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Cooking Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Holy Week

Post your Sunday School cooking lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for Holy Week here.

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Including: Cross, Jesus, Caiaphas, Pilate, Scourging, Nails, Centurion, Golgotha, Place of the Skull, Calvary, Empty Tomb, Resurrection, Women, Mary Magdalene,, Gardner, Peter, and related stories. Matthew 26, Mark 14, Mark 16, Luke 22, John 18, Matthew 28, Mark 16, John 20:1-18, Luke 24, resurrection, etc. 

Bible lessons for Holy Week -with Cooking, Food, Bible Foods, Recipes, Baking, Preparation, etc.

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Cooking Workshop

Symbols of Easter Food – “Hot Cross Buns”

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will make hot cross buns.

Scripture Reference:

John 19: 16- 30

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture and background materials ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Preheat the ovens

Materials List:

  • Pillsbury ‘Grands’ original – flaky layers (2 per child)
  • Dried fruit (raisins, apples, etc)
  • Vanilla frosting
  • Grape juice
  • Cookie sheets
  • Spatula
  • Plates
  • Knives or zip-lock baggie
  • Napkins
  • Cups

Lesson Plan


Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Explain that, in olden times, bakers tried to make special breads to remind the people of the crucifixion. A special cross decorated the top this bread and they were called “Hot Cross Buns.” These Hot Cross buns were eaten on Good Friday as a symbol of the crucifixion.
We are going to make Hot Cross buns to remember Good Friday. What is Good Friday? The day Jesus was killed/crucified – ‘Black Friday’.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection

Make Hot Cross Buns.

  • Have the kids wash their hands.
  • Each child may make 2 buns.
  • Prepare the dough for baking.
    o Peal apart a biscuit into 2 or 3 layers. (The Grands separate fairly easily due to the ‘flaky layers’.) Place several pieces of dried fruit on the dough. We used a bag of pre-cut “Sun Maid” Fruit Bits (They can decline the fruit if they want.)
    o Put the biscuit back together (don’t smash it down)
    o Place on a cookie sheet to bake (Greased or ungreased – whatever the directions say.)
  • Bake according to the directions. (Ours said 350 degrees – 14-17 min) Check them early, so they don’t burn.

While the bread is baking,

Read: The Story
Practice: The Memory Verse

Review: The different symbols & their meanings. Show a picture of each symbol and have the kids explain it to you. Use the sheet on the Symbols of Easter for discussion and questions. Could also have colors/markers and copies of each symbol for the kids to decorate during the baking time.

Extra Discussion:

  • On Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Were people happy or sad? (happy) How did they show they were happy? (waved the palm branches and laid down their cloaks to make a special walkway for Jesus – they yelled and hailed Jesus as King)
  • How much money did Judas get for turning in Jesus? Look up Matthew 26: 14-16. (30 pieces of silver)
  • What is the name of the place where they crucified Jesus? John 19:17 (Golgotha, The Skull)
  • How many other people were killed with Jesus? Luke 23 32-33 (Two other criminals – one on each side)

  • When the bread is done baking,
  • Remove buns and place on a plate.
  • Frost a ‘cross’ on top of each bun. (Could put frosting in a small zip-lock baggie and cut a small wedge in one corner. Kids squeeze the frosting out the wedge.)
  • Say a prayer – (Your own, or this one) Dear Lord, thank you for gathering us together today to learn about You. Help us to learn what each Easter symbol means and not be afraid to share the information with others. Bless this food we are about to eat. In Your name we pray, Amen.
  • Serve with grape juice.


Close with a prayer and have the children assist with the cleanup.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross buns have long been a symbol of Good Friday. Today they are sold in bake shops and supermarket bakeries throughout the Easter season. Each bun has an icing cross on top to signify the crucifixion.
In England, they were once sold by street vendors who advertised their wares with cries of "Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns!"

Their street cries became a nursery rhyme....

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

If ye have no daughters,
Give them to your sons.
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns

Although they have been a Lenten and Good Friday tradition for centuries, Hot Cross Buns were not always associated with Christianity. Their origins lie in pagan traditions of ancient cultures, with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon. During early missionary efforts, the Christian church adopted the buns and re-interpreted the icing cross. In 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rockcliffe began a tradition of giving Hot Cross Buns to the poor of St Albans on Good Friday.

