The Pharisees and other Jews in Jerusalem did not like Jesus. He didn’t play by their rules (Matt. 12:1-14), He claimed to be God (John 8:58-59; 10:22-33), and He extended salvation beyond the Jewish people (Luke 4:27). So they plotted several times how they might kill Him.
The events leading up to His death did not surprise Jesus. Each step was part of God’s established plan. (See Isa. 53:10; Acts 2:23.) But knowing God’s plan didn’t lessen Jesus’ suffering as He was betrayed by His friends, arrested, falsely accused, and beaten. As you teach kids about the arrest of Jesus, help them understand the gravity of the events.
First, Jesus wanted to do God’s plan. Jesus came to earth to rescue people from sin. He was committed to doing the Father’s will. (Matt. 26:39,42) When Judas showed up with a crowd, Jesus didn’t run. He didn’t even allow Peter to stand in His defense. (Matt. 26:52) Jesus willingly gave Himself up for us because He loves us. (Eph. 5:2)
Second, Jesus was betrayed and arrested even though He did nothing wrong. The Jews tried to find a legitimate reason to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t find one. (Matt. 26:59-60) Jesus did what we failed to do; He perfectly obeyed the law. His arrest was not just. The trial was not fair. But this had to happen. Only a sinless, perfect sacrifice could take away sin. (Heb. 9:11-14)
Finally, Jesus is who He says He is. After Jesus’ arrest, the high priest asked Jesus if He was the Son of God. Jesus affirmed that He is. (Matt. 26:64) The high priest accused Him of blasphemy (speaking against God), but Jesus always told the truth.
Jesus felt the pain of betrayal and the agony of His imminent suffering and death. Jesus knew that His death was God’s plan to save people from sin. Jesus’ friends turned against Him and He was arrested and put on trial, but Jesus followed His Father’s plan in order to bring salvation to the world.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- Jesus went to a garden to pray.
- People arrested Jesus, but He did nothing wrong.
- Jesus said everything happened as God planned.
- Jesus obeyed His Father’s plan no matter what.
- Jesus died to rescue us.
- Jesus was arrested though He did nothing wrong.
- What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
- Jesus allowed His enemies to arrest Him.
- What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- Philippians 2:8
- “Jesus’ Crucifixion” (Matthew 26–27; John 18–19)