Easter Overview

Hi everyone!

 

It’s the week where we celebrate Easter and although we’ve covered Easter several times already, today I am making a one-time lesson. (The other years we have spread this out over several days), but this year I find myself needing a one-day lesson. So here we go.

Gen 1-3: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made everything! And His favorite thing He made was people.

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God made a man named Adam and a woman named Eve and they lived with God in a very special place. They were all together and happy and nothing was ever bad.

Until, one day…one of God’s special helpers decided HE wanted to be the biggest and the best–he thought he could even be better than God!? His name is Satan. And one day he came to the garden where they lived and tricked Eve. God had told Adam and Eve they could eat anything they wanted EXCEPT the fruit from one special tree…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate from it, they would die.

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But Satan said, “You won’t REALLY die…God just doesn’t want you to be as smart as Him!” So they disobeyed God. When we disobey God, that’s called sin. There was a consequence for their sin. The consequence was: they couldn’t stay with God in that perfect place and one day they would die.

Sin entered the world. And everyone since Adam and Eve has sinned. When we sin, our consequence is that we too will one day die and we *should* be apart from God forever because of our sin…

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But God had a plan…        (Rom 5:12-21)

 

Gen 11-25: A long time later, Adam and Eve had children, and their children had children and on and on and on and on and on until we get to a man named Abraham.

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Abraham loved God. And even though things were hard now (since people were away from God), Abraham still obeyed God and trusted Him. God taught Abraham about sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving up something you really love for something better. In the old days when Abraham lived, one of the most important things to them was their sheep and other animals. They would use the wool for clothes, and they would eat their animals. They could sell them for money to buy other food. Cows gave them milk to drink and they used animals to ride around (no cars back then!) God taught Abraham that if he (or anyone who sinned) would sacrifice an animal to God (kill it and give it to God) that his or her sins would be forgiven. This was a way for them to show God they loved HIM more than their most favorite thing…that God was FIRST in their lives. God would see the blood from the animal and He would look at their yucky sinful hearts, and He would forgive them and see them as perfect again.

The only problem was…every time they sinned…they had to give another sacrifice. But God still had a plan…

 

Exodus 2-20: After Abraham had a son, his son had children and on and on and on until a boy named Moses was born. The people who loved God were now living in a place called Egypt (far away from the place God had picked for them to live) and the king there, called Pharaoh was very mean to God’s people. When Moses was a old man, God picked him to tell the mean Pharaoh to let God’s people go back home. But the Pharaoh said “NO!” So God gave Pharaoh a bad consequence. Then Moses said again, “Let God’s people go!” and the Pharaoh said “NO!” So there was another bad consequence. This happened nine times!! And on the last time when the Pharaoh said “NO,” God said, “This will be the last consequence. All of the first born baby boys will die. UNLESS, you sacrifice an animal (a lamb) and paint around the door of your house with the blood.”

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God’s people listened and obeyed. Each family gave up their best sheep and painted the door with the blood, just like God said. But Pharaoh and his people laughed and said, “No way! We’re not giving up OUR sheep, we won’t listen to YOUR God!?” That night…an angel of God came by each house and if the people had obeyed God, he passed over the house and went to the next one. But if the people had not obeyed God, then the first born boy in that house died….even the Pharaoh’s son died. It was then, that Pharaoh let the people go.

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The people left and headed towards the place God had picked for them. While they were traveling, Moses went up on a mountain and there God spoke to him and gave him the rules the people were supposed to obey. God gave us the rules because He wants us to follow them, but He KNOWS we all sin sometimes (Romans 3:23). The rules SHOW US that we are not perfect like God is, and that we NEED HIM to be perfect and to forgive us when we disobey Him.

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God’s people eventually made it to the place He had for them but they did not always obey Him. They sinned (just like we do) and had to be forgiven every time with the blood of a sheep.

Luke 1-2 BUT, finally, many many many many many years later, God was ready to show us His big and perfect plan! He sent His only and perfect son Jesus into the world as a little baby.

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Jesus grew up and learned and went to school and made His bed and helped put away dishes and cleaned His room. He was a regular person and ALSO, He never sinned, because He is God’s son. (2 Cor 5:21, 1 John 3:5, Hebrews 4:15)

When Jesus became a grown up, He taught the people about God and He did a lot of  miracles (those are things only God’s power can do)–like make sick people better, help blind people see, turn water into wine or turn a little food into a LOT of food.

A lot of the people LOVED Jesus, but some people did not. The Bible teachers didn’t like that Jesus talked about forgiveness and love instead of teaching them about FOLLOWING THE RULES and the kings in charge didn’t like that the people liked Jesus more than them. “What is he tries to take over and be king?!!?” they worried. So they came up with a plan to get rid of Him.

Matt 21: It came time for the people to celebrate Passover (a big holiday where they remembered God passing over the houses of the people who obeyed Him and how He led them away from Egypt to the place He had for them). Jesus came to town to also celebrate. Lots of people were excited to see Him. So excited that they waved palm tree branches and laid coats on the ground so the dirt roads wouldn’t make Him all dusty. They shouted “Hosanna! We love you! We praise you!” This just made the leaders even MORE jealous and MORE angry. They HAD to get rid of Jesus.

