Sunday Morning 11/29: Unit 26, Session 5: Jesus’ Crucifixion

Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection are the center of the gospel. Jesus accomplished the plan God had been working out throughout the Old Testament to bring salvation to sinners, and it happened in such an unlikely way.

In the Book of Acts, Peter testified to the Israelites about Jesus’ death: “Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him” (Acts 2:23). Crucifixion was a horrific way to die. As you teach kids, rather than focus on the graphic details of how Jesus died, emphasize why He died. Two primary reasons stand out: God is loving, and God is just.

First, God is loving. He sent His Son to be the Savior of the world because He loves us. (See John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10.) Jesus submitted to the Father’s will; He humbled Himself and came to earth as a man, and He laid down His life because He loves us. (Eph. 5:2) 

Jesus lived the perfect life we failed to live and died the guilty death we don’t want to die. Those who trust in Him receive forgiveness and eternal life.

Second, God is just. God’s law for the people was plain. (See Deuteronomy 6:5.) But God’s people, and all people, broke the law. We have loved other things more than we love God. That is sin. So why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t He just say, “You are forgiven”? Because God is just, He requires due payment for sin. To simply forgive sin without requiring a payment would be unjust.

Jesus was our substitute, taking our place on the cross and absorbing God’s wrath on our behalf so we can be forgiven and declared righteous. (See Rom. 3:25-26; Col. 2:13-15.) Jesus died to rescue sinners from slavery to sin, and when we trust in Him, we are free indeed.

We deserve to die because of our sins, but God loves us and kept His promise to send a Savior. Jesus never sinned, but He died in our place. He was the blood sacrifice made once and for all for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, and those who trust in Him have forgiveness and eternal life.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus never did anything wrong.
    • Jesus died on the cross to do God’s plan.
    • God made Jesus alive again.
    • We deserve to die because of sin, but Jesus died for us.
    • Jesus died to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus died on the cross for our sin. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
  • Kids
    • Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus’ Resurrection” (Matthew 28; John 20)

Sunday Morning 11/22: Unit 26, Session 4: Jesus Was Arrested

The Pharisees and other Jews in Jerusalem did not like Jesus. He didn’t play by their rules (Matt. 12:1-14), He claimed to be God (John 8:58-59; 10:22-33), and He extended salvation beyond the Jewish people (Luke 4:27). So they plotted several times how they might kill Him.

The events leading up to His death did not surprise Jesus. Each step was part of God’s established plan. (See Isa. 53:10; Acts 2:23.) But knowing God’s plan didn’t lessen Jesus’ suffering as He was betrayed by His friends, arrested, falsely accused, and beaten. As you teach kids about the arrest of Jesus, help them understand the gravity of the events.

First, Jesus wanted to do God’s plan. Jesus came to earth to rescue people from sin. He was committed to doing the Father’s will. (Matt. 26:39,42) When Judas showed up with a crowd, Jesus didn’t run. He didn’t even allow Peter to stand in His defense. (Matt. 26:52) Jesus willingly gave Himself up for us because He loves us. (Eph. 5:2)

Second, Jesus was betrayed and arrested even though He did nothing wrong. The Jews tried to find a legitimate reason to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t find one. (Matt. 26:59-60) Jesus did what we failed to do; He perfectly obeyed the law. His arrest was not just. The trial was not fair. But this had to happen. Only a sinless, perfect sacrifice could take away sin. (Heb. 9:11-14)

Finally, Jesus is who He says He is. After Jesus’ arrest, the high priest asked Jesus if He was the Son of God. Jesus affirmed that He is. (Matt. 26:64) The high priest accused Him of blasphemy (speaking against God), but Jesus always told the truth.

Jesus felt the pain of betrayal and the agony of His imminent suffering and death. Jesus knew that His death was God’s plan to save people from sin. Jesus’ friends turned against Him and He was arrested and put on trial, but Jesus followed His Father’s plan in order to bring salvation to the world.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus went to a garden to pray.
    • People arrested Jesus, but He did nothing wrong.
    • Jesus said everything happened as God planned.
    • Jesus obeyed His Father’s plan no matter what.
    • Jesus died to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus was arrested though He did nothing wrong. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
  • Kids
    • Jesus allowed His enemies to arrest Him. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus’ Crucifixion” (Matthew 26–27; John 18–19)

Sunday Morning 11/15: Unit 26, Session 3: The Last Supper

As the Passover celebration drew near, Jerusalem hummed with excitement. Everyone wondered if Jesus—teacher, miracle-worker, and prophet—would come for Passover. (John 11:56-57) The Passover meal was a permanent statute God intended for every Israelite family to observe each year. (See Ex. 12:1-28; Lev. 23:5-8.) But it was no secret the religious leaders were determined to kill Jesus. Jesus had warned His disciples what would happen this Passover. (Mark 10:33-34; Luke 18:31)

As they ate the Passover meal, Jesus broke bread and gave it to His disciples. He shared the cup with them too, explaining that the bread and cup represented His body and blood. Jesus established a new covenant.

