This Jesus is King game is a fun way to recreate the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem and the people recognizing him as the King of kings. It offers a great opportunity to talk about the fact that the crowds recognized Jesus as the king, or messiah, that they had been waiting for, and to talk about what it means for Jesus to be “King”.
Jesus is King: The Story – Jesus Enters Jerusalem
Near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, before his death and resurrection, he enters Jerusalem (knowing that he is going to his death) and the people in the crowds recognize him as King (Luke 19:28-44).
Before he entered Jerusalem, Jesus told his disciples, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here” (Luke 19:30). They did as Jesus said. When they returned with the colt, they threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.
As they entered Jerusalem, the people also spread their cloaks on the road ahead of Jesus. Spreading their cloaks on the road ahead of Jesus was a way to honor him and to recognize and declare that he was the King of kings, the promised Messiah.
Why did people lay down their cloaks to declare that Jesus was King?
The word for “cloaks” or “garments” used in Luke’s Gospel actually means “tallit,” or “prayer shawl”. A prayer shawl was a seamless garment with four corners, with a tassel attached to each of the four corners to remind the Jewish people of all the commands of God.
On the collar of the prayer shawl, the Hebrew letters spelled, “Lord of lords and King of kings” as a symbolic reminder of the promised Messiah. By laying their “tallit’s” down, the people were acknowledging Jesus as God’s promised Messiah. They were declaring that Jesus was the one worthy to be called the “Lord of lords and King of kings”.
“Jesus is King” Game: Cloak Relay
This is a great game to play at church, at school, or at home on Palm Sunday, Easter, or any day of the year. The story of Jesus entering Jerusalem coincides nicely with Palm Sunday. But telling the story of how Jesus is the King of kings is a great lesson for kids year round. And this game is a great activity to talk about how people recognized Jesus as the king that they were waiting for, and what it means for Jesus to be King.
In the Jesus is King cloak relay, participants will have to get one “King” from the starting line to the finish line, while the King is only allowed to step on the “cloaks” and not the ground.
To play this game, you will need:
- two or more players
- a timer if you have only one “team”
- towels, pieces of fabric, or old shirts for the “cloaks” (at least 3 per team)
How to Play the “Jesus is King” Game
1. If you have four or more children in your group, divide them into two teams. If not, you can time them and they can try to improve their time.
2. Set up a starting line and a finish line.
3. Select a person on each team to be “King”. This person can only move along where there are “cloaks” on the ground.
4. Give each team a limited number of ‘cloaks,’ so that they must constantly be running forward and backward along the King’s route to get the next cloak so he/she can keep travelling forward.
5. Have each team start at the starting line. When you say “go”, they need to move the cloaks in a way that the King can travel from the starting line to the finish line only stepping on the cloaks.
This game is part of the Big God Project curriculum.
The Big God Project tells the whole story of the Bible as one big story about what God is doing (creating, redeeming, making all things new….) This curriculum runs for three years and it includes engaging videos of each Bible story, questions to get everyone involved in worship and reflection, games for the whole congregation to introduce the worship theme, games, crafts and activities for the kids (complete with done-for-you videos if you are short on Sunday school leaders), and journal pages for the kids.