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An Easter Activity for use with a Parachute

· Jesus had just healed a blind man and was on the road, on his way to Jerusalem…let’s walk along with him…on and on…down the road to Jerusalem… (walk around circle holding parachute)

· Jesus stopped…(stop) He told his friends to get him a donkey to ride into Jerusalem…His friends went to find a donkey…Let’s go back the other way with his friends to find the donkey…(go back the other way in a circle)

· Stop! Look! There’s the donkey! On the count of 3, let’s pull the donkey’s rein and see what happens! Ready? 1-2-3! Whoa, donkey, whoa! (Pull on the parachute)

· Now, let’s take the donkey b-a-a-a-c-k to Jesus! Back around…(walk back around)

· Look, here comes Jesus! People are lining up on the sides of the street! They’re putting their coats on the ground for Jesus’ donkey to walk over! Some people are waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna! Let’s wave our palm branches and shout Hosanna for Jesus! Hosanna! Hosanna! (Wave parachute boldly, up and down)

· Jesus is leaving…Let’s slow down now…It’s time to go in and rest for the evening…(move more slowly)Jesus has a busy week coming up! On the count of 3 let’s lift the chute up and then crawl underneath, inside…like it’s time to rest and sleep…You have to stay quiet so you can hear if anything else happens to Jesus…

· (inside the parachute) Ok, it’s morning now, let’s all come outside and take hold of the parachute handles again…Let’s see what happens to Jesus next!

· A few days after Jesus had come into Jerusalem in such a happy parade, He is now very sad. He is in the garden praying. Let’s make some soft, slow waves to help us remember Jesus in the garden crying and praying. Jesus knows that something difficult is going to happen- that He is going to die. He is praying and asking God to let him not have to die. He is scared and sad, but He tells God that He will do whatever God wants him to do-even if it means He has to die…(slow, slow waves)

· Soon soldiers come into the garden…Let’s make the waves a little bigger and faster to show the sound of the soldiers coming into the garden…Judas points out who Jesus is by kissing him on the cheek…The soldiers grab Jesus and take Him away! Let’s make even bigger, faster waves to show how scared and angry all Jesus’ friends must be!!

· How do you think Jesus was acting? Calm…peaceful…Let’s slow down the waves and calmly and quietly walk around this way…

· The soldiers took Jesus before a crowd of people…The King brought out a man who was in prison for killing someone. The King did not want Jesus to die, so he gave the people a choice. He said, “I can release Jesus or this man, this murderer, Barabbas…who do you want?” The people were angry and confused…Show how this must have felt with the parachute…show angry waves…confused waves…The people told the king to let Barabbas go. The king asked the people what to do with Jesus and the people shouted angrily, “Crucify Him!” Over and over again, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”…

· After they beat Jesus, they put a crown of thorns on his head…Let’s walk around as we remember the round crown of thorns…They pushed the thorns into Jesus’ head and then they beat him until he could barely walk. They were very mean to Jesus…

· They made him carry a big wooden cross up a hill and then they nailed Him to the cross…Let’s show with the parachute how it must have been to hear the nails being pounded…Now, Jesus is hanging on the cross and He finally says, “It is finished…” Let’s hold the parachute very still and at the count of 3 let’s make our little house again…we want to go inside and think about what Jesus did…

· 1-2-3…(inside the parachute)

Jesus died on the cross and they put his body inside a tomb- a big cave. They rolled a huge boulder in front of the cave. So that was the end…

· Why do you think Jesus had to die?…He died because there was so much sin in the world. Since God can’t stand sin and there was so much sin in the world, Jesus died to take away our sin! You see, back in the Bible times, people who had done bad things had to kill animals and sacrifice them on the fire to pay for their sins, but then Jesus, God’s Son, came to take our punishment and be the perfect sacrifice for us all! Now all we have to do to get rid of our sin is to believe that Jesus died for us…If you’d like to believe in Jesus for the first time today, please talk to me at the end of class. I want to make sure you know what living for Jesus really means!!

· For now, let’s talk about what happened to Jesus’ body in that cave…Three days after Jesus died, some of his friends were going to the cave to put spices on his body. Back in Bible times, they didn’t have funeral homes like today and so people had to put special spices on the dead person’s body to keep it from smelling bad. When Jesus’ friends got to the cave, the stone was rolled away! Let’s get out of our cave and find out why!

· When Jesus’ friends got closer to the cave, they saw an angel sitting on the stone. The angel said, “Why are you here looking for someone who’s alive in a place where dead people are?!” Could it really be? Jesus is alive again? YES!!! His friends are so happy! So excited! Let’s show excitement with the parachute!!

· Now, many days later Jesus was walking with some of his friends when he told them that He was going to leave them and go be with God, his Father…And as he was walking, he began to rise up into the clouds…He said, “Don’t worry. In the same way that I’m leaving you today, I will be back again to get you and to take you to where the Father is!” So let’s show how Jesus went up in the air…on the count of 3, lift the parachute and then when I say, “UP!” let it go…when you see the chute go up into the air, think of how Jesus’ friends must have felt to see Him rising into the clouds and about how Jesus will come back some day and we could see Him in the clouds, too! And remember, if you’d like to learn more about how to be friends with Jesus, let me know at the end of class and I’ll help you learn how to become a Christian!

by Angela Simmons

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