Making Passion Week Personal
Most of our churches will spend this week emphasizing the events and messages of Passion Week, the celebration of what was accomplished through Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day. But the week also provides an opportunity for families to personalize those events and ideas by talking about them together.
We’ve taken a little different approach with our Talking Points this week. We’ve suggested Scripture readings and questions about what Jesus came to earth to do. These can be used all at once, but might best be discussed one at a time throughout the week whenever your family has a few minutes of uninterrupted time together.
We’ve formatted these along the lines of a countdown to the resurrection, but you could pick and choose which passages or questions are the best fit for your family in any given order. And these conversation starters could be used at any point in the year, of course, in addition to the Easter season.
Read Isaiah 53:5: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
- If someone would have predicted what was going to happen this week 700 years ago, what century would that be?
- Isaiah described what happened to Jesus 700 years before Christ was crucified for our sins. What does that tell you about God’s plan to send Jesus to die for us and to be resurrected?
- Did anything about Jesus’ life, death, or resurrection surprise God?
Read Luke 2:10-14: ” ‘I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ ”
- Which holiday is more fun to celebrate, Christmas or Easter? Why?
- Can the events we celebrate for those two holidays—Jesus’ birth and His resurrection—really be separated?
- How would you describe the connection between Christmas and Easter?
Read John 1:29: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
- How would you describe Jesus’ mission during His life on earth?
- Why did John call Him the Lamb of God? [Parent: Because Jesus was the sacrifice for sin, like a lamb was sacrificed for sin under Jewish Law at that time.]
- How did Jesus take away the sin of the world?
- How does a person living right now get his or her sin taken away by what Jesus did?
Read Mark 8:31"He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”
- If Jesus knew so far ahead of time that He would be rejected, tortured and killed, why do you think He went through with it?
- What does it say about God’s power that Jesus was able to predict that He would be killed and how long it would take for Him to be resurrected?
- Do you think Jesus was surprised by any of the events that happened in His life?
Read Matthew 26:38-39: “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ “
- Is it surprising, do you think, that Jesus was so sad since He was also the Son of God and knew He would be resurrected on the third day (after two nights in the tomb)?
- Do you think Jesus understands when we feel really sad?
- Do you think Jesus wanted to suffer and die?
- What was the final basis for Jesus when it came to making decisions—how He felt or what God’s will was?
- How can we use that basis to make decisions in our lives?
Read Mark 15:37-39: “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’ “
- Why do you think we call Good Friday “good” when such terrible things happened to Jesus on that day?
- What does Jesus death in this moment mean for each of us in this family?
- What would have happened to us if Jesus had not been sacrificed for our sin?
- Why do you think we make a bigger deal out of celebrating Easter than out of remembering Good Friday? [Parent: Without the Resurrection, Jesus’ death on the cross would not have helped us. See 1 Corinthians 15.]
Read: Mark 16:6: ” ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.’ “
- Why is the Resurrection so impressive?
- Why does it matter for us personally?
- What similarities do you notice between Jesus’ birth announcement and His resurrection announcement? [Parent: Both were made by angels. Both warn not to be afraid or alarmed. Both point to the place Jesus laid (the manger and the tomb).]
- How meaningful do you think it is that Jesus first appeared alive to women instead of his disciples?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-22: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
- How important is it to you to know that one day you will be raised from the dead, just like Jesus was?
- Is that something you look forward to?
- How would it change the meaning of your life if death was just the end, if nothing came next?
- Why, again, would God raise us from the dead one day?
- What motivates Him to do that?