In the Old Testament, God made a covenant, or promise, with His people. He gave them commandments to follow so they could live in right relationship with Him. But God’s people broke the covenant. They didn’t obey God, and they didn’t love Him.

What the sacrifice of the Passover lamb could not do—take away sins once and for all—the perfect Lamb of God was going to do. Jesus, the perfectly sinless Son of God, was going to take the punishment for sin upon Himself. (See Heb. 10:1-10.) As Jesus’ disciples prepared for Passover, Jesus prepared to die. By dying on the cross, Jesus brought forgiveness and made the way for people to know and love God again.

Jesus showed His disciples with the bread and the drink that He is the true Passover Lamb. God’s people had broken the old covenant, and God promised to make a new covenant to forgive sins. The new covenant says that everyone who turns away from sin and trusts in Jesus’ death and resurrection will be forgiven of his sins and will have eternal life.

Believers take the Lord’s Supper to remember what Jesus did for us in His death and resurrection. We remember God’s faithfulness, and we look forward to the day that Jesus will return.

If your kids are not ready to take the Lord’s Supper at church, gently explain that the Lord’s Supper, like baptism, is an ordinance of the church and is a celebration for those who have repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus for salvation.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus ate a special meal with His friends.
    • Jesus told His friends about God’s plan.
    • Jesus told His friends to remember what He did for them.
    • Jesus made a new, better promise.
    • Jesus died to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus told His disciples to remember Him. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
  • Kids
    • Jesus commanded His disciples to remember His sacrifice. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus Was Arrested” (Matthew 26–27)

Sunday Morning 11/8: Unit 26, Session 2: Jesus Was Questioned

The religious leaders despised Jesus. He was a threat to their power, and they didn’t believe He was the Messiah. The Jews decided to confront Jesus with questions. Perhaps He would misspeak, and they could trap Him with His words. The Pharisees’ disciples asked Him, “Teacher, is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

As far as these men were concerned, Jesus could not give a satisfactory answer to this question. If Jesus said God’s law required them to pay taxes to Caesar, they could get the Jewish people—who hated paying taxes to the Romans—to turn away from Jesus. If Jesus said God’s law did not require them to pay taxes to Caesar, they could convince the Romans to arrest Jesus. But Jesus answered wisely: “Give … to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). The men were speechless, and they left.

Then an expert in the law asked Jesus which command in God’s law is most important. The Pharisees knew the law well and felt prepared to argue. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then He emphasized a second command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18). These commands summarize the rest of the law, and the Pharisees could not object.

Jesus turned the tables and asked the Pharisees about the Messiah: “Whose son is he?” The Pharisees recognized the Messiah as the son of David. Jesus referred to Psalm 110, in which David calls the Messiah “Lord.” Why would he do that? The Pharisees had no answer. As fully man, Jesus is the son of David. But as fully God, He is greater than David; He is Lord. No one dared to question Jesus again.

When the religious leaders questioned Jesus, He answered with wisdom and power. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. He is the Word of God, who came to show us exactly what God is like. Jesus has authority in heaven and on earth.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Some teachers tried to trick Jesus.
    • Jesus answered with wisdom.
    • Jesus told the people that He is the Messiah, the Son of God.
    • Jesus spoke with wisdom that comes from God.
    • Jesus died to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus spoke with wisdom. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
  • Kids
    • Jesus spoke with wisdom and authority. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK 

  • “The Last Supper” (Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13)

Sunday Morning 11/1: Unit 26, Session 1: Jesus’ Triumphal Entry

Leading into the last week of Jesus’ ministry before His death and resurrection, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the King of kings. Many of God’s people traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus and His disciples traveled to Jerusalem as well. Near Bethphage (BETH fayj) and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples ahead into a village.

Jesus told them, “You will find a young donkey tied there. No one has ever sat on it. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Jesus would fulfill Zechariah’s prophecy: “Look, your King is coming to you … humble and riding on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).

Jesus made a spectacular entrance into the city. He rode a donkey, and people laid branches and their robes on the ground in front of Him. The people welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem believed He was the promised Messiah, but they expected Him to overthrow Roman oppression and set up an earthly throne. Jesus sent a different message.

