HE IS RISEN!

Hi all!  We are doing our Easter lesson today! He is Risen!

This story can be found in the Bible in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20.

It was now Sunday morning. Jesus had died on the cross on Friday. The leaders who wanted Him dead were laughing and happy He was finally gone! The people who loved Jesus missed Him terribly and even though He had told them LOTS of times that He would die and be alive again 3 days later (Matt 17:22, Mark 8:31, John 2:19, Matt 12:39-40, Matt 16:21, John 10:17, 18, see also: Isaiah 53:5-12, Psalm 35:19, Psalm 69:4, Psalm 22:16, Zech 12:10, Psalm 22:1, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 49:15) …they didn’t really understand and they were very sad AND they were scared the leaders would come after them next.

After Jesus died, the soldiers and leaders remembered Jesus saying He would live again and they set up guards in front of the tomb (kind of like a cave) where Jesus’ body was put after He died. They put a HUGE stone (bigger than your dad!) in front of the tomb…it would take a LOT of people to move it. They kept watch day and night because they thought the disciples would try to come take Jesus’ body and pretend He was alive. (They didn’t believe Jesus would REALLY live again!)

That Sunday morning, a few of the women who loved Jesus went to the tomb. They were going to put oil and spices on His body and pray. But, one of God’s angels came, rolled back the stone and sat on it. The guards were so scared they fainted!

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; HE HAS RISEN, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid but SO EXCITED, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my disciples; I will see them soon.”

This is THE story of the Bible. God is all powerful. He is perfect. He made all things and is in all things. He is stronger than anything, even death. God has the power over life and death. Our sin keeps us from God and we should die forever in hell away from God. But God sent His son Jesus to die in our place so we don’t have to. We know Jesus died and lived again and because He did that for us, when we die, we will live again in heaven if we believe He died for us and make Him king of our hearts.

Jesus dying AND living again shows God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It shows that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead, but will be resurrected unto forever life.

AMEN!

 

Today we made a diorama (or dino-rino as my kids called it). Basically a little theater and characters to tell the story.

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We used two pieces of green and 2 pieces of blue construction paper to make the grass and sky in our box. We cut out a sun and taped it to the ceiling with a string. We cut out a tomb and folded under the end to tape to the floor of our box. Then we crumpled up a piece of brown paper to be the stone. We also made a flat empty bed inside the tomb.

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The guards are guarding the tomb. (We drew them scared).

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The women are coming to visit the tomb.

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The angel is on the rock, inside the tomb is empty. The guards have passed out and the women are listening to the angel. Jesus is waiting to see them!

 

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all! Happy Easter!

Good Friday

Hi all. We are continuing the story of Easter today. Today’s story can be found in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.

Today is called Good Friday, though the story seems very very sad.

Jesus had been arrested because the leaders didn’t like how much the people liked Jesus. They were scared He would try to be more important than them. They took Him to the Israelite leaders and the Roman leaders and nobody could really decide what to do with Him.

Some of the leaders didn’t like that He said He was God’s son (even though He was.) Some of the leaders didn’t like how powerful He was (but remember, God can do ANYTHING!) Some of the leaders didn’t like how much the people loved Him (and how much HE loved them!!)

It was very confusing. Some of the leaders didn’t see any reason Jesus should die…but some of the others finally got the crowd all worked up and soon the people were yelling for Jesus to die.

(*parents of small children can edit this as needed) They hurt Him. They hit Him with sticks, they spit on Him, they took off His clothes and smacked Him with sharp thorny sticks. It was very very ouchy. But Jesus knew it had to happen. They made a crown from some thorns and put it on His head and laughed and laughed and said “HA! HERE’S YOUR ‘KING!'” They were making fun of Jesus. Finally, they got two big BIG pieces of wood and nailed and tied them together to make a cross. They made Jesus carry that big cross all through the streets. Some of the people in the streets (like the disciples and Jesus’ mom Mary) cried, because they loved Jesus, but most of the people were saying terrible things and were very mean to Him.

