As we remember our Savior’s sufferings, death. and resurrection over the next few days, I would like to share again this collection of ideas for Good Friday, the day we remember Christ’s death on the cross. Here is another opportunity to remind your children of the gospel, and a chance to build anticipation as we approach Resurrection Day!
- Spend part of the day reading aloud the account of Jesus’s betrayal, trial, scourging, and crucifixion. Perhaps you could read different portions at breakfast, lunch, nap times, dinner, and bedtime. Start at Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, or John 18.
- Listen to an audio recording of the stories of Jesus’s life. For $9.99 on iTunes, you can buy Vol. 6, Reclaimed! of The Bible in Living Sound. This is a collection of 60 stories of Jesus’s life (including His crucifixion and resurrection).You can also buy individual stories for 99 cents each on iTunes or all 450 Old and New Testament stories in MP3 format from Doorposts for $49. Our children grew up on these stories, and now our grandchildren are enjoying them!
- Act out the accounts of Jesus’s betrayal, Peter’s denial, Jesus before Pilate, the crucifixion, and burial.
- Use this great idea from Mustard Seeds. With a permanent marker, make a red mark on the top part of each family member’s hands to remind each of you of the nail wounds Jesus endured on the cross to save us. Use a fine-tip black marker to write each person’s name across their red “wound”. What a visual reminder of the fact that Jesus died for each of us! Don’t be afraid to tell your children that Jesus suffered for them!
- Sing some of the well-known hymns that speak of Jesus’s death. (Most of these can be found with lyrics and melodies in The Cyber Hymnal. Click on the appropriate icon to view music scores.):
- Look for a recipe online, and make hot cross buns together, or braid a batch of bread dough into a wreath, and then poke toothpicks at all angles into it to form a crown of thorns for an edible centerpiece at your table.
- Darken the house on Friday evening and all day Saturday. Turn off or dim most of the lights and put a black tablecloth on the table. Have your children help remove any flowers or plants, and decorate with bare branches or stones instead. Leave the house dark on Saturday, and before everyone gets up on Sunday morning, redecorate with candles, plants, a bright tablecloth, and an Easter lily or other flowers.
- Spend your day or evening laying down your lives for the sake of someone else. Help a needy family, participate in a street ministry, visit people in a rest home, etc.
- Watch together as a family The Gospel of John or The Gospel According to Matthew, both word-for-word reenactments of these Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life.
- Do the “Isaiah 53 Treasure Hunt” with your children, as described in this children’s lesson from 30 Days in Isaiah 53 for Busy Mamas.
- Attend a Good Friday service together as a family.
Be sure to explain that Jesus died for us. He died to pay the penalty for our sins. He suffered for us because He loves us. That means we have the strength – in Him — to suffer and die to our own desires in order to show God’s love to others.