The next day, Jesus entered the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers and those selling doves. Jesus referred to Isaiah 56:7, declaring that His kingship would not just be over the Jews but over all people. While Jesus was in the temple, He healed the blind and the lame. Jesus’ actions declared, “I am not just your King; I am also your God.” (See Isa. 35:4-6.)

Finally, the priests and the scribes heard the children in the temple worshiping Jesus as their King. “Do You hear what these children are saying?” they asked. Jesus replied, quoting Psalm 8:2. Jesus gladly received their praise because He was worthy of their praise. Jesus is the Son of God who came to overthrow sin and set up an eternal throne. 

During Jesus’ triumphal entry, the people welcomed Him as King. Jesus was the Messiah spoken about by the prophet Zechariah: “Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). One day, Jesus will return to earth on a white horse as King over everything. 

Help your kids connect the dots between God’s promises of a Messiah and Jesus’ coming. Help them understand why Jesus came: to save the world from sin!

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
    • People welcomed Jesus as their King.
    • God sent Jesus to earth because He loves us.
    • Jesus is the King who rescues His people.
    • Jesus died to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • ○ People welcomed Jesus as their King. 
    • ○ What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
  • Kids
    • People welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem as their King. 
    • What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 2:8

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus Was Questioned” (Matthew 22; Mark 12; Luke 20)

Sunday Morning 10/25: Unit 25, Session 4: Jesus Raises Lazarus

Jesus received word that His friend Lazarus was sick. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. They lived in the town of Bethany, which was about two miles away from Jerusalem. Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus, likely expecting Him to come right away.

Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus; yet He stayed where He was, and Lazarus died. Why would Jesus do such a thing? Jesus said that Lazarus’ sickness was “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). He said that He was glad He wasn’t there when Lazarus died so that the disciples may believe. (John 11:15) Jesus’ timing is always perfect, and He acts—or doesn’t act—so that God will be glorified. 

By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Martha went to meet Jesus. She said to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” Jesus had shown His power to heal people who were sick. Even still, she believed He could do a miracle.

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus is the source of life—eternal life that cannot be destroyed by death. Believers do not need to fear death because physical death is not the end. (See John 11:25-26.) Jesus endured death for us so that when we die and are absent from our physical bodies, our souls are with the Lord. (See 2 Cor. 5:8.)

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. His messiahship was clearly on display, and it was Jesus’ claims to be the Son of God that would lead to His death on the cross. Jesus interrupted Lazarus’s funeral knowing His would soon follow. 

Emphasize to your kids that when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He showed that He has power over death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who trust in Him.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus’ friend Lazarus was very sick.
    • Jesus made Lazarus alive again.
    • Those who trust in Jesus will live forever with Him.
    • Jesus showed that He has power over death.
    • Jesus is our King.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
  • Kids
    • Jesus has power over death. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus’ Triumphal Entry” (Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12)

Sunday Morning 10/18: Unit 25, Session 3: Jesus’ Hard Teachings

On the heels of His miraculous feeding of the five thousand, Jesus encountered crowds who erroneously concluded He was worth following because He could use His power to fill their empty stomachs. But Jesus recognized their motives and challenged them to go after something greater—not to work for food, which does not last long, but to receive eternal life by believing in Him.

Over and over again, people misunderstood Jesus’ words. They asked what they could do to get the food that lasts forever. Eternal life is a gift that God gives—not to those who perform certain deeds, but to anyone who believes in Jesus. Then the crowd asked for another sign. If Moses had provided bread for 40 years, couldn’t Jesus do that too? Jesus pointed out the bread didn’t come from Moses; it came from God. The crowd was so determined to get bread to eat that they didn’t understand recognize that God had now provided true bread from heaven by sending His Son.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” He wanted to give people more than food. He wanted to give them true life. Jesus continued, “If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever” (John 6:51). As you teach, emphasize to kids that God invites us to come and eat. We partake in the bread of life by believing in Him.

The Jewish leaders struggled with Jesus’ teaching. How could this man, whom they knew as the son of Joseph, be the Son of God? Furthermore, Jesus talked about giving His flesh and blood. To the Jews, this didn’t make any sense. Jesus wanted to do more than fill people’s stomachs; He wanted to give them true life. Jesus’ teachings were hard to understand. When Jesus talked about His flesh and blood, He was talking about His death and resurrection. When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.