Finally, He went up a big hill and they put the cross in the ground standing up. Then they took nails and hammered through His hands into the wood (OUCH!) and they hammered His feet into the wood too. (OUCH!)

Some of the people laughed at Jesus and said, “If you are REALLY God’s son, you’d have enough power to get down off that cross!”

And that was true. Jesus DID have enough power to get off the cross. He could have asked for help from God, or for angels to help, or He could have just walked away, but He didn’t.

While He was on the cross, God put all our bad choices (sin) on Jesus. He felt all the pain and consequences for our choices. He did that so WE don’t have to. Jesus asked God to forgive us. You, your mom, your dad, your grandma, your cousins, His disciples, the Pharisees, “bad guys”…everyone. There were two other people who HAD made bad choices who were also dying on crosses on either side of Jesus. One of them laughed at Jesus, but the other asked Jesus to forgive him. And even though he was about to die, Jesus said, “Yes! I WILL forgive you. Today when you die, you will be with Me in heaven.” (It’s NEVER too late to choose Jesus!)

And the saddest part was, when He was taking our sin, God couldn’t even look at Him. (Because God is perfect, He can’t be around nasty sin…so He couldn’t be near Jesus) and that’s the worst thing…to be apart from God. God is all goodness and love so to apart from God is not feel any goodness, any love or any happiness. Our bad sin keeps us AWAY from God forever. But Jesus took that FOR US on the cross, so our sin doesn’t have to keep us away from God! We CAN live with Him in perfectness forever in heaven, because we are FORGIVEN by God…because Jesus took all that punishment, all those consequences FOR US. THAT is why it is GOOD Friday.

The sky got dark, there was thunder and lightning and an earthquake. God was mad. Do you know why? He was mad that Jesus was in so much pain. Do you know it makes your mom and dad very sad when you get hurt? And if they see someone hurt you it makes them mad. Because they love you! and they want everyone to be nice to you! When someone is mean to you, it makes them angry. God was angry that His son was so sad and in so much pain.

But an amazing thing happened. In the temple (the church) there was a big front room where everyone prayed. Then behind a GIANT curtain was a thing called the Ark of the Covenant (a special box where God’s Spirit was). When Jesus died, that curtain tore into 2 pieces, top to bottom and it was God saying “My Spirit will now live in EVERYONE who loves Me. Not just in the temple, but in everyone’s heart who loves Me and chooses Me.”

Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said “It is finished.” Then He died.

He meant His work of taking our sins was finished. He took it all. Every bad thing you can ever think of, Jesus died for that. It is forgiven if we just ask and decide we want Jesus to be OUR King. (1 John 1:9, John 3:16-17, Isaiah 53:3-5, Romans 5:6-10, Romans 3:22-24, 1 Peter 2:24).

You can talk with your parents/grandparents/pastor about this story and what it means to you. Maybe you’re ready to say “Thank you Jesus for dying for me! Please forgive my sins and be my King.”

We made cardboard crosses today, but mostly the discussion was our focus.

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Thanks for joining us. Can’t wait for SUNDAY!! Happy Easter-love to you all!

Peter Denies Jesus

Hi all. This week we are learning the story of Easter. The part of the story for today can be found in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 18.

When Jesus was eating His last supper with His disciples He told them they would all soon leave Him. But Peter said, “Never Jesus! I will NEVER leave you!”

But Jesus said, “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will pretend THREE times that you don’t know me.”

When they came to arrest Jesus they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Most of the disciples ran away scared, but Peter followed close by to see what would happen to Jesus. Some other people at the high priest’s house made a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together. Peter sat down with them to warm up. A servant girl saw him seated there. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with Jesus.”

But he denied it. “I don’t know him,” he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, “You are one of His disciples.”

“I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another person said, “For sure this man was with Jesus!”