In years that followed, many customs, traditions, superstitions, and claims of healing and protection from evil and were associated with the buns. In the 16th century, Roman Catholicism was banned in England, but the popularity of Hot Cross buns continued. Queen Elizabeth I passed a law banning the consumption of Hot Cross Buns except during festivals such as Easter, Christmas and funerals.

Hot cross bun
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hot cross buns
A hot cross bun is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants and leavened with yeast. It has a cross on the top which might be made in a variety of ways: it could be pastry, made from a simple flour and water mixture, cut from rice paper and glazed onto the bun, iced, or simply cut into the bun itself.

In many historically Christian countries, the buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term "hot cross bun" is not until 1733. According to food historian Elizabeth David, Protestant English monarchs saw the buns as a dangerous hold over of Catholic belief in England, being baked from the consecrated dough used in making the communion wafer. Protestant England attempted to ban the sale of the buns by bakers but they were too popular, and instead Elizabeth I passed a law permitting bakeries to sell them, but only at Easter and Christmas.

A lesson written by Rachel Haugland from: Bethel Lutheran
Story City, IA

Last edited by CreativeCarol

The Resurrection

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will make "Resurrection Rolls".

Lesson Objectives:

  • Children will be able to tell the Easter Story.
  • Children will learn the memory verse.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the background materials.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Preheat the oven.

Materials List

  • Crescent roll dough
  • Bible
  • Memory verse to hand out
  • Picture of the Last Supper (talk about while resurrection rolls bake)

Lesson Plan


Welcome children- introduce yourself and have children introduce themselves (always include adults -- mentors).

Allow the Mentors time to take roll and offering

Open with prayer.


In Advance

Read the story of Jesus' arrest, death, and resurrection from John.  Be prepared to tell the story -- use story-telling hints found in the Leader's Manual. While the children are making these rolls -- discuss celebrating The Lord's Supper with God's people.

  • What do you remember most about the Lord's Supper?
  • Who was there? (Jesus -- disciples)
  • What did they eat and drink?  (bread, wine, other dishes prepared at Passover time)
  • Why do we share the Lord's Supper now?
  • How does it help us to remember Jesus?

Make Rolls

  • Roll crescent dough around a large marshmallow and bake for 10 minutes.
  • When done, the marshmallow has melted leaving an "empty tomb" inside the roll.
  • While the rolls bake; discuss the picture of the Last Supper.
    Discuss who the disciples were and what role each played in the Easter story.  (Judas, Peter, (found in chapter 13 of John).  (Jesus washes the feet of his disciples; Peter did not want the Lord to wash his feet)  Symbol of feet washing. Judas would betray Jesus. Peter would deny Christ. 
  • While eating rolls, talk about the Resurrection of Christ -- an empty tomb. (chapter 20)
  • How do you think Mary felt when she found the tomb empty?
  • What did the disciples say?


Have the children assist with the cleanup.

Close with a prayer.

A lesson written by Will Heyward

Last edited by CreativeCarol

The Resurrection

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Storytelling through map-making (using sweet ingredients!) by creating map details onto a rice krispie base, cookie pan size.

Scripture References:

The entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11, Jesus clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12-13, The Plot against Jesus: Matthew 26:3-5, Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16, The Last Supper: Mark 14:17-25, In the garden of Gethsemane: Mark 14:32-42, Jesus arrested: Luke 22:47-53, Jesus’ trials/crucifixion/placement in tomb: Luke 22:63 - 23:27, 23:32-56, Jesus’ resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Decide if you want to make the Rice Krispie treats ahead of time at home or at church. With either choice, they should be made before class.
  • Wash the metal tables.
  • Put out the decorating items in small bowls.

