that Jesus was the best gift ever given. Now is time to look at his life and let his sacrifice for us sink in. You could spend this week reviewing stories of Jesus life together. I love building up the story of Jesus' last few days on earth so they understand what happened. I've included here a simple guide for readings and discussions with your family over Holy week. They include reviewing the story of Moses that Passover is based around and observing a Messianic Seder Meal on Thursday, the night before Good Friday.
I hope that you enjoy! They are merely a compilation of ideas I have collected over the past few years, sharing the Easter Story with my kids.
Blessings to you this week as you take some intentional time to be together and meditate on His sacrifice.
Palm Sunday: Sit down with your storybook bible or action bible and ask the kids to remember a few of the amazing things Jesus did in his lifetime. Talk about how no one is perfect, but Jesus really was perfect and blameless. Remind them of some of his miracles (like the fishes & loaves), how he made friends with people that no one liked, how he brought Lazarus back from the dead, walked on water, healed sick, blind and lame people, and taught us how to live trusting in God. Then read Matthew 21:8-11 and sing Hosanna.
Monday: Read Mark 12:1-12 & Luke 20:20-26, or "Money Troubles on pg. 614 in the Action Bible, or Washed with Tears on pg. 280 in the Storybook Bible. Talk about how God wants us to use the things he has blessed us with.
Tuesday: Read Mark 12:38-34. Repeat or write out the Greatest Command and talk about how we can actively be helping others. For older kids, also read together John 15:1-17 and draw a grape vine as an art project.
Wednesday: Spend the day Spring Cleaning. Talk about how we have to clean out sin in our lives too, just as the Jews cleaned out their houses of yeast before Passover. End your work day with a Movie night, watch The Prince of Egypt, to remember the story of Moses that Passover comes from. Or read "God to the Rescue" on pg. 84 in the Jesus Storybook Bible, based on Exodus 3-12.
Thursday: Prepare for and hold a real Messianic Seder meal, using my guide. Have the kids color the plate printout as you get ready for the special dinner. If you don’t want to do the whole shebang, just read Matthew 26:26-29 and take communion together as a family.
Friday: Meditate on Jesus' arrest, trial, walk and crucifixion. Only you as a parent can decide how much of this scary part of the story to talk about with your kids. You can read "A dark night in the garden" on pg. 294 in the storybook bible in the morning then "The sun stops shining" in the evening.
Saturday: Make empty tomb crescent rolls with marshmallows together, and wait. Talk about how they wrapped him and put him in a tomb with a big heavy stone. Wrap your marshmallows and close them in your oven overnight. On Sunday morning, turn the oven on when you get up to bake the rolls and eat them at breakfast.
Easter Sunday: Im sure you have lots of ways you like to celebrate on the day of Easter. I love reading "God's wonderful surprise" in the Jesus Storybook Bible, based on John 20. Read the story together and marvel at the miracle of His resurrection.