Peter replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the words He had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and cried and cried and cried.

 

When Jesus was taken away and the people were being mean to Him, Peter did NOT PROUDLY say, “YES! I know Jesus! He is God’s son! He is good, He is Lord, He is King, He can do ANYTHING and He loves YOU!”

Instead He got scared and pretended he never even knew Jesus. We should ALWAYS trust God’s plan and NEVER EVER be afraid to tell other people about Him. Peter cried and cried because he felt so bad about pretending he didn’t know Jesus. He felt very sorry and wished he HAD told the people he knew Jesus.

(Jesus said it’s important we tell other people about Him and that we love Him and how much He loves us. And Jesus will go before God and tell Him that “YES! I died for them and they love us! I have forgiven their sins and they can be Your children and live with us in heaven forever.” If we don’t obey God or pretend we don’t know Him, then He will say, “No. I do not know them. They are not your children. They can not stay with us in heaven.”)

 

Later in the Bible story, Peter will say sorry to Jesus and Jesus will forgive him for pretending he didn’t know Him. But this day was a very sad day for Peter. Sometimes even people who love Jesus very much can make bad choices…but He will forgive us when we ask, just like He will forgive Peter later.

For today’s craft we made roosters using one sheet of brown, one sheet of black and a 1/2 sheet of red construction paper.

Our “pattern pieces” are below:

We cut the pieces and glued them together to make our roosters. Our text reads:

Peter denied Jesus 3 times. We should ALWAYS tell people about Jesus! Luke 22

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Jesus is Arrested

Hi all! This week we are learning the story of Jesus dying for our sins. Today’s story can be found in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 18.

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(Van Gogh -Oliver Trees-The Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives)

After their last meal together, Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, which is a garden, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter, James and John, and he began to be very sad and upset. He said to them, “My heart is overwhelmed with sadness. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He knew that Judas was about to do something very bad and that He was about to die in a very ouch way.

Going a little farther, He fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” That means “If this can happen any other way, please let’s do that. But if this the only way to save the people, then ok. I will do whatever YOU want, God.”

He went back to His disciples and found them sleeping! “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.“Watch and pray!”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. If the only way to save the people from their sins is for me to die, then I will do it.” Remember, Jesus is God’s son, and He knew what was about to happen, but He was also a REAL person and was very scared because He knew it would be painful.

When he came back, He again found His disciples sleeping. So he left them and went away once more and prayed a third time.

Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping ? Look, the time has come, and I will be given over to the sinners. Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

While he was still speaking, Judas, (one of His disciples) arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the leaders who didn’t like Jesus. Judas had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is Jesus; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi (teacher)!” and kissed him.

Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Jesus knew exactly what Judas was doing and still called him friend.

The men stepped forward, took Jesus and arrested him. With that, Peter reached for his sword, took it out and cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant.

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him. “Do you think I can’t call on my Father God, and He will at once send thousands of angels to help Me? But the words of God (the Scriptures) say it must happen in this way.” Peter wanted for help and fight for Jesus, but Jesus said, “No. We don’t hurt others just because they are mean to us. If I wanted, I could ask God and He would send thousands of angels to help me. But I’m not going to do that, because this HAS to happen.”

Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But I want you to know, this has all taken place just like prophets in the old testament have said it would.” Then all the disciples all got scared that THEY would be arrested too and they all ran away.

 

This is a sad part of the story, isn’t it? All of Jesus’ friends left Him. When hard things happen to us, we can remember to stick.with.Jesus. Even if we are scared, we know He is God and He is in control. The disciples did not trust Jesus’ plan.

In the Bible in the old testament the prophets talked about Jesus and how He would come and save us and how He would die. Everything happened just like they said. God’s words are ALWAYS true. We can trust what we read in the Bible.

 

We didn’t do a craft today, but we did watch The Beginner’s Bible Story of Easter.

