Devotional Lesson Plan & teaching ideas for Good Friday

  1. Show an image of a heart – Ask –what does this symbol make us think of?  Show an image of a cross and say: for many the cross is a symbol of the Savior’s love for us. Jesus said his greatest act of love for us was giving his life for us, dying for our sins.
  1. Use the senses – Seeing, touching, or tasting objects related to the Crucifixion can be helpful, especially for children, in remembering the events of Good Friday. For example, making or holding a crown of thorns from , carrying a heavy beam, handling a long nail, or tasting vinegar could connect participants with the events of Good Friday.

Use the list of objects as a way to talk about the events of Good Friday and this timeline.

  1. Visuals – Dress up as people of Good Friday (see list of people below) Reader’s theater script and use the objects of Good Friday including purple Fabric or Paper representing the veil of the temple. Tear it in half and talk about the meaning of the temple being torn in two at the death of Jesus– that because Jesus died for us, we are able to enter God’s presence.
  2. Display the seven final statements of Jesus in the shape of a cross, or have them as part of your table decor, or make them into a paper book for little ones.

Watch this Video on the significance of the seven final statements and the discuss which statement is most meaningful to each person

  1. Engage with the events of Good Friday in music, film or art. 

The gospel of John movie , It is 3 hours and is word for word from the gospel of John. Because it is so long I like to watch it on multiple days.

Or a short video on crucifixion

  1. Attend worship services.
  2. End with Good Friday celebratory food if you are not fasting. Many Christians fast on Good Friday. If you have younger children you may like to make sugar cookies or bread in the shape of a cross or heart, or both. Crosses and hearts together can help us connect Jesus’ death with his love.  A tradition in other countries is Hot Cross Buns.

Holy Week

Events of Holy Week are found in about 40% of the entire Gospel of John! Each Gospel writer differs slightly in their details of Holy Week; the outline below is a common view of the days of Holy Week. I came up with the word for each day

TITLE of Jesus, basic timeline of events, ONE WORD, a couple words & one
scriptural phrase for each day of HOLY WEE
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Palm Sunday– King of Israel. Jesus enters Jerusalem. HOSANNA!  (Praise, King) “Blessed is he …. who cometh in the name of the Lord (Mark 11:10)”

Monday – Son of God. Jesus cleanses the temple and curses the fig tree. CLEANSE (Temple, hypocrisy) “My house…is a house a prayer (Mark 11:17)”

Teaching Tuesday – Bridegroom. Jesus teaches in parables. WATCH (Prepare, Seek after) “Ye know me not (Matt 25:11)”

Spy Wednesday/Anointing Wednesday – Anointed One. Jesus is anointed by a woman prior to his burial. Jesus praises her. The chief priests and Judas make a plan for Jesus’ arrest. ANOINT (Betray, compassion) “She hath done what she could (Mark 14:8)”

Maundy Thursday – Servant Leader. Jesus introduces the First Sacrament, eats the Last Supper, washes disciples’ feet, teaches, sings a hymn, enters Gethsemane, asks that the bitter cup be removed, prays in agony, strengthened by an angel, betrayed by Judas, arrested, trial before Caiaphas and Jewish leaders. REMEMBER (Eat, Serve) “Remember me in this hour (Mark 14:24)”

Good/Holy/Atoning Friday – Atoning Sacrifice. Jesus is denied by Peter before the sunrise. Jesus is tried before Pilate and Herod. Barabbas set free, Jesus is whipped, mocked, carries the cross, nailed to the cross, hangs on the cross for 6 hours; 3 hours of darkness, says his 7 last statements on the cross; earthquake; graves open; veil torn in two; Centurion proclaims Jesus is the Son of God; Joseph of Arimathea offers his empty tomb, Nicodemus brings 75 lbs of aloes and myrrh. Women at the cross watch where Jesus body is laid. ATONE (Mocking, Calvary) “It is finished (John 19:30)”

Saturday – Mediator. Jesus body lays in the tomb. Women rest and prepare spices. WAIT (Rested, Prepared) “Prepared…and rested (Luke 23:56)”

Easter Sunday – Risen Lord. Earthquake, Angels come, Roman guards flee; Women run to the tomb very early in the morning bringing the spices they had prepared; Angels declare “He is Risen” and go and tell the others. Jesus appears to Peter, to the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus; to the disciples behind closed doors in the evening and eats fish and honeycomb with them. HALLELUJAH! (Risen, Angel) “He is Risen!  Go and tell! (Mark 16:6,7)”

 PDF one page print out of the aTITLE of Jesus and one word for each day of holy weekbove. Enjoy! 

Here is a PowerPoint file I use to teach about Holy Week. You are welcome to use it (note-it is a very large file!) It highlights events from Palm Sunday to Thursday of Holy Week and includes ideas to help our families learn and feel the scriptural accounts. See my Good Friday page for a ppt just on Good Friday.

Elder Stevenson also said, “I observe a growing effort among Latter-day Saints toward a more Christ-centered Easter. This includes a greater and more thoughtful recognition of Palm Sunday and Good Friday as practiced by some of our Christian cousins. We might also adopt appropriate Christ centered Easter traditions found in the cultures and practices of countries worldwide” (The Greatest Easter Story Ever Told, Liahona, May 2023)