The Magic Cross
Grade Level Span: Grades: K-8
Category: New Testament - Jesus died for us
Bible Reference - Matthew 27: 32-61, Mark 15: 21-32, Luke 23: 26-43, John 18: 16-27
Materials: Copy of this instruction page, 1 piece of 8.5x11 paper for each student (the thinnest paper possible is best.)
Preparation: Make a cross before class so you know what to do without looking at the instructions.
Childrens Instruction: Make the cross again in front of the class. When you have shown them your finished cross, the children will most likely be interested to know how to make their own "magic" cross. 1. Pass out the plain paper 2. Have everyone do each step at the same time. Check to be sure the cross folds are correct.
The photos have dots drawn on the paper only as reference to show you how to fold the paper. If you think your class will need some reference, put a big dot in each of 2 corners of the paper WHERE SHOWN. You should be able to see the dots at all times during folding. Dots will 'disappear" or really be discarded in the end.
1. Orient the paper with the dots at the "top" if you made dots, but dots are not necessary to make the cross if you leave the paper in place and follow the intructions. Fold the lower left corner of the paper diagonally until the bottom of the paper meets the right side of the paper.
2. Take the bottom right pointed corner and fold it to meet the upper left corner of the first fold.
3. Bring up the bottom point of the paper and fold over where the other folds ended.
4. Pick up the paper and flip it over, sideways.You will not see your dots. They will be face-down. Fold it sideways in half. You will see your dot again if you used dots.
5. Visualize about an inch from the fold.You will tear through all the layers down the imaginary line. For younger children: You may want to draw a light line for tearing 1 inch from the fold. It may be a little more difficult for very young children to tear through all the layers, so teacher help to start it may be necesary. TEAR SLOWLY IN LITTLE BITS.
6. Even if the tear is ragged, that's ok. Jesus cross was rough wood! Note, the farther away from the fold that you tear, the fatter the cross will be.
7. Discard the pieces with the dot. Open the main piece and you have the cross! Remind the children there is no real magic! This is a trick. Only Jesus did true miracles.
Death on the cross was a very cruel death. Jesus suffered. Depending on you student's age, you may or may not wish to dwell on this aspect of the Easter story. The cross today reminds us of His suffering for us, and by extension, the promise of new life in Christ after death and all He taught us.
Alternate discussion: The cross is our "Ticket to heaven"! When you begin showing the class this activity, hold up the blank sheet of page and tell them, "This is your ticket to heaven! You all can have one! They're free!" Then start folding and talking about what Jesus did for us while you complete the activity! They'll "get it" when you're done! Ask them why they think think this is a ticket to heaven. Ask them, though it's free, what do you have to do with it? (believe/have faith, be a good Christian. love God, love Jesus, etc)