Parent Notes: This is designed to not focus on the horrors of death but on the people who surround Jesus and their humanity. This helps the children figure out how people behave and how to react to others when they don’t behave well. It is helpful to down play the guilt “can’t you even watch with me.” Jesus is sad and hurt, disappointed that the disciples haven’t really understood all the things that he had been trying to tell them during the week. That is different than angry and accusatory. If your child is always “sorry” for things, this may be important to discuss.
Matthew 26: 31-58
Jesus: Scripture says, I shall strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will scatter. Just so, each of you will stumble tonight, stumble and fall, on account of Me. Afterward I will be raised up. And I will go before you to Galilee.
Peter: Lord, maybe everyone else will trip and fall tonight, but I will not. I’ll be beside You. I won’t falter.
Jesus: If only that were true. In fact, this very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.
Peter: No! I won’t deny You. Even if that means I have to die with You!
Narrator: And each of the disciples echoed Peter. At that, Jesus led His disciples to the place called Gethsemane.
Narrator: Then He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He grew sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Jesus: My soul is overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.
Narrator: He walked a little farther and finally fell prostrate and prayed.
Jesus: Father, this is the last thing I want. If there is any way, please take this bitter cup from Me. Not My will, but Yours be done.
Narrator: When He came back to the disciples, He saw that they were asleep. Peter awoke a little less confident and slightly chagrined.
Jesus (to Peter): So you couldn’t keep watch with Me for just one short hour? Now maybe you’re learning: the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Watch and pray and take care that you are not pulled down during a time of testing.
Narrator: With that, Jesus returned to His secluded spot to pray again.
Jesus: Father, if there is no other way for this cup to pass without My drinking it—then not My will, but Yours be done.
Narrator: Again Jesus returned to His disciples and found them asleep. Their eyes were heavy-lidded. So Jesus left them again and returned to prayer, praying the same sentiments with the same words. Again He returned to His disciples.
Jesus: Well, you are still sleeping; are you getting a good long rest? Now the time has come; the Son of Man is just about to be given over to the betrayers and the sinners. Get up; we have to be going. Look, here comes the one who’s going to betray Me.
Narrator: There he was, Judas, one of the twelve leading a crowd of people from the chief priests and elders with swords and clubs; the chief priests and the elders were right there, ready to arrest Jesus. And Judas, the one who intended to betray Him, had said to the elders and the chief priests that he would give them a sign.
Judas Iscariot: I’ll greet Him with a kiss. And you will know that the one I kiss is the one you should arrest.
Narrator: So at once, he went up to Jesus.
Judas Iscariot: Greetings, Teacher.
Narrator: He kisses Him.
Jesus: My friend, do what you have come to do.
Jesus: Put your sword back. People who live by the sword die by the sword. Surely you realize that if I called on My Father, He would send 12 legions of messengers to rescue Me. But if I were to do that, I would be thwarting the scriptural story, wouldn’t I? And we must allow the story of God’s kingdom to unfold. (to the crowds) Why did you bring these weapons, these clubs and bats? Did you think I would fight you? That I would try to dodge and escape like a common criminal? You could have arrested Me any day when I was teaching in the temple, but you didn’t.
Narrator: This scene has come together just so, so that the prophecies in the sacred Scripture could be fulfilled. And at that, all the disciples ran away and abandoned Him. The crowd that had arrested Jesus took Him to Caiaphas, the high priest. The scribes and elders had gathered at Caiaphas’s house and were waiting for Jesus to be delivered. Peter followed Jesus (though at some distance so as not to be seen). He slipped into Caiaphas’s house and attached himself to a group of servants. And he sat watching, waiting to see how things would unfold.
I wonder what is the hardest part of this story?
I wonder why the crowd brought clubs and weapons?
I wonder if Peter will learn that we all can fail even if we don’t want to?
I wonder why it was a kiss that betrayed Jesus?
I wonder if Judas was sad about what he did?