Materials List:

  • Copies of map of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus (see references)
  • Markers
  • Globe
  • Items in kitchen: 9x13 pan [if you decide to make the Rice Krispies at church]
  • Purchased items: Rice Krispies, marshmallows, butter, PAM, decorator icing tubes in various colors, various items to decorate their “map” (suggestions: licorice ropes, graham cracker sticks, small waffle pretzels, green fruit by the foot, skittles, teddy grahams (If any additional foods are added beware of allergies to products containing peanuts or nuts.)
  • Napkins, small bowlsQ

Lesson Plan

Gather everyone around the tables in the Social Hall. Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Pass around a basket to collect any offering.

[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

SAY: Today we will learn more about Holy Week – the time from when Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing that he would soon die, until Easter when he rose from the dead. We are going to use maps and sweets to learn this story better! But first let’s start with prayer.

ASK for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, Help us to learn more about Jesus today while having fun in the kitchen. Help us to learn more about you, too. Amen”

SAY: We will study a map, which shows, approximately, the important parts of Jerusalem when Jesus spent his last week, almost 2000 years ago. Since then Jerusalem, like our own town, has changed a great deal. Buildings have been torn down and new ones built, trees have been cut and the city walls have been moved many times, changing the boundaries. Still, remains of many of these places can be found. Some now have churches built on top of them to honor Jesus.

Show the globe of the world and point out where home is. Then show them Jerusalem at the extreme eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Pass out copies of the Jerusalem map and markers.

SAY:  Now let’s look at the Bible for the events that happened during Holy Week and relate them to our map.
ASK: Where in the Bible would we read about Holy Week? (in New Testament)

What are the first four books of the New Testament?
What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)

SAY: The word Gospel means “good news”. It is good news to hear that Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven!

For 3rd grade and up
SAY: The story of Holy Week can be found in all four Gospels. Let’s just look at Matthew.
Distribute Bibles. Have everyone find Matthew, chapter 21 in his or her Bible.
SAY: This is where the first event in Holy Week starts, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.
Have the students find Matthew, chapter 28 while holding their place in chapter 21.
SAY: This is where the story ends, telling about Jesus’ resurrection. Eight chapters are too much for us to read today. I urge you to take home your bookmarks and find these chapters in your Bible at home and read these stories.

For all students:
SAY: I will tell you the story of Holy Week. Listen and look on your map for place names that you hear.

Tell the story using the following synopsis. Have students locate the bold places named in the story. They may use their markers to mark their maps and trace Jesus’ route.

Note: in later weeks of the Rotation, ask the students to tell you the story. Help them with the place names.

Jesus had been teaching and healing people for three years. It was nearing the time of Passover, the celebration of Moses’ leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt. Jesus and his disciples headed for Jerusalem and stayed at the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha in the region of Bethany. Before he entered Jerusalem, he went to Bethphage and told two of his disciples: “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell them that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” The disciples did what Jesus asked. Then they put clothing on the donkeys’ backs and Jesus rode into Jerusalem (probably entering through the Golden Gate). The people there had heard about Jesus teaching and his miracles. They were very excited to have him arrive and welcomed him as the Messiah. They threw their clothing and branches on the ground to create a carpet to welcome him.

Jesus visited the Temple one day of Holy Week. He was distressed at what he found in the Temple. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’” This was just one event on top of many others which made the priests from the Temple plan to have Jesus arrested and put to death. They offered to pay the disciple Judas thirty silver coins to help them arrest Jesus.
On the first day of Passover Jesus and his disciples shared the Passover feast. We do not know the exact location of this building, but we know it was inside the city. When Jesus was eating with his disciples that evening, during the meal Jesus took some bread and broke it. Giving it to his disciples, he said, “This is my body.” Jesus picked up the cup of wine and giving it to his disciples said, “This is my blood, and with it God makes his agreement with you. It will be poured out so that many people will have their sins forgiven.” We celebrate this ‘Last Supper’ whenever we have communion.
After the meal they all went to the Mount of Olives and stopped in a garden named Gethsemane. Jesus told them to sit while he prayed. He asked Peter, James and John to come accompany him. He was sad and troubled, and he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He walked a little way and prayed, “Abba, Father,” he said, “Everything is possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Three times Jesus returned to find his disciples asleep. Finally he said, “Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Then Judas came up with a mob of people carrying swords and clubs. Judas walked up to Jesus and kissed him. This was a signal to the men to arrest Jesus. The disciples wanted to defend Jesus and one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, "No more of this!” And he touched the man's ear and healed him.
After this, the crowd took Jesus to Pilate, then to Herod and back to Pilate for a trial. Jesus was made to carry a cross [along the map’s dotted line] to a place called Golgotha where he was put to death. The tomb that he was laid in was nearby.

