Our church did a "Good Friday Experience" this years that was really neat. I know, it sounds a little "new age" the whole "experience" thing. Once upon a time I would have turned my nose up at that - but oh how glad I am for the opportunity to grow in grace! It was fabulous. They set up station all through the sanctuary taken from the last 24 hours of Jesus life (the last super, the garden, the tools of punishment etc..) and at each one there were objects to help you reflect and Scriptures to read and challenges for every day living that pertained to the theme. The final station was the cross. It was such a neat way to reflect. We took the oldest 3 kids through as well.
That evening we had the Lees over to read about the arrest, trial, persecution, and death of Christ. We also shared "wine" and "unleavened bread." With each reading we blew out a candle until they were all blown out (the white one representing Christ is then re lit on Easter morning).
We ending our reading together with Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 15 "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain... And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins...If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." Praise the Lord that the story does not end there!!!
(You can see in the above picture that Tyson was really in the Good Friday spirit). Afterwards we put the 4 youngest to bed and watched most of the Passion of the Christ (fast forwarded a few parts) with the Lees and their kids and our oldest 3. Watching the movie with these kids will remind you of how numb we can become to what Christ has done for us. Those children wept and wept through that movie. At one point I wondered if it was just too much but Jason reminded me that it is the most legitimate thing they have ever cried over. They were deeply moved and it truly assisted them in deeper worship throughout the weekend.