The Bible tells that Jesus was arrested in a garden known as gethsemane after he prayed there with some of his disciples. The story is found in Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-50, Luke 22:39-53 and John 18:1-11. You can use a few different activities to help kids learn the story and understand its implications.
After reading the story from one of the gospels, have kids participate in a short dramatisation of the events. Being a part of the events helps them remember the story better and understand how some of the characters must have been feeling. For the first part of the story, Peter, James and John sleep as Jesus prays in the garden. For the second part of the story, Judas comes and betrays Jesus with a crowd of people who take Jesus away.
While Jesus was praying, he promised God that he would be obedient to whatever God wanted him to do, even if that meant going to die on a cross. Help kids practice obedience by playing a game of Simon Says. The teacher should say "Simon says" before each of the suggested actions, which can include jumping up and down, kneeling in prayer, spinning in a circle or hopping on one foot.
Finish the lesson with a game that will help kids test their knowledge of the Bible story. Divide kids into teams and have each team work together to come up with an answer to each question. Questions can ask for the names of the disciples who fell asleep while Jesus was praying, the name of the disciple who betrayed Jesus and how many times Jesus went to pray in the garden.
Memory Verse Game
If there is a memory verse for the lesson, play a game to help kids learn each phrase in the verse. Divide the verse into phrases and write each phrase on a piece of paper. For example, if the verse is Matthew 26:41, divide it into: "Watch and pray," "so that you," "will not fall into temptation." "The spirit is willing," "but the flesh is weak." Set the papers on the floor in the classroom. Give kids beanbags and have them say the verse as they toss a beanbag onto each piece of paper.
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