Transition to Kitchen:
SAY: So now, do you think you can remember a few places where these events occurred if we make our own map? Let’s go in the kitchen and make one that is sweet!
Have everyone put on aprons, wash their hands, and gather around the metal table.

SAY: Now I have here a pan of Rice Krispie treats. I’d like to see if we could make a map like the one on paper, highlighting the places in the Holy Week story. So let’s have one person make the outline of the walls with one of our decorating choices. [They may need to apply decorator icing so that the other items stick.]

Then ask another person to add another aspect of the map according to the story. You will need to prompt them on what would come next: Jesus riding a donkey through the Golden Gate, Jesus going to the Temple, Jesus having the Passover meal, going to the Garden of Gethsemane, seeing Pilate and Herod, and then carrying the cross to Golgotha and being laid in the tomb. They can use whatever materials they want to make their portion of the map. They can add extras too – i.e. a cross at Golgotha.

ASK questions while the decorating is happening: (for example)

  • Q. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, why do you suppose Jesus rode a donkey instead of a horse? (a donkey was a symbol of humility and peace vs. a horse is what a warrior king would ride)
    Q. Why did the people shout “Hosanna?” (Hosanna means “save us;” they thought Jesus would save them from the Romans)
    Q. Did Jesus come to save the people from the Romans? (no, he came to save the people from their sins)
  • Q. What does Jesus find inside the Temple? (merchants, salespeople, and money-changers are using God’s Temple to sell things, & God’s people are being cheated)
  • Q. How do you suppose the disciples felt hearing Jesus say the words, “this is my body” and “this is my blood?”
    Q. When do we celebrate this Last Supper? (whenever we take Communion)
  • Q. From Gethsemane what could Jesus see? (the Golden gate, the Temple)
    Q. Do you suppose Jesus thought about his entry into Jerusalem and wondered if things could have turned out differently? (in his prayer to God he realizes it is God's will that has set him on this path; we are given insight into the tremendous courage of Jesus)
    Q. What did the disciples do after Jesus was arrested? (they all ran away)
  • Q. Why was Jesus on trial? (because he claimed to be the Son of God & King of the Jews; he said he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days; they had been looking for a way to get rid of Jesus since Lazarus was raised from the dead)
  • Q. Why did Jesus have to die? (Jesus knew that God’s purpose for him was to die so that all of us could be forgiven for our sins and live forever with God)
    Q. What does the cross symbolize? (Jesus showed us that God's love and forgiveness couldn’t be defeated. God's love is more powerful than anything and is still there even when we sin. In this way, God showed us that he would not hold ours sins against us)

SAY: But now for the GOOD NEWS!!! We know that this is not the end of the story.
ASK: Three days later, what happened?
SAY: We know that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive today! And that is what we celebrate at Easter! Great job! Now let’s eat our map!

Return to the Social Hall to eat the map creation.

SAY: In closing, we have learned about some of the events in Holy Week. We know that Jesus lived, taught and died in a real place that exists today, just 2000 years ago!

SAY: Let’s repeat the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Have the students help clean up the space.


A lesson written by Carol Hulbert and Carol Teener from: First UMC
Ann Arbor, MI

Copyright 2007 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Here's an idea that arose from a Writing Team discussion about Jesus' Last Supper...



 I always like to do one rotation during Lent that tells all of the events of Holy Week. 

 The class could make a salad with the ingredients representing the parts of the story:

  • Palm Sunday (lettuce or spinach for palms);
  • Teachings in the Temple (apple slices since apples seem to mean teachers);
  • Lord's Supper (croutons for bread; raisins for wine);
  • Garden of Gethsemane (also known as the Mount of Olives) so that could be olive oil.
  • Crucifixion (Jesus was offered vinegar on the cross).;
  • Burial (spices they anointed His body with - Add the spices/seasonings to vinegar from the burial and you have salad dressing);
  • Resurrection (cheese would go well but can't think of a connection to Easter ).  Could use shredded coconut (kind of looks like confetti) which would probably go well with apples and raisins.  Although, I also like the cheese ideas that Julie came up with below.

