This devotion shows how God left clues to Jesus’ death and resurrection in the pages of the Old Testament. God had a plan to restore us to relationship with Him from the very beginning.
- Genesis 3:14-15; 22:6, 13; 37:23-24; 41:39-43
- Exodus 12
- Exodus 17:1-7
- Numbers 21:4-9
- Joshua 2:17-20; 6:23
- Jonah 1:17-2:10
- Daniel 6:15-24
- Luke 24:13-35
- John 10:10
· Slide deck – “Easter – Foreshadows of Jesus Death and Resurrection – Slide Deck” (available on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com/downloads/)
· Projector and screen
· Practice the script.
- (Show slide 1)
- “It was Sunday, and there was despair and confusion among all of Jesus’ disciples.”
- “The one that they had put their hopes in had been crucified by the Romans, but the women had gone to the tomb that morning and found that his body was missing.”
- “They came back with an incredible story about the stone being rolled away from the tomb and angels, who said that Jesus was alive!”
- “Two of the disciples were on their way to Emmaus and talking about all that had happened when a man joined them.”
- “When they told him what they had been talking about, he told them that they were foolish and slow to believe what the Prophets had said about the Messiah.”
- “Then, he began to explain to them what Moses and the Prophets said about Jesus.”
- “Of course, the man was Jesus, as the two men found out later that day.”
- “They said that their hearts had burned within them as Jesus opened the Scriptures to them.”
- “I wish I knew exactly what He had said to them, but I’m pretty sure I know at least a part.”
- (Show slide 2.)
- “I’m sure He told them about Isaac, Abraham’s promised son, that God asked him to sacrifice.”
- “He probably pointed out that Isaac himself carried the wood that he would be sacrificed on up the hill just as Jesus had carried His own cross.”
- “I’m sure He pointed out how Isaac willingly allowed himself to be bound and placed on the wood just as Jesus had willingly allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross.”
- (Show slide 3.)
- “Then, I’m sure that Jesus pointed out that God provided a ram in the thicket as a sacrifice instead of Isaac.”
- “He probably told them that Jesus was the sacrifice that took our place and that the thicket would one day be used to create a crown of thorns for the Lord.”
- (Show slide 4.)
- “After that, I bet He told them that Jesus was the rock in the wilderness that Moses struck and from which issued a stream of water that saved the people.”
- “He probably pointed out that Jesus was struck to save the people, too, and that streams of living water came from Him.”
- “Whoever drank the water that Jesus offered would never be thirsty again.”
- (Show slide 5.)
- “Then, He might have reminded them about the bronze serpent that Moses put on a pole when poisonous serpents attacked the people.”
- “Whoever had been bitten by the snakes could look on the bronze serpent and be healed just as any who had been poisoned with sin could look to Jesus’ death on a cross and be saved from death.”
- (Show slide 6.)
- “After that, He might have reminded them of the Passover in Egypt, when they had to sacrifice a lamb without defects and spread its blood over their doorframe so that the Angel of Death would pass over them that night.”
- “He would have told them that Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God, whose blood covered and protected them from death.”
- “And just as no bone of the lamb could be broken, no bone of Jesus’ was broken as He hung on the cross even though the legs of the two thieves were broken to hasten their deaths.”
- (Show slide 7.)
- “Jesus might have told them that the red cord Rahab hung out her window protected her and her family during the destruction of Jericho just as His blood protects those who trust in Him.”
- (Show slide 8.)
- “Then, He might have asked them to remember Joseph, who was the favorite of his father and who had a magnificent robe that his brothers stripped off of him as they threw him into an empty well while they decided whether or not they would kill him.”
- “In this way, Joseph was like Jesus, who was killed by His own people and put in a tomb in the ground.”
- (Show slide 9.)
- “I’m almost positive He told them once again about Jonah, who spent three days in the Belly of a giant fish and then was spit out onto dry land.”
- “And He would have reminded them that Jesus told the Pharisees and the teachers of the law that they would be given no sign except the sign of Jonah.”
- “Though Jonah was thrown into the sea and certain to die, He rose alive from the depths again, just as Jesus was buried for three days and then rose to life again.”
- (Show slide 10.)
- “Jesus might have pointed out that Daniel was also thrown to certain death in the lion’s den but that the stone was rolled away in the morning to reveal that Daniel was still alive.”
- “In the same way, the stone was rolled away from Jesus’ tomb in the morning, and Jesus rose again to life.”
