Chapter 4—Darkness and Disobedience
Questions to Think About and Discuss
1. If you had been Nathan, would you have disobeyed your mother and sneaked off to go into Jerusalem. Why or why not?
2. Ben gave into “peer pressure” when he allowed Nathan to get him to sneak into Jerusalem after Nathan’s mother said they could not go. Have you ever given in to peer pressure? Have you ever resisted peer pressure?
3. Was Nathan’s father Eli correct when he said that a crucifixion was “not something for you boys to see”?
Compare the scene at the cross in chapter 4 with the biblical accounts of the scene. (See Matt. 27:32-54, Mark 15:33-39, Luke 23:26-47 and John 19:16-30.)
Make a chart showing the words Jesus said while dying on the cross.
Make two columns:
-one with words included in The Temple Curtain
-one with words not included in the story of Nathan and Ben at the cross
1. Draw or paint a picture of Nathan and Ben walking into the city of Jerusalem in the dark.
Suggestion: Make a “crayon resist” painting. Draw with crayons, pressing hard so the wax of the crayons will resist when you paint over the paper with dark paint. Draw the boys, the road and houses and the spots of light from fires and oil lamps. Press firmly with the crayons, especially for the spots of light. Then paint over the picture with a black wash. This means you will dilute the black paint so it is not so thick that it covers too much of your picture. Use a large flat brush if it’s available. (Scribble some crayon on another paper and experiment with the amount of water to add to your paint. Remember that the paint dries lighter than when it is wet.)
1. Write a poem in which you describe what it was like during three hours of unbelievable darkness (while Jesus hung on the cross.)
2. Pretend you are another child in Palestine on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Where are you when it becomes so dark? What do you do for three hours in the dark? What happens to you when the earthquake comes and the darkness disappears? Describe what you see, hear, and feel.
3. In The Temple Curtain, Nathan and Ben become part of the Bible story of Jesus’ crucifixion. For example, when Nathan tells the soldier how Jesus healed his legs, the soldiers words are taken right from the Bible story. Pick a Bible story that you know well. Write it so that you are part of the story—not just an observer.
1. Act out the conversation of Nathan and Ben in the yard and as they walk away into the darkness and head for Jerusalem. (Use two students)
If you want to involve more students, start with eating lunch and what is said and done when it turns dark at noon. (Add Sarah, Rachel, and Josiah to the “cast.”)
2. Act out the scene at the cross. You can use more characters for this one: Nathan, Ben, a priest, a soldier, a centurion, and two men on the cross. For Jesus words, have someone read the words rather than try to act Jesus’ part out.
3. You might want to act out the entire chapter. There is a lot of dialogue to work with.