Lent for children & families: A Lenten version of a “Jesse Tree”

I’ve been meaning for a few days to post a link I included in an earlier Lenten Links compilation as a stand-alone entry here.  The resource is found at FridgeArt – a great site for crafts and family resources for the liturgical year.

Here is the Fridge Art Lenten Crafts & Activities page.

Note especially their idea for a Lenten Cross — which is basically very similar to an Advent Jesse tree in that it provides a structured way to appreciate prophecies about Christ’s crucifixion. Here’s how the Lenten Cross is described — this looks to be a really excellent idea, and all the Scripture references for each day of Lent are provided!

This family activity is similar to the Jesse Tree used at Advent. The Jesse Tree follows both the family tree of Jesus and the history of the first Advent when God’s people awaited the coming of the Messiah. The Lenten Cross simultaneously follows the Messianic prophecies through the Old Testament and matches each with its fulfillment in the Crucifixion narrative.

Like the Jesse Tree, your family Lenten Cross can be made of many materials. Some options are: a banner with Velcro dots for fastening, a wooden cross with small nails or hooks, or a laminated cardboard poster with reuseable sticky putty.


Here is the list of Scripture verses and corresponding image or symbol for each day of Lent:

Ash Wednesday Even Now (Joel 2:12-13) Image: ashes – as in the sign we receive on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday
2nd Day of Lent (Thursday) Original sin (Genesis 3:1-20) Image: an apple, or a small plastic snake
3rd Day (Friday) Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-12) Image: two men, one standing with his fist raised
4th Day (Saturday) Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6:5-13, 9:8-11) Image: picture of Noah’s ark

5th Day (Monday) Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18) Image: a lamb
6th Day (Tuesday) Jesus and Abraham (John 8:31-40) Image: a chain – symbol of the slavery Christ frees us from
7th Day (Wednesday) Moses and the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-21) Image: picture of the two tablets
8th Day (Thursday) The Covenant with Abraham and Moses (Jeremiah 31:31-33) Image: an outstretched hand
9th Day (Friday) A New Covenant (Luke 22:15-20) Image: two hands clasped together
10th Day (Saturday) 2 Great Commandments (Matthew 22:34-40) Image: notice of the two great commandments

11th Day (Monday) Forty Years in the Desert (Numbers 14:2-4, 10-112, 17-19, 33-34) Image: small piece of bread to represent manna
12th Day (Tuesday) Forty Days in the Desert (Luke 4:1-13) Image: a stone/picture of a city to represent Satan’s temptation
13th Day (Wednesday) The Day of the Lord (Joel 2:10-16) Image: a trumpet
14th Day (Thursday) Jonas and the Whale (Jonah 1:1 – 4:11) Image: a plastic whale or fish, a picture of a large whale
15th Day (Friday)Whom Shall I send? (Isaiah 6:8-10) Image: a red coal
16th Day (Saturday) Trust and Rescue (Psalm 22) Image: a small globe

17th Day (Monday) Prophetic Role of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1: 4-8, 3:12-15) Image: a shepherd’s staff
18th Day (Tuesday)Story of Elijah (2 Kings 2:9-12) Image: a chariot and horses
19th Day (Wednesday) Story of Elisha (2 Kings 4:38-44) Image: basket of bread and fishes
20th Day (Thursday) Loaves and Fishes (Mark 6:34-44) Image: basket of bread and fish
21th Day (Friday) Gabriel and the Anointed One (Daniel 9:15-24) Image: a picture of the angel Gabriel
22nd Day (Saturday) Anointing of David (1Sam. 16:1-13) Image: a horn or jug of oil

23rd Day (Monday) Anointing at Bethany (Matthew 26:6-13) Image: vial of perfume
24th Day (Tuesday) John the Baptist (Luke 1:13-17, 80) Image: pitcher of water
25th Day (Wednesday) Prophecy of New Order (Micah 4:1-7) Image: a sword and a pruning hook
26th Day (Thursday) Fulfillment of all Prophecies (Luke 24:44-48) Image: picture of a book, the Scriptures
27th Day (Friday) Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36) Image: a tent
28th Day (Saturday) Entrance Into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1-9) Image: small plastic donkey or piece of palm

29th Day (Monday) Zeal for your house consumes me (Psalms. 69:6-25) Image: a musical instrument
30th Day (Tuesday) Driving the moneylenders from the temple (John 2:13-25) Image: a knotted piece of rope
31st Day (Wednesday) Judas (Matthew 26:14-25) Image: silver coins – to represent Judas’ 30 pieces of silver
32nd Day (Thursday) The Innocent Victim (Isaiah 53:1-12) Image: a white lamb
33rd Day (Friday) Last Supper (Luke 22:14- 20) Image: cup and plate
34th Day (Saturday)Agony in Garden (Matthew 26:36-46) Image: olives – from the garden of Gethsemane

35th Day (Monday) Denial of Jesus (Mark 14:29-31 and 14:66-72) Image: small plastic rooster
36th Day (Tuesday) Crown of Thorns (Matt. 27:27 – Matt. 27:31) Image: a twig bent in a circle – the crown of thorns
37th Day (Wednesday) Scourging at the Pillar Image: a leather strip – the thongs of the whip used when Jesus was scourged  [Update: Day 37 suggested Scripture Matt 27:26 or Mark 15:15]
38th Day (Holy Thursday)The Two Thieves (Luke 23:32 – 43) Image: a row of three crosses
39th Day (Good Friday) On the Cross Image: a single die, a piece of sponge and a blue strip of cloth  [Update: Day 39 suggested Scripture John 19:16-19]
40th Day (Holy Saturday) Death Of Jesus (Matthew 27: 45-54) Image: small stones/gravel/dirt – reminder of the earthquake

My apologies for not truly highlighting this excellent resource sooner!

9 Responses to Lent for children & families: A Lenten version of a “Jesse Tree”

  1. […] Favorite Lent Resources Some NEW Lenten Resources to recommend Update on Anglican Lent Resources Lent for children & families: A Lenten version of a “Jesse Tree” Index of all the 2006 Anglican Bloggers Lenten Devotional […]

  2. […] Here’s a great resource of 40 days of Lent Readings…(great for family devotions…especially with older kids…includes pictures/symbols […]

  3. […] Lent for children & families: A Lenten version of a “Jesse Tree” [2009] […]

  4. […] A Lenten Tree is a great way to help little ones focus on the season, and they don’t have to be complex or “artisan” to be meaningful.  Even printouts or simple drawings help life our eyes to Christ and his sacrifice.  This is a simple list of symbols and scriptures. […]

  5. Kristine says:

    What scripture readings do you suggest for the 37th and 39th days?

  6. Hi Kristine, good catch to notice there were no Scriptures listed on those days! I’d never realized that.

    For Day 37, how about:

    Matthew 27:26
    Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified..


    Mark 15:15
    So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

    For Day 39

    John 19:16-19

    So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

    So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

    Karen B.
    Lent & Beyond

  7. 18andabused account

    Lent for children & families: A Lenten version of a “Jesse Tree” | Lent & Beyond

  8. php script says:

    Hi, you used to write excellent posts, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great posts. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track!

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