March: God's Sacrifice
The devotionals on this page and the following page are designed to guide you and your family through two months of short, simple times with God and each other.
The family devotions for March focus on the crucifixion. If you?re concerned they might be too intense for your younger children, use the suggestions in the "Want More" section instead of the week-by-week lessons.
Look It Up
"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them. "Crucify him!" they shouted. Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers ? put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him ? Then they led him out to crucify him (Mark:15:12-13; 15-20).
Using a length of purple cloth, cut out a single 6-inch square of fabric as well as a 3-inch square for each family member.
Talk It Over
WEEK 1: Our Shame
Place the large purple cloth in the center of the table and pass out a small purple piece to each family member. Now read the passage. As you talk about this story, have each person lay his or her piece of cloth on the large cloth. Talk about what you think it was like for Jesus to be mocked, hit and spit at. What does this story tell you about God?s love for you? End your time by thanking God for Jesus? death and resurrection.
WEEK 2: Our Betrayal
Pass out the pieces of cloth and read in Luke:23:18-25. Have one parent act as the narrator with the other parent or an older child speaking the words of Pilate. Have younger children portray the crowd, laying their pieces of cloth on the large cloth as they read. Talk together about why you think the crowd turned against Jesus. Talk about times each of you might have betrayed someone in order to follow the crowd. End your time by asking God to help you always be his faithful follower.
WEEK 3: Our Fear
Read the passage from Mark 15, focusing on verses 12-15. Again, have one parent act as the narrator, one as Pilate and the children as the crowd. As the children shout "Crucify him!" have them place their purple cloths onto the center cloth. Talk about why Pilate might have given in to the crowd. Talk together about a time you did something you knew was wrong because you were afraid of what others might think if you didn?t. End your time by asking God to help you stand up for what?s right, even when you?re afraid.
WEEK4: Our Forgiveness
Read the passage in Mark, focusing on verses 16-20. Then read Luke:23:34. Ask each family member to place his or her small purple cloth on top of the large cloth in the center of the table while saying, "Father forgive me, I did not know what I was doing." Talk together about what Jesus? forgiveness means to you. End your time by thanking God for forgiving you for all your sins.
And when they had mocked him, they took off his purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him (Mark:15:20).
Ask your child questions like: How does the cloth feel in your hands? What do you think it felt like on Jesus? back after he had been hurt by the soldiers? Tell your child that when Jesus suffered for us, he took away our fears and hurts. Encourage your child to put the purple cloth by her bed. As you pray each night, have your child hold the cloth and ask Jesus to take away any fears she felt during the day.
Ask your child questions like: Have you ever been accused of something you didn?t do? How did you handle it? Have your child carry his cloth in his backpack this month to remind him that Jesus can help him handle difficult situations. Help your child memorize Mark:15:20.
Ask your child to talk or write about a time she was teased or humiliated. What did she do about it? Ask what it means to her that Jesus knows how that feels and can help her through those times. Ask your child to write out Mark:15:17 and Luke:23:34 on a purple sheet of paper and try to memorize both verses this month.
As a family, find ways to be more forgiving toward each other this month. Remember that sometimes forgiveness takes time, so don?t feel pressured into less-than-genuine forgiveness.
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March: God's Sacrifice
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