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Matt 26-27: Jesus had a group of helpers, called disciples. One of them agreed to help the jealous leaders. A couple days later, Jesus was eating with His disciples and He told them He had to leave soon, but He would be back. The disciples were sad and confused. Jesus went to pray and most of His disciples went too, but one of them, Judas, went to get the leaders.

When Judas brought the leaders back, they captured Jesus. His other disciples tried to stop them, but Jesus said, “No. This needs to happen.”

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They took Jesus and decided to kill him. The built a cross out of wood and they put nails in His hands to keep Him stuck on the cross. They called Him names, they hit Him, they beat Him up, and they made fun of Him. They made Him carry that big wooden cross up a hill and then he had to hang on it for a long time until He died.

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They also had two other people who had done bad things on crosses next to Jesus. They had sinned, but Jesus hadn’t…but He was dying anyway. One of the guys next to Jesus made fun of Him…but the other one KNEW Jesus was God’s son and asked Jesus to forgive him. Jesus said, “Yes. And today you will be with me in a perfect place.”

Jesus asked God to forgive ALL the people and then He died. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God’s plan for our sins. Just like the people used to sacrifice their best, God sent HIS best, His son Jesus, to be a PERFECT sacrifice (since an animal can never be perfect it was never good enough). Jesus was a PERFECT sacrifice that would clean away our sin once and for all. (Rom 6:1-11, Heb 10:4, 1 Peter 1:9) His blood is the once and for all sacrifice to take away sin.

When God looks at our hearts now, if we believe in Him and say with our mouths that JESUS IS OUR LORD, then He will only see the sacrifice of Jesus and He will see us as perfect again. (Heb 9:11-15, Rom 3:24, Heb 10:1-18)

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But that’s not even the end of the story!

Matt 28: After He died, they put Jesus’ body in a tomb and they rolled a big, big, BIG rock in front of it so no one could take it. The leaders were so nervous they even had guards watching the tomb.

Three days later, there was an earthquake and the rock rolled away. The guards were so scared they fainted! Some women who loved Jesus were coming to see His body and to put some smelly good things on it, but when they got there, the tomb was open, the rock was moved and an angel was sitting on the rock.

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The women were so afraid!! But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid…I know you’re looking for Jesus….but He’s not here…He’s ALIVE! Go tell the others and go find Him!” They did tell the others and they did find Jesus. Jesus stayed with them a little while longer before He went back to heaven to be with God.

 

 

Jesus died in our place as a sacrifice. But He didn’t STAY dead…He is more powerful than even death. And now when we sin, if we ask Him to forgive us and we believe in His sacrifice, He WILL forgive us. God will look over our sin and see Jesus and He will forgive us and we will get to live forever with Him. (Rom 10:9, John 17:3, Rom 5:6-11, John 3:16)

“6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:6-11)

 

THAT is why we celebrate Easter.

We are all made and loved by God. We are all sinners. Sins have consequences. Only Jesus, the perfect son of God can take the place of our consequences. He died to forgive us and lived again to give us forever life with God in heaven!!!!

Romans 10:9 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

Amen! Thanks for joining us all, hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

God was.

Hi all! Welcome back!

We are back to July and back to the beginning of the Bible!

Today’s lesson is from Genesis 1 and John 1. The word Genesis means “start.” The book of Genesis is the start of the Bible. But it’s not the start of God…

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Do you know the very first thing the Bible says? It says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That means before anything else was ever made…God WAS. When was God made? He never was! Isn’t that hard to think about? God always has been and always will be. (Sometimes that makes my brain hurt to think about!) (Psalm 90:2, Isaiah 41:4, 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 10:6, Psalm 102:25, Isaiah 44:6)

God made the heavens and the earth…God made EVERYTHING.

That same very first verse tells us God’s Spirit was there and John 1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” That verse is talking about Jesus.

God has three parts–God the father, God’s Spirit and God’s son Jesus. God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit were all there at the beginning. This is called the trinity. But that doesn’t mean there are three Gods…it’s all the same God…but He has three ways to show Himself. (This can be a tricky concept, even for grown ups sometimes!)

 

HERE is our song for this lesson.

HERE is a song posted by Ryan Folken.

THIS VIDEO is from What’s in the Bible (from the makers of veggie tales–love their material!!)

You can also check out THIS VIDEO which has a demonstration of the trinity from Kid Nation Ministries.

In the beginning, God was. Nothing came before God. God is the first, He made everything else. God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit always have been and always will be. And next time we will learn about the things God made.

For our craft today, we used black construction paper and oil pastels (but really you could use any medium you’d like.) I wrote out “in the beginning GOD was. Gen 1:1” I made the letters for GOD to be bubble letters and the kids filled them in.

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My son added a pizza inside the “O” of God because pizza is one of his favorite things God made haha.

 

Thanks for joining us, we look forward to studying through the Bible again and hope you’ll join us for the year! Love to you all!

What is true?

Welcome back! Today’s lesson is from 1 John chapters 2 and 4.