 

Thanks for joining us. We’ll have more of the story tomorrow. Love to you all!

 

The Last Supper

Hi all. This week we are learning about the things that happened right before Easter. Today’s story can be found in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 13.

Jesus and His disciples were celebrating Passover. That’s when the Israelites remembered how God brought them out of Egypt away from the bad Pharaoh. Jesus and His disciples were eating together in an upper room of a house in Jerusalem.

First, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Back then they didn’t have real roads like we do today…just dusty paths so the peoples’ feet were always so dusty and dirty. Usually a servant would wash the feet, but this day Jesus did. Peter said, “Jesus! YOU shouldn’t be washing feet! You’re too important!”

But Jesus answered him, “I have to wash you, or you’ll never really be clean.” He didn’t mean Peter could never be clean unless Jesus washed his feet, Jesus was saying that He has to wash away our sins or we’ll never really be clean. The only way to be free from our sins and the consequences of our sins is to let Jesus make us clean by dying for us.

Jesus knew this would be the last time He would eat with His friends. He told them, “I am about to suffer. But God is about to do something amazing.” Then He took some bread and broke it into pieces for everyone and said, “This is broken, just like my body will broken. Every time you eat together, remember what I have done for you.” Then He gave them all something to drink and said, “This drink is like my blood. Every time you sit down to drink together, remember how I gave my blood to cover your sins.”

(Does your family ever pray before you eat? When we sit down to eat and drink together we pray and talk to God and we remember how much He loves us and that He died for us! And we say THANK YOU! Thank you for the food we will eat and thank you for dying for our sins so we don’t have to!)

Then Jesus said, “One of you is going to betray me. Go do what you have to do.” Judas got up and went to find the leaders to bring them to Jesus. Jesus knew Judas was going to give Him to the leaders, but He didn’t stop him. Jesus knew this had to happen. And even though Judas was going to do a very bad thing, Jesus still loved him, just like He loves us even when we make bad choices.

Peter said, “I will NEVER make a bad choice against you! I will stand by you ALWAYS!” But Jesus said, “before today is done, you will pretend you don’t know me 3 different times.” Jesus already knows the choices we will make and He chooses to love us and forgive us anyway.

We will have more of the story tomorrow.

For our craft today we drew Jesus at the table with the bread and glasses of wine and then we cut out 12 faces from magazines to be the disciples. Our text reads: The Last Supper Matt 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13.

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Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

Judas betrays Jesus

Hi all! This week we are learning the stories about Easter.

Today’s story can be found in Matthew 26, Mark 14 and Luke 22.

This is kind of a sad story.

Remember it was the Passover, (the biggest holiday of the year where the people remember how God brought them away from Egypt and the bad Pharaoh a long time ago.) Jesus had come into town and most of the people were SO excited to see Him!

But the leaders (the chief priests and the teachers of the law) were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, because they didn’t like how much the people liked Jesus.

Then Satan came to Judas, one of the Jesus’ twelve main disciples (His helpers and followers). Judas went to the leaders and talked with them about how he could get Jesus for them. They were so happy and and agreed to give him LOTS of money if he would show them where Jesus was. So he watched for a chance to hand Jesus over to them when there wouldn’t be a lot of people around.

Isn’t it sad that one of Jesus’ best friends and helpers would choose money and not his friend? Remember our Bible story from a couple weeks ago where Jesus taught that you can’t love money AND God…you have to pick which one is more important. It’s kind of sad to think of one of Jesus’ best helpers choosing something over Him, BUT….sometimes we do that too! Sometimes we choose to love our toys, our money, ourSELVES more than we love God. We all make those bad choices sometimes…and those bad choices against God are called sin. And that’s just the reason Jesus came to earth. He would take those sins away from us so we can be close to God again. He did it even for Judas, and even for you and me.

 

For our craft today we took a black piece of paper and a white piece of paper and cut them in half. We drew a sad Jesus on the white paper using a gold marker and an angry-looking Judas with his bag of money on the black paper using a silver marker.