Reply by  julie burton   


 I like your ideas!  On the salad, here's a thought on the cheese: 

  • cheese transforms from a liquid to a solid.  Jesus transformed from living, to dead, to living.
  • we have to wait for milk to become cheese.  There was a three-day wait for Jesus to rise again.
  • cheese can be shredded and shared.  A block of cheese could represent Jesus; shredding it could represent the Christians (we are all part of Christ).  Shredded cheese is spread out, like the Gospel was spread. (That might be a stretch!)

Does that help?

Julie Burton

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Holy Week

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The various ingredients of a salad represent the events of Holy Week.  The students will learn about these events, culminating in the Resurrection, as they assemble the salad. 

Leader Preparation:

  • Review Bible Background notes.
  • Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.
  • Gather the Materials.
  • Make sure you try the recipe at home—to make sure it works, to see how long it takes, etc.
  • Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
  • Prepare and measure the ingredients before class.
  • Place apple slices in a bowl with some lemon-lime soda to keep them from browning.
  • The salad dressing is good for about 12 servings. You may need to increase this, depending on your class size.

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • Paper plates or bowls (one per student)
  • Plastic fork (one per student)
  • Plastic gloves (designed for food prep)
  • Lettuce (washed and chopped into bite-size pieces) in a bowl
  • Apples (washed and cut into thin slices)
  • Uncut apple
  • Lemon-lime soda (like 7-up) to put the apples in after slicing—so that they don’t get brown spots
  • Croutons
  • Raisins
  • Shaker jar with lid (to mix the salad dressing ingredients)
  • Bottle of Olive Oil
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive oil (pre-measured in a container)
  • Bottle of vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (pre-measured in a container)
  • Small container with the following ingredients (already measured):  ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp dry mustard, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp basil, ¼ tsp oregano, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp parsley, 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Soup spoon
  • Shredded coconut


Important Note for Cooking Station Teachers

Adapted from various lesson plans by Jaymie Derden on 

Children enjoy cooking and creating various concoctions, but occasionally the cooking activity does not have as obvious or concrete a connection with the lesson as do some of the other activities. Help the children make that connection by intentionally discussing the way the activity relates to the lesson of the day. Discuss during preparation, eating and clean-up times. 

Remember to have children wash hands before working with food. 

ALLERGY NOTE:  Just to be on the safe side, check ingredient labels to make sure nuts and nut oils are not included in any cooking activities!!


Lesson Plan 


  1. Introduce yourself to the students.
  2. Introduce the day’s story/station and the main learning purpose:  For this Rotation, we are celebrating Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  A lot of things happened in the days right before Jesus died and was raised from the dead.  In the cooking station, we are going to make a salad with ingredients that remind us of all of these events from Holy Week.
  3. Open with a prayer.



Please make sure that the students hear and “get” the Bible story as well as the application of that story to their lives.  The Bible story is the MOST important part of the lesson—it is much more important than the activity associated with this station!


Say:  You might have heard the phrase “Holy Week” before.  That refers to the last week in the life of Jesus before he died on the cross.  In our last Rotation, we learned about the Last Supper.  This was just one of the events of Holy Week. We are going to learn about many of the other events of that week as we create a salad.  (Note: The telling of the story is part of the cooking activity.) 

Have students wash their hands

Have all of the ingredients on a table or counter near to you as you tell the story.  Make sure that each student has a plate or bowl in front of them. 

Explanation for Teacher

After you have talked about one event of Holy Week and its ingredient, you will have one student come up to distribute that ingredient to each of the other students.  It will be easier to have the students use their hands (as opposed to serving utensils) so have the student doing the distribution put on a plastic glove before they do their part.  If you have more students than ingredients, you might want to assign two students to share in some of the ingredients.  Every student should get a chance to do something with the ingredients, whether it is mixing the dressing and handing out food.