- (Show slide 11.)
- “Finally, I’m sure that Jesus wouldn’t have neglected to mention that Joseph spent several years in an underground prison but was raised to the right hand of Pharoah just as Jesus spent three days in an underground tomb but then rose to be seated at the right hand of God the Father.”
- “Jesus had hours and hours to talk with these men, and He likely shared with them many more connections to His life from the Old Testament than these, but I hope that you can see Jesus’ arrest, death and resurrection were not a surprise to God.”
- “He had a plan for rescuing us from before time began, and He left a trail of breadcrumbs throughout the Old Testament to show us how intentional His plan was.”
- “As far back as page 3 of the Bible, God told us how Satan would strike out at Jesus but that Jesus would crush his head. (Genesis 3:14-15)”
- “Jesus did this at the cross, and because of His sacrifice, death has been defeated. Jesus came so that we could have life and that we could have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)”
When you are building a house, it’s essential to have a strong foundation. Jesus illustrated this in the parable about the wise and foolish builders and made it clear that the “house” is a metaphor for our life. If we build on the Rock (Jesus), our lives will withstand every storm of life. In this object lesson, children will build three different foundations and then test them to see if they will stand the test.
- Sugar cubes (1 box per group – make sure they are fresh so that they will dissolve quickly in water)
- Marshmallows (1 bag of large marshmallows per group)
- Legos or Duplo building blocks (about 100 small blocks or 50 large blocks per group)
- A small house made from half of the Lego’s or Duplo blocks
- Watering can or 3 bottles of water
- Water (enough to fill you can or bottle)
- Clear plastic containers (3 – about 8-10 inches tall and large enough for kids to build their foundations in)
- Build a small house out of the Legos or Duplo blocks, but save about half of your blocks for building one of the foundations.
- Put the sugar cubes in one plastic container, the marshmallows in another and the rest of the Legos or Duplo blocks in another.
- Fill the watering can with water (if you are using one)
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Jesus told a story about a wise and a foolish builder.” (Have a volunteer read Luke 6:46-49.)
- “Jesus isn’t really talking about houses. He’s talking about something much more important. When He says ‘house,’ He really means life.”
- “Jesus is saying that we should build our life on a strong foundation so that when bad things happen (like the flood and the torrent, which is a fast-moving stream), our house – our life – will not be destroyed.”
- “So what is this foundation that Jesus is speaking about? Does anyone know?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “In Scripture, the term ‘foundation’ is often used to mean truth.”
- “In the story Jesus told, He said that the wise builder dug down deep and laid his foundation on the rock.”
- “In the Bible, rocks are usually references to Jesus, the Rock.”
- “So, what Jesus was saying is that the wise builder built his life (his ‘house’) on the truth (the ‘foundation’) that Jesus (‘the Rock’) is Lord and Savior.”
- “If you build your life on any other foundation, it won’t stand up during the storms of life – the difficult times.”
- “Let’s do an activity that will show what Jesus means.” (Divide the group into three small groups, and give each group a container with different building materials. Give them 3 minutes to build a foundation out of their materials. When everyone is finished, set the small house on top of the sugar cubes.)
- “Let’s see what happens when the storms of life happen to a house built on this kind of foundation.” (Get a volunteer to poor water over the house to simulate a storm and flood.)
- “What is happening to this foundation?” (Acknowledge responses. Get another volunteer to shake the plastic container to simulate an earthquake.)
- “Now what’s happening?” (Acknowledge response. Repeat the process for the marshmallow and Lego/Duplo foundation, but when you put the house on the Lego/Duplo foundation, attach it so that it sits firmly and will withstand the “earthquake.” After you’ve finished the activity, discuss the Debrief questions below. You can use the Rhyme Time to reinforce the main teaching point.)
- If the Legos/Duplo blocks represent the Truth that Jesus is Lord and Savior, what do you think the sugar cubes and marshmallows represented? (An answer that you are looking for is that they represent what the world says is true. These are fake truths.)
- What are some examples of fake truths that some people build their lives on? (Some responses might include “money, power, fame, pleasure… are the most important things in life” or “other religions” or “if you are good enough, you can get to heaven.”)
- What happens when people build their lives on these truths?
- What truth do you want to build your life on?
A life built on the Rock
Will withstand every shock!