Our text reads: Jesus agrees to betray Jesus. Luke 22

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Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

The Prodigal Son

Hi all! This month we are learning about the things Jesus taught. Today’s story is another parable (a story meant to teach us something).

This story is form Luke 15:11-32.

This is the story of the prodigal son. Prodigal means to spend money wastefully and extravagantly.

Jesus was teaching the people one day about how much God loves us. He told the people this parable.

“There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’” (When a father would die, he would leave money and land to his children, but this younger brother didn’t want to wait until the father died. He demanded his money NOW!)

“Not long after that, the boy got together all he had and went far away to a place where he quickly spent all his money. He made bad friends and bad choices and he wasted his money on silly things. After a while he was completely out of money and had no food, so he went and got a job in the fields feeding pigs. He was so hungry he even wanted to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything! When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against you. I know I am no longer worthy to be called your son; but please make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.”

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was SO happy to see him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him! The boy said to him, ‘Father, I have done a bad thing and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

“Meanwhile, the older brother was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother has come home,’ he replied, ‘and your father has made a feast of all the best food because he has him back safe and sound.’

“The older brother became angry and said to his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been working hard for you and I have never disobeyed your orders. But you never threw ME a party!”

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

 

Jesus told the people this story to show them what God is like. Sometimes WE act like the younger brother. We want to live life our own way and do our thing. But when we decide we don’t need God, that can get us into big trouble. We DO need God to take care of us. The young man realized he made some bad choices and he felt so sorry he decided he wasn’t good enough to be the man’s son anymore…but MAYBE he could just work as a servant, at least then he would have food to eat! This is like when we are sorry for OUR bad choices and we humble ourselves before God and ask Him to please forgive us.

And does God say, “Ok. You messed up big time, but I guess you can serve me?” No! He RUNS to us! God is so SO happy when we tell Him we need Him. He is SO happy when someone comes to Him and asks Him to forgive them. We are supposed to die forever for our bad choices, but when we come to God and He saves us, we then get forever life with Him! THAT is a good reason to celebrate! We are lost without God, but found again when we give our hearts and lives to Him.

And what about the older brother? He said “You never threw me a party!” And the daddy said, “But you could have one anytime! Every blessing I have I share with you!” And when we are God’s children, He says He will share His blessings with us. It makes God very happy to share all His creation with us. God is a good father to us. He cares for us, loves us, saves us, and shares everything He has made with us. And He also celebrates SO much when someone decides they want Him in their hearts!

 

For our craft today we made circle stories. For this we used 2 paper plates and a pipe cleaner (but if you have one of the gold bracket things, that would work well too!)

We cut the plates to be two circles and on one plate we drew two lines dividing the circles into 4 parts. We drew each part of the story in the 4 sections.

Section 1 we drew the boy taking a bag of money

Our text reads “The boy took his money and left home”

 

Section 2 we drew the boy, some angry friends and some money/dollar signs

Our text reads “He made bad friends and spent all his money”

 

Section 3 we drew a pig

Our text reads “He had to live with pigs”

 

Section 4 we drew the very happy daddy

Our text reads “He went home and said ‘sorry’ and his daddy was SO happy! He forgave him like God loves and forgives us.

 

Then we took the other circle and cut 1/4 of it away (so it looks like pacman). We wrote on the top “The Prodigal Son, Luke 15, A story about God’s love and forgiveness”

 

Then we poked a hole in the middle of each circle and ran a pipe cleaner through it smushing up the ends. Now the top will spin around to reveal the story. IMG_2712

 

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This video is from the Beginner’s Bible (it’s longer than most at about 26 minutes, but very thorough).

This is a really cute video of a social media retelling (appropriate for older kids who can read) posted by  TMCYouthChannel.

And here is Prodigal by Casting Crowns posted by Mckayla Henderson.

 

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!