Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. This week, we talked about preparing for Passover and read from Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; and Luke 22:7-23. As the Passover celebration drew near, Jerusalem hummed with excitement. Everyone wondered if Jesus—teacher, miracle-worker, and prophet—would come for Passover. (John 11:56-57) The Passover meal was a permanent statute God intended for every Israelite family to observe each year. (See Ex. 12:1-28; Lev. 23:5-8.) But it was no secret the religious leaders were determined to kill Jesus. Jesus had warned His disciples what would happen this Passover. (Mark 10:33-34; Luke 18:31)
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, Jesus sent Peter and John to sacrifice the Passover lamb. He told them to look for a man carrying a water jug. The man with a water jug would lead them to a large upstairs room. Carrying the water from the well was a woman’s work in Jesus’ day. But Jesus already knew that Judas had agreed with the religious leaders to betray Him for money (Matt. 26:14-16), so He privately made the arrangements for Passover. Jesus wanted to share the Passover with His disciples before He suffered and died. (Luke 22:14-15)
Peter and John took the unblemished lamb to be sacrificed at the temple as required by the law of Moses, then brought the portion that was to be eaten to the upper room. They prepared the traditional Passover of roasted lamb, bitter herbs dipped in salt water, unleavened bread, and wine. Jesus broke the bread and gave it to His disciples, “This is My body, which is given for you” (Luke 22:19). Then He passed the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). Jesus told His disciples to eat in remembrance of Him.
What was Jesus saying? What the sacrifice of the Passover lamb could not do—take away sins once and for all—the perfect Lamb of God was going to do. Jesus, the perfectly sinless Son of God, was going to take the punishment for sin upon Himself on the cross. (See Heb. 10:1-10.) Emphasize to kids that as Jesus’ disciples prepared for Passover, Jesus prepared to die. In His death on the cross, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to take the punishment for sin. Jesus protects from God’s wrath those who trust in Him.
Prepare a meal together. Guide each family member to take a part in choosing the menu, preparing the food, and setting the table. Over dinner, discuss the preparations that were made for the meal. Remind your family that Jesus gave instructions about preparing the Passover meal. Read Matthew 26:17-30. Before, God’s people had eaten the meal as a reminder of God’s deliverance of His people out of Egypt (Exodus 12:43-49), but now the meal would be a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Talk about ways that your family can remember each day what Jesus has done.