This object lesson teaches that we learn by linking new ideas to old ones and demonstrates that this is the method Jesus used to teach about the Kingdom of God.
- Mark 4:26-32 (man who throw seeds; mustard seed)
- Luke 13:20-21 (yeast)
- Large paperclips, carabineers or toy chain links (50 or more)
- Slips of paper to mark places in the Bible for the verses you will share.
- Form a chain of your paperclips, carabineers or toy chain links. It should include 30-40 links, so that you can create a large “ball” of links when you hold them all in your hands.
- Have your other links separated individually and at the front of the teaching area.
- Write the Scriptures you want read on individual slips of paper, and put them in the Bible at the appropriate places.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “When Jesus taught, He used a teaching technique called a parable.”
- “A parable is a simple story that teaches a spiritual lesson.”
- “The word, ‘parable’ means, ‘to throw alongside of.’” (from the Greek – para, means ‘beside,’ and bole, means ‘a throw’)
- “With His parables, Jesus was placing two ideas right beside each other.”
- “He would always use one idea that the listener already knew, and it was usually about farming or fishing or everyday living.”
- “Then, He would compare what the listener already knew to something they didn’t know about, like the Kingdom of God.”
- “Let’s look at a few examples.” (Ask volunteers to read the following Scriptures: Mark 4:26-32, Luke 13:20-21.)
- “In these Scriptures, Jesus uses examples about farming and cooking to make comparisons to the Kingdom of God.”
- “In other Scriptures, He uses children, camels, childbirth, light, salt, parties (feasts or banquets), weddings, masters and servants, and fig trees to teach about the Kingdom.”
- “Let me show you why Jesus taught in this way.” (Ask a volunteer to come forward, and hand him/her a single link.)
- “The people Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God didn’t know anything about it, but they did know some things about fishing and farming and weddings and trees…”
- “This link (ask volunteer to hold up their link) represents the knowledge that the people already had about ordinary things in their lives.” (Hold up your “ball” of links.)
- “This giant ball of links represents everything that Jesus knew about the Kingdom of God.”
- “If Jesus had tried to give them the entire ball of knowledge all at one time, they wouldn’t have been able to handle it.” (Toss the ball of links to the volunteer. It’s okay if he/she doesn’t catch it. That will illustrate your point.)
- “Jesus knew that he had to start small and start with what they already knew.” (Take your ball of links back, and remove one link.)
- “So, He taught in parables and said this thing that you already know (point to the link in the volunteer’s hand) is like the Kingdom of God.” (Hold up the ball of links) in this way (hold up the single link that you removed from the ball. Then, connect it to the link in the volunteer’s hand.)
- “The Kingdom of God is like a man who throws seeds.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
- “The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
- “The Kingdom of God is like yeast that works its way through the dough.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
- “Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
- “In the Kingdom of God, there will be a great wedding feast!” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
- “Just like you see new leaves on the fig tree when summer is coming, you will see certain signs that tell you when the Kingdom of God is near.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
- “You cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless you are born a second time in your spirit.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
- “By teaching in this way, Jesus helps understand something very big and difficult to understand.” (Hold up ball of links.)
- “And this is the way all learning works.”
- “We connect something we know to something we don’t know, and it helps us to understand it better.” (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)
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Lessons, Skits and Games for Teaching About the Life of Simon-Peter
It’s a collection of all my object lessons, Bible lessons, games, and drama skits about the life of Peter, the Apostle. You can find all the lessons here on the blog for free, but if you’re lazy like me, you might prefer to have them collected for you. And for $3.99 (Kindle Edition), it’s worth the time savings.
Hope you like it!
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If you would like to purchase the Kindle version, click this link: Peter’s Path – Kindle
Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. After Jesus rose from the dead, he reinstated Peter to leadership of the church by giving him three opportunities to express his love for Jesus. In this activity, children will try to knock down three cans labeled, “I don’t know him!” with beanbags or balls labeled, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”
- John 18:15-18
- John 18:25-27
- John 21:15-17
- 3 canned foods labeled, “I don’t know him!”
- 3 beanbags or balls labeled, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”
- Note cards or duct tape to use to label the cans and the beanbags/balls.
- 1 permanent marker for labeling
- 1 surface (like a overturned bucket or table) to set the cans on
- Masking tape
- Label the cans of food and the beanbags or balls.
- Select a space to play the game.
- Stack the three cans (two on the bottom and one on the top) on the bucket or table.
