Season of the Church Year: Lent VI (purple)
Story in Scripture: Matthew 26: 26-28
Our lesson last week centered around the story of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. The people were so excited about Jesus’s arrival. They had heard that he would be King, but they still didn’t know what kind of King he would be. They shouted and said, “Hosanna in the Highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” This week, we discussed the meal that Jesus shared with the disciples before he died. This yearly Passover meal was always special, but this time Jesus prepared his friends for what was about to happen. Also, Jesus tried to help them understand the sacrifice that he was going to make. He broke the bread in a new way- he broke the bread and said, “Take. Eat. This is my body, broken for you.” He also took the wine and said, “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood, which is shed for you.” These words surprised many of the disciples and are stil difficult for us to understand today, even though we have all of Christian history to help us. The teachers went on to explain that shortly after this meal, people who didn’t like Jesus took him. They wouldn’t let him go. Later they nailed him to a cross to kill him…. Jesus died. It was terribly sad and awful. Happily, the teachers explained that we will see that three days later, God did an amazing thing. God made Jesus alive again. We’ll get to talk all about that on Easter! Perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of this story, for children, is the connection to the communion table (and our weekly “feast” of fruit!). Every time Christians eat the bread and drink from the cup at Communion, they remember Jesus, and that he died for us, but God made him alive again. I encourage you to prepare your child for the darkness of Maundy Thursday (when we recall this final Passover meal), Good Friday (when we acknowledge Jesus’ death), and Holy Saturday (in which we await Easter morning, thinking carefully about the time that Jesus’ disciples -and the whole of creation- waited for Jesus’ Resurrection). It is a really special time.
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
Now I wonder how it felt to be around this table and hear Jesus say,
“Take. Eat. This is my body broken for you.”
I wonder how the disciples felt when they were eating the bread and drinking the wine?
I wonder how they felt when Jesus died?
I wonder how they felt when they heard that God made Jesus alive again?
I wonder if you have ever been close to a table like this?
“Father, as we prepare for Easter, help us to follow Jesus’ example for loving others and glorifying you. Even though he knew things were going to be scary and painful, he knew that the most important thing was to show peace and love. Be with us as we think about Jesus’ sacrifice for our forgiveness. Amen.”