Objects for Good Friday

Objects that use our five senses can be helpful to talk discuss the events and people of Good Friday. With my children or in a class setting I would lay out the objects on a table and have the children/students choose an object. Then I would invite them to share what part of Good Friday it represents and something we can learn from it. If someone does not know they could go look up the scripture that goes with that object.

This first list is objects that directly point to a specific person and the next group is objects that point us to events of Good Friday.

1)Prayer Tassel or piece of large piece of dark material to drape over head and shoulders (Caiaphas, Annas and the  Chief Priests) Matthew 27:57-68

2)Royal clothing (Pilate) Matthew 27:24. I used an old curtain that had fancy trim.

3)Crown (Herod Antipas) Luke 23:6-11.

4)Ribbon or pretty scarf (Pilate’s wife) Matthew 27:19

5)Handcuffs or chains (Barabbas)  Matthew 27:16

6)Purple Robe, Staff and Crown of Thorns John 19:2, Matthew 27:27-31  (Jesus)

7)Spear (Roman Soldier) John 19:34

8) Roman Soldier attire (Centurion who testifies at the foot of the cross)  Matthew 27:54. I found a breastplate and shield at the dollar store.

9) Rope or silver coins (Judas) Matthew 27:5

10) Cross (Simon of Cyrene) Luke 23:26 and Jesus

11) Myrrh, aloes and linen which Nicodemus brought John 19:39-40

12) Rock or tomb, representing empty unused tomb Joseph of Arimathea offered

13) Pieces of cloth to be draped over a head for the many women who are at the cross: Mary the mother of Jesus, Salome, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ aunt, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, Mary of Clopas, and many other women who followed him from Galilee. (7 singled out women when we look at all four gospel accounts, plus the “many others who followed Jesus from Galilee.” We do not have an exact number; it could be anywhere between 5-20+ more, in addition to the 7 individually specified)

14) Bible (representing the beloved disciple at the cross, likely John who was at the cross), John 19:26

15) Image of a group of many people (all his acquaintance at the cross) Luke 23:49

Object pointing to events

  1. Whip   Matthew 27:26
  2. Nail Colossians 2:14
  3. Beam or Cross Mark 15:21
  4. Passover Lamb  John 18:28
  5. Vinegar Matthew 27:48 (can be smelled or tasted)
  6. Hyssop  John 19:29 (can be smelled or tasted)
  7. Heart John 15:13
  8. Three hours of Darkness (Matt 27:15)  Dark piece of paper, or turn off the lights in the room
  9. 6 hours on the cross (6 hours on the cross —  Mark 15:24-25, Matthew 27:46-50; about 9am-3pm) For this you could have either the number 6 on a piece of paper or the times 9am-3pm.
  10. Piece of purple/red cloth or piece of purple/red paper torn in two, representing the veil of the temple torn in two at Jesus’ death (Matt 27:51)
  11. Image of gravestone (Matt 27:51)
  12. Shaker representing earthquake (Matt 27:51) or have everyone move like they are shaking in an earthquake

This is likely too many objects to discuss in one sitting or one lesson!  When I have done this in a family or church lesson setting I have picked about 12-15 of the 27 items to discuss.  We usually end by talking about the centurion at the foot of the cross who testifies of Jesus Christ  and what a miracle that was for a centurion to bear testimony at Jesus’ death.  I then give an opportunity for anyone who would like to share their testimony of Jesus Christ. A time for testimony sharing is a perfect Good Friday activity. We can be like the centurion at the foot of the cross as we declare that “Surely Jesus is the Son of God.”

Another way to include the props/objects is part of a Reader’s theater. That link will have a script that combines Good Friday events in the four gospels.