EPISODE 03: Jesus Saves Us
Unit 03: Jesus Reigns
Matthew 26:25-68; 27:15-56; Mark 15:21-39; Luke 22:66–23:5, 23:18-49; John18:28–19:37; 1 John 4:14



: to put to death by nailing or binding one’s hands and feet to a cross; to treat cruelly, torture

Today we’ll explore a story that, if it were broadcast on TV, would begin with a warning about jarring images of violence. But this isn’t a made-up story—it’s a factual account of Jesus’ death on the cross.

We’ll GET INTO how Jesus saves us. We’ll join Him as He’s arrested, tried, tortured, and crucified. We’ll stand with Him as He faces a high priest and a governor. Then we’ll walk with Him to a hill where a cross will claim His earthly life. After the video, we’ll TALK IT UP and ACT IT OUT, discovering what the truth that Jesus saves means to us today.

So get ready to stream “Crucified.” It’s a hard story to watch, but one filled with power and hope.

Play Video

In today’s video we join Jesus as He’s on a rescue mission—a mission to save us from our sins, those things we’ve chosen to do that are wrong. Use these questions to TALK IT UP and dig into what Jesus did for us:

  • Jesus prayed, telling God He didn’t want to suffer and die. But, if that’s what God wanted, Jesus said He’d do it. Thinking about that prayer, what does that tell you about Jesus? About God?
  • Some people don’t think they need to be saved by Jesus. They figure their good deeds are enough to make God happy. What would you say to those people?
  • Which part of today’s account from the Bible makes you saddest? Which makes you happiest? Why?
  • When Jesus died for people’s sins, He died for all sins—including yours and mine. Do you think if everyone else was perfect (they’re not!) and only you sinned, Jesus still would have died on the cross? Why do you answer as you do? How does your answer make you feel?

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, He was coming to do more than celebrate the Passover. He was coming to give His life as a sacrifice. He was coming to die.

That becomes clear when we look at the warning that Jesus gave His disciples, telling them what is about to happen (Matthew 26:1-2). And it’s confirmed when we overhear Jesus pray in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 26:42).

Jesus knew what was coming. He knew the cost of saving us, and He chose to pay that price anyway.

Jesus’ crucifixion may be hard to watch, but we can’t look away because what happens on the cross is the beginning of our hope. It rescues us from sin and makes things right between us and God. It invites us into a life packed with purpose as we follow Jesus.

And it forces us to admit that we, too, require saving—our sins separate us from God and only Jesus can rescue us. Only Jesus can save us from our sins!

Choose 1 (or more) of these activities and further explore what it means to be saved—by others and by Jesus!

  • Make a list of people you count on to save your body if things go wrong—firefighters, emergency room workers, and lifeguards might make the list. Write and send a note of appreciation to 1 of those people. Then write a note of appreciation to Jesus—He’s your #1 Savior!
  • If an ambulance crew shows up at your house, they’ll need a list of medical conditions and medications for the person they’ve come to get. Help them save you and everyone else in your family. Create a medical list for each person who lives at your house. Place the lists in a sealed envelope and tape the envelope to your refrigerator. What do you think Jesus needed to know about you when He saved you from your sins by dying on the cross?
  • When someone saves a life, that lifesaver sometimes gets a medal. Design a medal you’d like to give to Jesus for saving you. If you want, actually make a medal out of cardboard and ribbon. No cardboard? No worries. Use a sheet of paper and create a “Life Savior Certificate.” Include Jesus’ name on the recipient’s line, mention what He did to save you, and sign your name. Show the medal or certificate to someone else and explain how Jesus is your life Savior.
  • Jesus saves you by dying for your sins. You can save others without going that far. Sign up for a CPR class through work, school, or at your area hospital.
  • Play a game of Gulping Guppies to consider how you can cooperate with Jesus’ desire to save everyone!
These questions will help you connect the Bible story to your own life. Use all the questions or pick 1 or 2—your choice!
  • Some people describe the truth that Jesus saves us as “Good News.” Tell about a time you got good news. What was it? How did you go about sharing it with others?
  • When we talk about Jesus saving us, what’s that mean? What’s something He is saving you from?
  • What, if anything, does Jesus expect you to do once He’s saved you? How do you know that’s what He expects?
  • If Jesus hadn’t saved you, how might your life and future be different?
  • Given what you’ve heard in this episode, why do you think Jesus went through the awful suffering of being crucified to save you?

Lead a prayer activity that will help participants thank Jesus and understand more fully what He went through on the cross to save us.


  1. Ask those who will be praying to stand and form a line facing you, side by side but a short distance apart. Have them raise their arms to shoulder height and hold their arms straight out to their sides. They’ll probably need to angle their bodies, so they don’t hit one another.
  2. Tell them to continue holding their arms straight out and at shoulder height until you tell them to do otherwise. Ask them to close their eyes and join you in prayer.
  3. For 60 seconds, thank Jesus for what He experienced as He paid the price for the sins of all people. As you pray, the arms of those who are praying will grow heavy and, at about the 1-minute mark, begin hurting.
  4. Interrupt your prayer by saying, “As we continue to pray, move so you can drape your arms over the shoulders of the people on both sides of you. If you’re at the end of the row, you can drop 1 arm to your side.”
  5. Continue praying. Thank Jesus for the great relief that comes from knowing that, because He has paid for our sins, we can come boldly to God through Him. We can have joy now and in Heaven. Pray for a full minute so those praying can experience the relief of having support for their arms.
  6. Finish by saying, “In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

After the prayer, talk about this:

  • How did it feel to keep your arms held out straight with no support?
  • How do you think Jesus felt when His hands were nailed to a cross, arms stretched out for hours?
  • How did it feel when your arms were supported by the people next to you? Remember to pray and thank God that He loves and supports you every minute of every day.

Jesus saves us. That’s great news—so great that we can’t keep it to ourselves!


Helping others know what Jesus has done and that they can become His friend forever is a gift that can change everything. So don’t keep this great news to yourself. Here are some ways to share it!

  • In a clear plastic bottle (remove the label once the bottle is empty), place a note on which you’ve written: “Jesus loves you and wants to be your friend. Jesus saves us!” Decide where you’ll put the bottle so it’s easy for someone to find.
  • Using crayons or markers, let colors represent the events that took place in today’s account from the Bible. On a sheet of paper, draw bands of color. Start on the left and move right as you go from the beginning of the story (Jesus and His disciples in the upper room) to the end (a soldier at the foot of the cross acknowledges Jesus truly was the Son of God). Show your creation to a friend and offer to explain which event each band of color represents. Remember, darker colors often represent sadness or anger; brighter colors represent happiness and good news. But you can pick any colors you want—how you express today’s account from the Bible is up to you.
  • Jesus and His disciples walked to a garden to pray. With your family, walk around your neighborhood and pray for people in each building you pass. Ask God to help them meet Jesus and choose to let Him save them. If you get to a garden, rest there and pray for your family.
  • Tell a friend why you’re happy Jesus saved you. Share why Jesus is important to you, and why you wanted to share something important with your friend.

Have an adult post what you do on an appropriate social media site. Use the hashtag #GodInAction so we can see how you’re sharing that Jesus saves us!