Lesson 31

Jesus Christ’s Betrayal, Arrest, and Trial

“Lesson 31: Jesus Christ’s Betrayal, Arrest, and Trial,” Primary 7: New Testament (1997), 105–107


To strengthen each child’s commitment to be valiant in his or her testimony of Jesus Christ.


  1. Prayerfully study Matthew 26:14–16, 47–27:31 and Luke 22:47–23:25. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

  2. Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  3. Write the following words and phrases on separate cards: Son of God, Savior, Redeemer, divine, perfect, all-powerful, loving, Creator, teacher, healer, spit upon, betrayed, falsely accused, buffeted (hit), smote, scourged (whipped), tied up, mocked, crowned with thorns, condemned to die.

  4. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible or a New Testament for each child.

    2. Tape or some means of displaying the cards.

    3. Pictures 7-31, The Betrayal of Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 228; 62468), and 7-32, Peter’s Denial (Gospel Art Picture Kit 229; 62177).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Mix up the cards you have prepared and place them face down on a table or on the floor. Explain to the children that some of these cards describe Jesus and others describe what was done to him near the end of his life. Have the children take turns choosing a card, reading it, and putting it in one of two piles. In the first pile they should put the words that describe Jesus, and in the other they should put the words that tell what was done to him near the end of his life.

Review briefly the events that occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane and tell the children that in this lesson they will learn about the events that happened soon after Jesus finished praying in Gethsemane.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and trial (Matthew 26:14–16, (Matthew 26:47–27:31 and Luke 22:47–23:25). (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Ask the children to listen for the words that describe what was done to Jesus. Help them understand that Jesus could have used his power to protect himself from this abuse, but he knew it was part of the suffering he had to endure to fulfill his earthly mission and complete the Atonement (see Mosiah 15:5).

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • Who betrayed Jesus? (Matthew 26:14–16.) How did Judas betray him? (Matthew 26:48.) What happened to Judas? (Matthew 27:3–5.)

  • Why did Jesus stop his Apostles from defending him? (Matthew 26:51–54; Luke 22:49–51.) What lesson do you think his disciples learned when Jesus healed the wounded man’s ear? Why do you think the Apostles ran away and left Jesus? (Matthew 26:56.) What do you think you might have done if you had been there?

  • Why didn’t Jesus answer his accusers during his trial? (Matthew 26:62–63; 27:12–14; Luke 23:9.) (See enrichment activity 3.) Explain that when Jesus was asked if he was Christ, the Son of God, or King of the Jews, he answered (see Matthew 26:63–64; 27:11). Point out that Jesus did not deny his identity or try to save himself. Jesus knew that he had to be crucified to complete his mission on earth.

  • Refer again to the list of words in the attention activity that describe what the people did to Jesus. What do you think of when you read these words? How do you feel about the terrible things the people did to Jesus? Has anyone ever been unkind to you because you believe in Jesus Christ or because you go to church? What did you do?

  • How many times did Peter deny knowing Jesus? (Luke 22:54–60.) Why do you think Peter did this? How did Peter feel when he realized what he had done? (Luke 22:61–62.) Help the children understand that Peter had not yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter was a great man who later became President of the Church and gave his life for his testimony. How can we be valiant in our testimonies of Jesus Christ no matter what challenges we face? (See enrichment activity 5.)

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. Have the children each name one of Jesus’ qualities or attributes they especially appreciate.

  2. Review the first and third articles of faith. Help the children understand that these articles of faith remind us of the divinity of Jesus Christ and of the importance of his mission.

  3. Put the following words on signs: Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod. Give these signs to three children and explain that each one of these rulers had a different responsibility in the country. Have the “rulers” stand in different places in the room and have the rest of the class visit them while the three children read the following speeches. Or have the three children stand in front of the class to read their parts:

    Caiaphas: My name is Caiaphas. I am the Jewish high priest, which means I am the religious leader of the Jews. I wanted to have Jesus put to death, but I had to get approval from the Roman leader, so I sent him to Pilate.

    Pilate: My name is Pontius Pilate. I am the Roman governor, which means I am the political leader of Judea. The Jews wanted me to sentence Jesus to death, but I could find no fault in him. I sent him to Herod.

    Herod: My name is Herod. I am a Jew, and the Romans have made me a king over Galilee. Pilate sent Jesus to me because I am the king over the area where Jesus grew up. I was eager to see this man named Jesus. I had heard about him and wanted to see him do a miracle, but he refused to talk to me or answer my questions. I sent him back to Pilate.

    Pilate: I still could find no reason to condemn this man to die, but the people insisted. I finally gave up trying to tell the people that I found no fault with Jesus and let the people take him away to crucify him.

    After the three children have gone back to their seats, discuss what it would have been like for Jesus to have to go before each of these men and be questioned by them.

  4. Write on slips of paper some situations, such as the following, that might be difficult for the children to face (use situations that would be appropriate for your class):

    Someone laughs at you for going to church.

    Someone tries to talk you into trying some drugs or smoking a cigarette.

    You see a schoolmate being mean to another child.

    Your nonmember friends ask you to explain your beliefs.

    A schoolmate asks you to tell a lie to keep him or her out of trouble.

    Have the children take turns drawing a slip and reading it. Let the class discuss each situation and decide what would be the right thing to do. Emphasize that sometimes it is hard to be valiant in our testimony of Jesus Christ, but we will be greatly blessed when we are.

  5. Give each child one or two of the cards that describe Jesus (you could also use other words or phrases that describe Jesus). Ask the children to tell you what they thought of when they read the words on their cards. Ask them to decide in their minds if they really know that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior, the Redeemer, and so on. Invite the children to describe how this knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ has blessed them.

  6. Have the class sing or invite someone to come to class and sing “He Died That We Might Live Again” (Children’s Songbook, p. 65).



Bear your testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and share with the children how important this testimony is to you. Express your gratitude for Jesus’ willingness to suffer and die so that we could be resurrected and have eternal life.

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Matthew 26:47–54 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.