- Use the masking tape to lay down a “throwing line” about ten feet away from the cans. (The children will stand behind this line to make their throws.)
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Restored.’”
- “It’s about Jesus and Peter.”
- “Peter told Jesus one time that even if everyone else left Him, he never would.”
- “Peter even carried around a sword in case he needed to defend Jesus against an attacker.”
- “But one night, the Jewish leaders sent their guards to arrest Jesus.”
- “Peter attacked with his sword, but he hurt a servant instead of the guards.”
- “Jesus healed the man that Peter had cut and then let the guards arrest Him.”
- “Peter and all of Jesus’ best friends got scared and ran away.”
- “Peter followed the guards from a distance as they took Jesus to the Jewish leaders.”
- “The guards took Jesus to the house of the top Jewish leader and put Him on trial for crimes He didn’t commit.”
- “Peter waited in the courtyard while the trial was going on, and people started to notice that he looked like one of Jesus’ followers.”
- “They asked him three times if he was one of Jesus’ followers, and he denied it each time.”
- “Jesus wasn’t surprised, though.”
- “He had told Peter that he would deny knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.”
- “Sure enough, when Peter denied he knew Jesus for the third time, a rooster crowed, and Jesus looked directly into Peter’s eyes.”
- “Peter was so ashamed that he ran away and cried and cried.”
- “When Jesus needed Peter the most, Peter wasn’t a very good friend.”
- “But even though Peter wasn’t a very good friend to Jesus, Jesus still wanted Peter to lead His followers.”
- “After Jesus rose from the dead, He met with Peter to let him know that he was forgiven.”
- “Then, one morning, Jesus did a strange thing.”
- “He asked Peter three times if Peter loved Him.” (Have volunteer read John 21:15-17.)
- “By asking Peter this question three times, Jesus was letting him know that Peter was forgiven and restored to a leadership position for Jesus’ followers.”
- “Each ‘I love you, Lord,’ was like a big eraser getting rid of the ‘I don’t know Hims!.’”
- “So, this game is like the Bible story.”
- “Each of these cans is labeled, ‘I don’t know him!’ and represents the three times Peter denied knowing Jesus after Jesus had been arrested.”
- “Each bean bag (or ball) is labeled, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you!’ and represents the three times Peter was given a chance to express his love to Jesus after Jesus rose from the dead.”
- “Everyone will take turns throwing three bean bags (or balls) at the cans from a distance of about ten (10) feet.”
- “If you knock the cans down, it will be like erasing Peter’s denials with his confessions of love for Jesus.”
- “Want to play?” (Let the children line up and take turns trying to knock over the cans. Each child gets three throws before you reset the cans for the next child. After each child has had at least one chance to knock the cans over, discuss the following debrief questions.)
- How do you think Peter felt after denying Jesus three times?
- Do you remember why Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” three times? Why did He do that?
- How do you think Peter felt after Jesus gave him three chances to confess his love for Jesus?
- Do you believe God forgives you for every bad thing you do? Why or why not?
One of the times that Jesus called Peter to follow Him was after He did a miracle that allowed Peter to catch so many fish that the weight of them made his boat and his friends’ boat began to sink. Jesus told Peter that from that moment on he would catch men instead of fish. This activity lets children try to catch a “miraculous catch of fish.”
- Sheet or large piece of fabric to act as the “net.”
- Bucket filled with balls (the type you find in a “ball pit” in a children’s play area)
- Select a space to play the game, and set up your materials.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “One of the times that Jesus called Peter to follow Him was after He did a miracle that allowed Peter to catch so many fish that the weight of them made his boat and his friends’ boat began to sink.” (Ask volunteer to read Luke 5:1-11.)
- “Did you hear that?”
- “Jesus told Peter that from that moment on he would catch MEN instead of FISH.”
- “That had to sound strange to Peter.”
- “But it was also a good way to explain to him how his life would change after this moment.”
- “Jesus used fishing language to help Peter understand what was going to happen.”
- “So, who do you think is the better fisherman? Peter or Jesus?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “Right! Jesus is much better, because He created the fish and can command the fish to get into the net.”
- “Peter can’t do that.”
- “Jesus was helping Peter to understand that He was God by using fishing – something Peter understood very well.”
- “Peter was an expert fisherman and had spent all night fishing but caught no fish.”
- “So, when Jesus knew right where and when to put the net into the water, Peter realized this wasn’t just good luck.”