What do you know that’s true? How about that your mom and dad love you. But how can you tell if something is true about God? Nobody on earth has SEEN God…so how can you know if someone says “God is 1 inch tall” or “God can’t do everything.”

How do you know if something is true or not? In the book of 1 John (John’s 1st letter) it says that we can know something is true if we check the Bible! We know God ALWAYS tells the truth, and the Bible is everything He wanted us to know. We can know if something is true by checking the Bible.

In this book, John also tells us to watch out. Some people will SAY they love God…but they might say some things that don’t SOUND like God…like maybe they would say “God loves you….IF you wear a certain kind of clothes. Or God only loves you IF you eat certain food.” If you aren’t sure if that’s true or not…you can check the Bible! (You can always ask a grown up to help).

AND, if anyone teaches about God, but doesn’t accept Jesus too, the Bible says that person is a liar who doesn’t really know God. When we love God, we love Jesus too. Jesus is God’s son, sent to save us from our sins. If we don’t believe in Jesus, then we don’t believe in God’s love…and God IS love! Anyone who teaches about God, but doesn’t believe in Jesus too is not someone who tells the truth.

If we want to know what is true about God, we can read the Bible. 1 John 4 says lots of people will try to tell you things that God doesn’t like. They sound really good…but they are not of God. Everything you hear, make sure God says it too. If you don’t know what to do, or if you should agree with someone or not…check the Bible! God gave us what He wants us to know in the Bible.

 

For our craft today we used 1/2 piece black construction paper, some slightly smaller sheets of white paper and a yellow piece of paper with a ‘V’  cut out of the end. We glued down the center of the black piece and added a white piece, then glued and layered another white piece, then glued and layered our yellow bookmark piece.

Our text reads: How do I know if something’s true? Checking the Bible’s what I should do! 1 John 2, 4

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Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Peter heals a crippled man

Hey all! Today’s Bible story is from Acts 3.

Remember, Jesus had died on the cross, lived again, and God’s Spirit came to live in the believers’ hearts.

One day Peter and John (two of Jesus’ disciples) were going to the temple (the church) at the time of prayer. There was a man who was crippled (he couldn’t walk) and he had been that way his whole life. Every day he would sit and beg for money from the people going into the temple courts. (Because he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t really work…so he just had to hope that people would be nice and share some money with him.) When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he asked them for money. Peter and John looked at him. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get some money from them.

Then Peter said, “I do not have money, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ, WALK.” He took the man by the hand, helped him up, and right away the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they knew him as the same man who used to sit begging and they were so surprised to see  what had happened to him.

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Why does this surprise you? We didn’t make this man walk by our OWN power?! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has sent His Son Jesus. You had him killed, but God raised him from the dead. We saw Him alive again. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has healed this man. Now its your turn to turn to God, so that your sins may be forgiven, and you too can receive God’s spirit.”

But there are always going to be people who don’t want to hear about Jesus. Isn’t that sad? Some of the people didn’t like that they were teaching about Jesus.

We know God can do anything! The people shouldn’t have been too surprised to hear Peter say they could do these things by Jesus’ power, but they were. God even surprises grown ups sometimes by the wonderful things He does! And the most wonderful He has done, is sending His Son Jesus to die for us and His Spirit to live in our hearts.

We drew pictures of the story today. (Time for my disclaimer that I’m a big fan of child-made art…we don’t do a lot of pre-made stuff…so it usually looks like 3-5 year old work…I believe it helps them retain the story better when THEY make it and have some creative freedom with it.)

Our text reads: Why are you surprised? God can do ANYTHING! Acts 3

 

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

Thomas Doubts

Welcome back! Today’s story can be found in John 20:24-29.

After Jesus rose alive from the tomb, He appeared to many people and He appeared to His disciples, but one of them, Thomas, was not with the others when Jesus came. They told Thomas that they had seen Jesus and that He was ALIVE!

But Thomas said, “No! I don’t believe it! Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were I will not believe.” (Remember when Jesus died on the cross they put nails in His hands and nailed Him to the cross. He would now have holes there where the nails were.)

A week later His disciples were in a house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” The doors were locked but Jesus still got in! Remember: God can do anything! Jesus is part of God, God’s son. He can do anything, even get through locked doors!

Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “It IS you, Jesus! My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We know Jesus now lives in Heaven with God, so we will probably not see Him while we live here, before we die. BUT, we still believe! Jesus said it’s a wonderful thing for someone who hasn’t even seen Him to believe in Him. We can trust His words. That is called Faith. In Hebrews 11:1 of the Bible it says, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” We can not see Jesus, but we KNOW Him and we love Him. We are sure of our hope of living in heaven with Him. Thomas didn’t believe until he saw Jesus…and do you know lots of people today still don’t believe in Jesus because they can’t see Him?

If trusting in God without seeing Him seems hard sometimes, you can always pray and talk to God and ask Him to help you have faith, and believe.

 

For our craft today, we traced our hands and used a pen to make a small hole in the hands, then used our scissors to make it a bit bigger. Our text reads:

“Blessed are those who haven’t seen Me and still believe.” John 20:29

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Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

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!

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!