Say: The first Sunday of Holy week was an  exciting time! Jerusalem was crowded because many people had come from all  over to celebrate Passover later that week. This springtime celebration reminded the Jewish people that God helped their ancestors escape from slavery in Egypt. People  came to  Jerusalem to celebrate Passover because the Jewish Temple was in  Jerusalem.  

Ask: Do you remember what happened on Palm Sunday?  (Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  A large crowd spread palm branches and cloaks on the road before Jesus.  They shouted “Hosanna!)   

Say:  This fulfilled a prophecy from the Old Testament that said “”See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey.” This is the one time that Jesus allowed the people to treat Him as the king that He really was.  

Ask:  Did Jesus come to earth to be a worldly king who would defeat the Romans and make Israel a powerful nation again? (No, although many people thought he would be an earthly king. They didn’t realize then that Jesus came to save us from sin—forever—not just save the Israelites from the Romans). 

Say: What a treasure to be in God’s kingdom, and not the kingdom of sin. Palm Sunday was a great day but even then people were planning bad things to do to Jesus. 

Say:  Which of these salad ingredients reminds you of the leafy palm branches? (the lettuce)  

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front and put on a glove.  Ask them to put a small handful of lettuce on each plate or bowl.  

Say:  During the week, Jesus spent time at the temple in Jerusalem.  He knew that he didn’t have much time left with his followers, so he spent some time teaching them.  He taught them about things like the Kingdom of God, the Greatest Commandment (which is to love God with all of your heart and soul and mind), and the signs that would come at the end of the age.  He  taught them a lesson in giving when He saw the poor widow woman give two small coins, which was all that she owned.       

Ask:  When you go to the store, it seems that a lot of teacher gifts look like a certain kind of fruit.  Which of these salad ingredients would that be? (the apple—sitting by the bowl of apple slices)   

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front and put on a glove.  Ask them to put 2-3 apple slices on each plate or bowl.  

Say:  The tension was growing with each passing day. On Thursday, near sundown, Jesus and his friends entered a borrowed house. Here they ate the Passover meal together. 

Ask:  Do you remember what the Passover was about? (When the Israelites escaped from Egypt.  They painted their doorway with the blood of a lamb so that their first-born would not die).  

Say:  Their food included unleavened bread.  This bread reminded the Jews that their ancestors had escaped Egypt so quickly that there was no time to make normal bread.  Jesus took some of the symbolic foods of the Passover meal and changed their meanings—they are now our Holy Communion.  Jesus took the bread at the meal, broke it and gave it to his disciples and said “This is my body, given for you”.  The unleavened bread is his body.    

Ask:  Which of these salad ingredients reminds us of the bread at the Passover meal? (croutons)  

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front and put on a glove.  Ask them to put 2-3 croutons on each plate or bowl.  

Say:  Jesus took another one of the foods at  the Passover meal and gave it another meaning.  Jesus took the wine and offered it to  them, saying “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” The wine is his blood—which was shed for the forgiveness of sins.  When you receive communion (or the blessing at communion) you are receiving the treasure of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit. 

Ask:  Wine is made from grapes.  When you dry grapes, what food do you get? (raisins)  

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front and put on a glove.  Ask them to put a small handful of raisins on each plate or bowl.  

Say:  After the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane.  He went there to pray to God, His heavenly Father.  Jesus really did not want to suffer the torture that was coming—the beatings and the death on the cross (and who can blame him!)  He prays to God:  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not MY will but YOURS be  done”.  Jesus prayed so hard, that His sweat was like drops of blood. Jesus doesn’t want to do this, but he does because God the Father has said that it must be done.  God sends an angel to the garden to give Jesus strength for what is coming.  

Say:  Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane.  The word Gethsemane means “oil press”, a place for squeezing oil from olives.  We are going to start making our salad dressing now. 

Ask:  Which ingredient do you think we will be using for this? (olive oil)   

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front (they don’t need a glove).  Have them pour the premeasured olive oil into the shaker jar.  

Say:  While Jesus and his disciples were still in the garden, Judas came with a group of soldiers to arrest Jesus. Judas approached Jesus to kiss him (that was the sign to the soldiers, so they would arrest the right man). Jesus says “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”  Jesus was put on trial—first with the religious leaders (the Pharisees) and then with Pilate, a Roman leader.  He was sentenced to death. 