- “This was God.”
- “Let’s play a game to help us remember the story.”
- “I would like for everyone to grab an edge of this sheet.” (Hold up sheet, and help children to find a place to grab along the edges. Makes sure there are children all around the sheet and that they use both hands.”
- “You are all the fishermen, and the sheet is your ‘net.’”
- “I’ll play Jesus.”
- “I have a bucket full of ‘fish.’ They are really balls, but we are going to pretend they are fish.”
- “When I dump out the ‘fish,’ you should try to catch all of them in your ‘net.’”
- “If you drop some fish, you can collect them, put them back in the bucket and try again.”
- “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer questions, and then start the game. Pretend to dump the fish several times before actually dumping them, and try to make it a little challenging so that the children have to work together to capture all the fish in the net. Play several rounds, and allow some of the children to play Jesus if you like. Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)
- Why do you think Peter said to Jesus, “Get away from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!” after they caught all the fish?
- What do you think Jesus was trying to teach Peter and the others?
- What did Jesus mean when he said that they would now fish for people?
- Why did the fishermen leave everything (even all the fish that they had just caught) to follow Jesus?
- What would you have done?
Peter was worried about not being able to pay the required tax to the Temple. Jesus knew what was bothering him even before Peter could say anything and told Peter to go fishing, which is what Peter did best. In the mouth of the first fish Peter caught, he found a coin that allowed him to pay the tax for both Jesus and himself. Children will “go fishing” in a pool and try to catch all the fish with coins before they catch too many without coins.
- “Fishing pole” (You can use a simple dowel rod with a string attached and a magnet at the end of the string.)
- Dowel rod
- String (about 3-foot long)
- Strong magnet
- Tape to stick the string to the magnet (unless there is a way to tie them together)
- Children’s plastic pool (the kind toddlers can sit in)
- Flat, toy or paper fish with strong magnets attached (24 total – 8 of which should have coins taped or glued to the bottom)
- Fish (24)
- Magnets (24)
- Coins (8)
- Create the fishing pole.
- Tape magnets to all the fish.
- Tape coins to eight of the fish.
- Place all the fish at the bottom of the pool with the coins on the bottom. Make sure to mix them up so that it won’t be too easy to find the fish with coins. It’s okay for some to overlap.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
· “One day, the tax collectors (the guys like Matthew, one of the apostles) from the Temple came up to Peter and asked, ‘Does your teacher pay the temple tax?’”
· “Peter answered, ‘Of course he does!’ but the truth was, he wasn’t sure.”
· “So he quickly went to see Jesus and ask Him about it.”
· “But before Peter even had a chance to speak, Jesus knew what he was about to ask.”
· “Jesus said, ‘Peter, so that we won’t offend the tax collectors, go down to the lake and throw in a fishing line. Open the mouth of the first fish that you catch, and you will find a coin. Take the coin and pay the tax for both of us.’”
· “So Peter did just as Jesus said.”
· “He went down to the lake and threw in a fishing line.” (Pretend to cast your fishing pole.)
· “Almost immediately, he felt a fish on his line, so he tugged at it as hard as he could and pulled the fish in.” (Pretend to struggle reeling the fish in. Be careful not to accidentally reveal one of the fish with the coin attached to the bottom.)
· “When he opened the fish’s mouth, he found a four-drachma coin! (That’s a coin they used back then.)”
- “That was just enough to pay both Jesus’s and Peter’s tax!”
- “That’s amazing, right!”
- “Well, let’s play a game based on this story.”
- “Here’s how it works.”
- “Each one of you will get three chances with this fishing pole to try to catch a fish with a coin attached.”
- “If you catch a fish without a coin attached, you should put it back into the pool.”
- “If you catch a fish with a coin, you can pull it out.”
- “After three turns, we will let someone else try.”
- “There are eight (8) fish with coins attached.”
- “We will keep fishing until we catch all of them.”
- “The one who catches the most wins.”
- “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer any questions. Then let the children play. The first person to try can be the person with the next birthday. After you’ve played the game, you can use the debrief questions below to reinforce the teaching points.)
- Have you ever caught a fish with a coin in its mouth?
- Why do you think Jesus had Peter go fishing in order to pay the Temple tax for Peter and himself?
- What was Jesus trying to help Peter understand about who Jesus was?
- What should this experience teach Peter about worrying about things?
- What should we do when we are worried about some problem in our lives?