Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Sunday Lesson Plan

Used by Permission from
Purpose: To teach the students that the important event for us, as Christians, is not the resurrection but the Sacrifice of the Christ; and, at the same time, teach that we can use Jesus' resurrection as Jesus did himself, to Prove the power of the Good News, that Life Everlasting is ours as a gift from God.

Part 1: Before you begin the body of your children's class, gather the children together and tell them of a behavior or effort or work that you or someone you know has done, out of Love for Jesus. Mark 16:15 (ESV ): "And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."  In my case, one of the teachers we has gone on several missionary trips to Haiti and is about to go on another one, so he is going to talk to them about his work for God in Haiti.

Part 2: In our children's ministry we sing and have an offering at this section.  If you do not, feel free to skip part 2.

Part 3: Read to your students 1 Peter 1:18-19 (ESV): "knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lambwithout blemish or spot."

Explain how in the old testament God required a blood sacrifice for all sins - Hebrews 9:22 (ESV) - "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." Then tell them the story or read them they story of Jesus' trial and death. (Starting at Luke 22:39), and then answer or ask questions to make sure they understand that at the point of Jesus' death, we were set free, the debt was paid and the final sacrifice for our sins had been made. (Making sure they know that Jesus ON the cross is the Gift.)

Illustration Game: I Told You So
     a) What you Need to Play the game: A chair for a teacher, helper or "Wise" student to sit in (Caller)
     b) Students, 2 or more at a time, to play the game.

Purpose: To teach them that hearing the instructions is not the same thing as knowing what they mean or knowing how to do it.

How to play: Have the Caller give motion or behavior instructions to the person or persons playing. Each time they do the instructions correctly, you repeat the instruction, with one additional instruction, until they fail or demonstrate their awesomeness.

Example: (They do them as you say them- Keep and even pace in your instructions - you are not trying to allow them to follow, and you are not trying to allow them to lose - you are just telling them what to do.)
1) Sit down 
2) Sit Down, Stand Up
3) Sit down, Stand Up, Jump
4) Sit down, stand up, jump, fall down
5) Sit down, stand up, jump, fall down, roll over
6) Sit down, stand up, jump, fall down, roll over, roll back
7) Sit down, stand up, jump, fall down, roll over, roll back, bark like a dog
etc .....

Do several groups of children, trying to make sure that they have fun, notice how the children are doing, and why they fail, if the fail, and why they win, if they win.

When you are done, ask them how to win the game.  The answer is obvious.  Listen, do, and understand what is said. Do not anticipate or guess, just obey.

Teach the Lesson: Today's lesson is about using the resurrection of Jesus to prove who he was so people will believe the Gospel message of free salvation. 

First, we point out that Even Peter Doubted, and he was one of the 3 closest to Jesus, and the onw that Jesus said the church would be founded on (by).  Mark 14:66-72 (NASB) - As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came,  and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and *said, “You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” And he went out onto the porch. The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, “This is one of them!”  But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too.”  But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man you are talking about!”  Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep.

Point out, that just like the game, Peter knew what to do.  He even said he would do it.  But, when it  came time to perform, he did it wrong.  Not once, but 3 times.  Yet, Jesus was right.  Jesus is always right.

Right after this part of the story happened, Jesus died.  It was too late for Peter to change his ways. Peter, and the rest of those who followed Jesus, became afraid, and hid from everyone.  Their image of Jesus had been shattered. He told them what was going on, as the post card at the beginning of this message said, yet, they did not believe.

What did Jesus do to get them to believe? He rose from the dead on the morning of the third day. Read to them John 20:1 – 22 or tell them the story, then read John 20:19 - 22: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me,even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,“Receive the Holy Spirit."

Discuss how Peter had to be told, and fail, (denial) then had to be told that Jesus was alive, then even see Jesus himself, and be told to no be afraid ...  Even Peter needed to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and he was told it was going to happen, and saw it happen.

That is why we celebrate Easter.  Jesus walked away from the grave that we might believe his story and the promise that we too could walk away from the grave and live forever.  

So do your Job - tell others about the story .. that they two can live forever.

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