Many people stopped following Jesus because they could not accept His teachings. Yet Peter, one of the Twelve, grasped the truth: “You have the words of eternal life. … You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69). When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • People wanted Jesus to give them bread from heaven.
    • Jesus said He is the bread of life.
    • Anyone who believes in Jesus will have life forever.
    • Jesus’ words tell us how to have life with Him forever.
    • Jesus is our King.
  • Preschool
    • Many people did not understand Jesus’ teaching. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
  • Kids
    • Many people misunderstood Jesus’ teaching. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus Raised Lazarus” (John 11)

Sunday Morning 10/11: Unit 25, Session 2: The Three Parables

In Luke 19, Jesus went after Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector. Zacchaeus was not well liked, but his interaction with Jesus led him to repent of his wrongdoing. Jesus said to him, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Who is “the lost”? What does it mean to be lost? In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables to the crowd of tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and scribes. Jesus’ teaching brought gospel truth to the tax collectors and sinners—those whose unrighteousness separated them from God—and to the Pharisees and scribes—those whose relied on their own righteous efforts for salvation.

The first two parables are similar. In one, a man loses a sheep. He leaves his flock to find the missing sheep, and he rejoices when it is found. In the second, a woman loses a silver coin. The woman carefully searches until she finds it. Then she calls her neighbors and friends to celebrate with her. Heaven rejoices when even one sinner repents. Finally, Jesus told a parable about two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance, wasted his money on immoral living, and decided to return to his father. Rather than rejecting his wayward son, the father embraced him. The older son, who had always been obedient to his father, reacted with anger.

As you read Luke 15, think about the crowd Jesus was speaking to. The focus is often placed on the younger son—the one with whom the tax collectors and sinners could identify—but Jesus also made a point about the older son. The older son was like the Pharisees and scribes, focused on his own morality and feeling entitled to his father’s favor.

The religious leaders complained that Jesus welcomed sinners. Jesus told these parables to teach about God’s forgiveness. God sent Jesus so sinners can be forgiven. As Savior, Jesus seeks sinners. He paid the ultimate price—His own life—to save people from sin

Jesus taught what God is like. He seeks sinners who have wandered far from Him, and He seeks sinners who try to earn salvation by their good works. As you talk with your kids, help them understand that being lost means not knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. God loves us, and He actively seeks to bring sinners to Himself.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told a story about God’s love.
    • The father was happy when his son came home.
    • God is happy when sinners trust Jesus.
    • Jesus gave His life to save people from sin.
    • Jesus is our King.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus came to save people who do not know Him. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
  • Kids
    • Jesus came to seek and save the lost. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Jesus’ Hard Teachings” (John 6)

Parent Dedication: Oct 4, 2020 (North and West)

This past Sunday families at both campuses participated in Parent Dedication. As we charged parents to be the primary disciple-maker of these little ones, we also invited the church to come alongside both parents and children in the process of discipleship. This is a big honor and a great challenge for all! Check out the video above to witness this sweet occasion.

Sunday Morning 10/4: Unit 25, Session 1: Kingdom Parables

The Gospels record dozens of Jesus’ parables. A parable is a simple story Jesus told to help people understand the kingdom of God. Each parable taught a lesson and revealed deep and often mysterious truths about God’s kingdom for those who would understand. (See Matt. 13:10-15.)

In Matthew 13:31-33, Jesus tells two stories about the kingdom of God. In the first, He compares God’s kingdom to a mustard seed. In those days, the mustard seed was the smallest seed planted in the region. Despite its size, the seed yielded a tall, tree-like bush with branches for birds to nest in. Jesus was teaching that although God’s kingdom started out small—with Jesus and a few disciples—it grows and spreads. We still witness this growth today.

Then Jesus compares God’s kingdom to leaven, or yeast, that is mixed into flour. In time, yeast causes a dense ball of dough to grow and rise. God’s kingdom grows in a similar way, moving throughout the world and changing lives.

Then, in the parables of the hidden treasure and the priceless pearl, Jesus taught about the value of God’s kingdom. A man came across a treasure buried in a field and sold all he had to buy the field. A merchant, finding a priceless pearl, sold all he had to buy it. Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is so valuable, we would be wise to give up everything in order to have it. Jesus emphasized this truth in His encounter with the rich young ruler. (See Matt. 19:16-22.)

As you talk with your kids, help them begin to grasp the truth about God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is growing in the world. This kingdom is valuable and worth giving everything for. While we wait for Jesus to return and fully set up His kingdom, we carry out the mission of telling others about King Jesus, who rescues sinners.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told people what God’s kingdom is like.
    • God’s kingdom is worth giving everything for.
    • Everyone who trusts in Jesus is part of God’s kingdom.
    • Jesus grows His kingdom when we trust in Him.
    • Jesus is our King.
  • Preschool
    • Jesus taught about God’s kingdom. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
  • Kids
    • God’s growing kingdom is more valuable than anything. 
    • How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)

NEXT WEEK 

  • “The Three Parables” (Luke 15)