Scripture:  Matthew 26: 26-32                                                Fifth Sunday in Lent           


                                                JESUS GIVES HIS LIFE FOR US                              



15 min.            As members come in, direct them to the refreshment table that has hot cross buns and grape drink on it.  Explain that these buns are often served during Lent to remind Christians of Christ's death on the cross. 


05 min.            When the members are seated and quiet, ask one of them to bring an open Bible to the worship center table and to light a candle.  Begin with a prayer.  For example, " Our Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.  We thank You for showing us the way to eternal life."


05 min.            Read Matthew 26: 26-32.  Follow the reading by singing, "Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees." Direct the members' attention to a table at the front of the room.  Tell them they will be pretending they are at the Passover Feast with Jesus and the disciples.  Ask one of the leaders to portray the part of Jesus, as the material is lengthy.  Several of the members will be the disciples and one will be the narrator.  Ask the disciples to go to the table and start eating.  Make sure there are places set at the table and chairs around it.  Each plate will have some fruit pieces on it.


15 min.            Narrator:  While the disciples were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, blessed it and broke it. He gave it to the disciples.


                        Jesus:  Take, eat.  This is my body.


                        Narrator:  Then he took a cup.  After giving thanks, He gave it to them.


Jesus:  All of you, drink from it.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.


                        Disciples:  (All will sing.) Let Us Break Bread Together On our Knees.


Narrator:  When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


(Disciples walk with Jesus across the room toward the door.)


Jesus:  You will all become deserters because of me this night.  It is written, `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'  But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.


15 min.            Ask members to think about the supper in the drama.  Tell them that Jesus wanted the disciples to remember his death.  By celebrating Holy Communion or the Eucharist in Christian Churches we remember that Jesus died for our sins.


Ask the members if they know how Jesus died.  Some will say that he died on the cross. Pass around an assortment of crosses including ones made of silver and gold as well as some crudely made. Explain that death on the cross was extremely painful and cruel, but Jesus was willing to die that way.  He never sinned and did not deserve to die, but he took on the sins of the world so that you and I could come to God, the Father because of Christ's sacrifice.


Tell the class that the disciples did desert Jesus as he said they would.  Jesus also rose from the grave as He said He would.  That is Christ's Resurrection.  Christians will celebrate Jesus' Resurrection on Easter Sunday, two weeks from today.


05 min.            Ask the members how many of them remembered to pray for five minutes every day in the past week.  Give those members a praying hands sticker.  Encourage them to pray silently for the needs on their card.  Close by thanking God for sending Jesus to be the Savior of the world.  Extinguish the candle.