Simon of Cyrene
Items Needed – Photos of the crucifixion. Photos of the least of these, poor, in prison etc..
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. –Luke 23:26-27
Beaten and brutalized, Jesus physically succumbed to the injuries of his sentence. Unable to carry the instrument of his death, an innocent bystander was recruited to help Jesus.
Interestingly enough, Jesus still requests our help today, doesn’t he?
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ –Matthew 25:35-40
Take a moment to consider some ways you can help Jesus by caring for the “least of these.”
Items Needed- Wooden Cross, Pieces of paper, Small nails, Hammer (or staple gun)
36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! –John 13:36-38
Before Jesus’ prediction would come true, not only would Peter deny Jesus, but he would also cut off a man’s ear while defending his Lord. Peter was always bold, outspoken, and zealous, but sometimes he folded under pressure. There is a little bit of Peter in all of us. We speak out loudly about our loyalty to Jesus, but when it’s crunch time we deny him.Thankfully, our sins were nailed to the cross. Galatians 5:24 says this…
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Think of some of the ways you deny Christ. Pick one, write it on a slip of paper, and nail it to the cross, thanking Jesus for taking away your sin.
Items Needed – Large pieces of cloth. Scissors
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people. –Matthew 27:50-53
The Temple curtain, or veil, was a thick, heavy curtain that separated the Holy Place of the Temple from the Most Holy Place (also known as the Holy of Holies). This cloth would have been very tall as it adorned the inside of the Temple. The curtain was a physical barrier between humanity and God, symbolizing God’s unapproachability.
When Christ died, the veil was torn. Jesus, the great High Priest, opened the way for all people to have access to God, through Christ’s sacrifice.
Tear a strip of the fabric from the cloth. As you tear it, remember that Jesus tore the barrier between you and God. Say a prayer of thanks. (uses scissors to help get cloth started if needed)