Ask:  Was Jesus really guilty of anything? (no)  

Then why did He have to die? (He died to pay the price for our sins, so that we wouldn’t have to).  

Say:  It wasn’t just Judas or the Roman soldiers who sent Jesus to the cross—it was all of us because of our sins. The crucifixion happened on Good Friday.  They sentenced him to be crucified and he began the long, lonely journey towards the cross.  By afternoon, darkness covered the city.  Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”  A man filled a sponge with some vinegar, put it on a stick and offered it to Jesus to drink.  Then Jesus breathed his last breath and died.  The ground trembled, and the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom.  A Roman soldier stood at the foot of the cross and whispered, “Truly, this man was God’s Son!” The ingredient that we will use to remember Jesus’ death is vinegar, which we will also use for the salad dressing (point to bottle of vinegar).  

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front (they don’t need a glove).  Have them pour the premeasured vinegar into the shaker jar

Say:  After he died, some of the friends of Jesus took His body down from the cross. The Holy Sabbath was fast approaching, so they didn’t have time to properly prepare his body for burial.  They wrapped the body in spices and cloths and placed it in a  cave-tomb.  Then they closed up the tomb with a huge stone.  The women  planned to come back on Sunday morning—after the Sabbath was over—to finish preparing his body. 

Say:  Our salad dressing needs some spices to make it taste better (point to container with the premeasured spices).  We will use these spices to remember that Jesus was buried in the tomb.  

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front (they don’t need a glove).  Have them pour the premeasured vinegar into the shaker jar.  Either this student—or another student—can then shake the jar to mix the ingredients.  

Do:  Select another student and give them the spoon and the jar of salad dressing.  Have them place a spoonful of dressing on each plate or bowl.  

Say:  Jesus was buried on Friday.  Now we come to Easter Sunday morning. 

Ask:  What did the women find  when they came to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning?  (tomb was empty, angel was there telling  them that Jesus was not there because He was risen from the dead). 

Say:  Because He was raised from the dead, we too will enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven one day.  That is something to be happy and excited about! 

Say:  Sometimes, when people have a party or parade, they throw paper confetti.  This coconut looks a little like confetti, so that will be our last ingredient for our salad.  

Do:  Select one student to come up to the front and put on a glove.  Ask them to put a small handful of coconut into the hand of each student. Tell the students to hold onto the coconut and not put it onto their salad—yet.  

Say: On Easter Sunday, the pastor will say “Jesus is Risen!” and the people will reply “He is Risen indeed!  Alleluia!”  We are going to do that right now.  I will say “Jesus is Risen!”  Then you will say “He is Risen indeed!  Alleluia!” and sprinkle your coconut on the top of your salad.    

Do:  Go through this step. "Jesus is risen..." 

Do: Now it is time for everyone to eat their salad.  As the students are eating their salads, ask them about the various ingredients and what they mean.  

Questions:  Ask a few questions about the Bible story.  You can ask

  • Factual questions (Who, What, When, Where, etc)
  • Why questions (Why did they do this, why did this happen, etc)
  • What do you think or feel about what happened?
  • Application  questions—some examples (How were their lives different because….. and how   would your life be different;   Was……..different or harder in Bible times than it would be now; what would this look like today; how could you……….) 


Have the children assist in the cleanup. 

Close in Prayer.

Additional Suggestions

Age Adaptations

  • Younger students: Give the youngest students the easiest ingredients to pass.
  • PreSchool students:  We do not have a separate class for them—they are a part of the younger class (PreK – 2. Following are a few suggestions IF you have a PreK student in your class: 
    • You might want to assign one of the older students to be the PreK child’s “buddy” and help them with the various activities.
    • They   may also need more assistance from you or the guide, even if they have a “buddy.” (Editor notes: In some churches "Guides” are called "Shepherds.")



  • Engel. The Last Supper: Cooking/Storytelling Idea." 2004. Web.
  • Western Suburbs (Chicago) Rotation Roundtable Group. "Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet: Art Workshop." 2007. Web.


A lesson written by Cathy Walz from: St. John Lutheran Church
Forest Park, IL 

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

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