Betrayal and Crucifixion

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 31 - Jesus' Last Days

TEXT: Mark 14:43-49, 53; 15:15-28, 37, 42-47


The students will be able to relate the events surrounding Christ's betrayal and crucifixion, and tell why it was necessary for Jesus to die.


Introduction: Use the In-Class activity using press-on circle stickers with words written on them as your basis for this class session. Open your time together by giving each child a set of the "sin circles" and a copy of the picture of the cross.

  1. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and the multitude seized Jesus. Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's servant with a sword.
  2. Jesus was led away to the high priest.
  3. Pilate delivered Jesus to the soldiers. He was beaten, a purple robe put on Him, and a crown of thorns placed on His head. He was mocked and spit upon.

Climax: Jesus was crucified along with two thieves. The crucifixion was the fulfillment of many prophecies regarding Christ's betrayal and death on the Cross.

Conclusion: Because Jesus was betrayed and crucified after living a sinless life He was qualified to be the Savior of men.

Response: The students will be able to relate the events surrounding Christ's betrayal and crucifixion, and tell why it was necessary for Him to die.


Jesus did not just happen to be put to death because the Jewish high priests charged Him with blasphemy. They were only instruments that God used to carry out His divine plan that was formed in the very beginning. The Apostle John says that He was the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Jesus Himself refers to Psalm 41:9 when telling His disciples that He would be betrayed. The prophet Zechariah tells that they covenanted for thirty pieces of silver for betraying Jesus and the money would be cast to the potter in the house of the Lord (Zechariah 11:12-13). This was fulfilled in Matthew 27:3-7 when Judas brought back the money he had received from the chief priests and threw it on the floor. The priests piously said they could not put it in the treasury because it was the price of Blood, so they used it to buy a potter's field in which to bury strangers.


  • Give each child a copy of the picture of the cross with flowers around the base (see Pattern given under Preschool Suggestions). Purchase some plain press-on circle stickers. Before class, write words identifying certain sins on the circles: lie, sass, disobey, be unkind, etc. Give each child a set of these "sin circles." During your class session, talk about the sins Jesus died for by giving examples of each. As the children hear the example, let them put the corresponding sin circle on the cross. Or, to make this on a more personal level, you may wish to talk to them about wrongs they may have done, having them put sin circles on the cross for each wrong thing they can remember doing. Emphasize that when we take the sin circle off our sheet and put it on the cross, that is how Jesus took our sins on Himself.
  • Give each child a 6" brightly colored paper plate. Punch holes around the edge at about 1 %" intervals. During class time, give each child a small cross made out of a contrasting color of construction paper, a sticker of Jesus, and two or three flower stickers. Let the children glue the cross on the plate and attach the stickers. Then give them a length of yarn approximately one yard long, with the ends wrapped with a bit of cellophane tape. Starting at the top help them lace the yarn around the edge of the plate through each hole. Tie a bow at the top, to make a wall hanging.
  • Have your children make an illustration of the crucifixion scene as you teach this lesson. Suggest a simple idea such as the hill and three crosses. Give them crayons, and tell them to use only circles, not lines. This can be done by setting the flat end of the crayon on the paper and turning it to make a circle. Darker colored areas are achieved by putting the dots close together.
  • Use the paper-tearing activity (see Patterns) as a way of teaching your children why Jesus had to die on the cross. Let them watch you as you start folding the paper. Tell them that a ride in an airplane will take them high in the sky, but not to Heaven. A trip to the moon (second show) is possible with a space ship, but not to Heaven. Jesus' death on the cross was our ticket to Heaven (third show). Are they ready? Have they reserved their tickets? The tickets are free! Jesus paid for them on the cross.

Special Instructions for Unit 31: Refer to Lessons 7d and 20b for additional ideas.


  1. Why did they put a purple robe and a crown on Jesus?
  2. What was written at the top of the cross? Why?
  3. What does crucify mean?
  4. Why was it necessary for Jesus to die?
  5. Who did Jesus die for?
  6. How do you think Judas felt after he led the angry men to Jesus?
  7. Why didn't Jesus want His disciple to protect Him with a sword?
  8. Do you think the people could have taken Jesus if He had not been willing? Why? Why do you think Jesus was willing?
  9. How do you feel about Jesus' being crucified for your sins?
  10. Where is Jesus' real Throne?


  • Keep your story for preschoolers very simple, and use props and illustrations that are not too vivid or realistic. A simple cross can be made by gluing two Popsicle sticks together, and placing it in a small sandbox. Put a heart with a Jesus sticker on the cross. Be sure you let the children know that Jesus came back to life before you close the lesson, even though that is not part of this week's text.
  • Take a sheet of construction paper and put a small picture of Jesus in the center. Focus your lesson on the fact that Jesus loves all the children in the world. Let them glue on stickers of little children.
  • Color the picture of the cross with flowers around the base (see Patterns). Cover it with a sheet of clear plastic contact paper or laminate the entire picture. Cut it into several pieces and allow your children to put the puzzle together during class time.
  • Ask some parents to help you mark the children’s names on fabric (see Patterns for sample alphabet) and help you cross-stitch embroider them. These can be sewn into tiny pillows, little bags, or even framed to hang in their bedroom. Tell the children that whenever they look at the crisscrosses in their names they can remember that Jesus loves them so much He died for them. But He came to life again and now lives in Heaven.


Place a life-size figure of Christ on a large board in front of your group. Have a number of different sins written on slips of paper. Read the slips one at a time or have volunteer teachers from your group help with this. Explain what the sin is and perhaps give a personal example: for instance, a time you remember telling a lie, taking something. Attach each paper slip to the figure of Jesus with a piece of double-stick tape as you talk about the verse which says Jesus bore the sins of many.

Have someone come dressed as the centurion who was at Jesus' crucifixion. Let the children interview him with your guidance, asking him how he felt about Jesus, his reaction when the sky darkened, and what changed his feelings regarding the truth of Jesus' claim that He was the Son of God.

Bring a number of objects which represent important things people have done for you. Some suggestions: a picture of a house (someone provided you with a home), a flag (someone defended your country so you could have freedom), an item of food (someone made sure you had food to eat), a text book (someone made sure you had the opportunity to go to school). Comment that many important things have been done for all of us, but the most important of all is that Christ died for us.


  • The Story of the first Easter — My Very First Coloring Book, Warner Press