*This plan is taken from “The Gospel Project for Kids” curriculum
Unit 20: Session 2–Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection
Bible passage: Matthew 26:36 – 28:10; John 18:1 – 20:18
Main point: Jesus died on the cross to save people from sin, and He is alive.
Key passage (Memory passage for the unit): Romans 10:9 “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Big picture question: Who saves us from our sin? Only Jesus saves us from our sin.
Session starter activity: Who saves?
Write the following words (or use pictures for younger children) on separate index cards or pieces of paper: lifeguard, police officer, firefighter, doctor, Jesus. Pass out the cards/paper, one per person. Instruct them not to show their card/paper to the rest of the family.
Family members should ask each other yes-or-no questions to try and guess what is on each card/paper they are holding. For example, “Would you help me if I felt sick?” or “Does your job involve water?” Family members can be invited to guess when they think they’ve come up with the answer for each.
Say: Each of these cards describe someone who has the ability to rescue someone who needs help. Today we are going to hear a Bible story that answers the question, Who saves us from our sin?
Big picture question and Bible Timeline:
Our last Bible story was called “Jesus’ Triumphal Entry.” Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth, Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey. People welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem as their King. That happened at the beginning of the week. By the end of the week, people’s feelings about Jesus had changed. Today’s Bible story is about what happened at the end of the week.
Do you remember our big picture question? We heard it last week: Who saves us from our sin? The answer is, Only Jesus saves us from our sin. Sin separates us from God because God is holy. But God loves us, and He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin. Think about that when we hear the Bible story today.
Tell the Bible Story: Read Matthew 26:36 – 28:10; John 18:1 – 20:18
Say: The religious leaders decided that they wanted to get rid of Jesus. They didn’t like that people were praising Jesus and following Him. So they made a plan and paid Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, to betray Him. They did not accept who Jesus is.
When Jesus said that He is the Son of God, they didn’t believe Him. They said He was guilty of blasphemy. Blasphemy is an attitude of disrespect for God. Jesus did not do anything wrong, but the leaders believed He had committed a crime by claiming to be God.
Is Jesus the Son of God? Yes! He is fully God and fully man. But the religious leaders convinced the crowd in Jerusalem that Jesus should die. The people who welcomed Jesus and praised Him at the beginning of the week when he rode into the city on a donkey now hated Him.
Jesus knew it was time for Him to do God’s plan to save people from sin. God sent His Son into the world to be the Savior. The Bible says that sin requires a payment, a blood sacrifice. So Jesus was going to die to pay the price for our sin.
Three days after Jesus died on the cross, God raised Him from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection shows us that God accepted Jesus’ payment for our sin. Jesus rose from the dead, and He is still alive today. At Easter, we remember Jesus’ death for us and celebrate His resurrection. Jesus died on the cross to save people from sin, and He is alive. Because of His sacrifice, we can have forgiveness and the promise of eternal life. Let’s say our big question and answer together: Who saves us from our sin? Only Jesus saves us from our sin.
The Bible says that we have all sinned, and the fair punishment for sin is death. Our sin separates us from God, and nothing we do could make up for our sin. That is some very bad news.
But the Gospel is good news! God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to rescue us from sin. Jesus did this by living the perfect life we cannot live. He died the guilty death we deserve. Jesus died in our place!
We can receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and salvation by trusting in Him as Lord and Savior.
God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin, and He raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus is the King over all creation. We are forgiven only through Him.
Bible Review Questions:
- Today’s Bible story comes from Matthew and John. These books are found in what division of the Bible? (New Testament, Gospels)
- Which of Jesus’ disciples betrayed Him? (Judas, Matt. 26:14-15)
- What did the crowd want to do to Jesus? (crucify Him, Matt. 27:22-23)
- Why did the crowd want to kill Jesus? (He claimed to be God’s Son, Matt. 26:63-65)
- What happened when Jesus died? (The curtain in the temple split in two from top to bottom, there was an earthquake; Matt. 27:50-51)
- Who rolled away the stone in front of Jesus’ tomb? (an angel of the Lord; Matt. 28:2-3)
- What did the angel say about Jesus? (“He has been resurrected,” Matt. 28:5-6)
- Who saves us from our sin? (Only Jesus saves us from our sin.)
- Jesus died on the cross to save people from sin, and He is what? (Alive!)
Say: At Easter time, we remember Jesus’ death and celebrate His resurrection. God’s plan all along was to send Jesus to save us from sin. Jesus died even though He lived a perfect and holy life. He did not deserve any punishment, but He was punished for our sin. His death paid the penalty and His resurrection showed that God accepted His perfect sacrifice. Jesus defeated death, and sin has no more power because of Him. When we trust in Jesus, we are forgiven and made new to live with God forever.
Key verse review:
Write the words or phrases of Romans 10:9 on strips of paper. Hide the strips around the room. Challenge the kids to find the pieces. As they find them, they should arrange them in the proper order. Read the verse aloud together.
Say: When a person is saved, what does he confess? (Jesus is Lord). What does that person believe? (that God raised Him from the dead)
Our key passage gives a clear and simple explanation of how to start a new life with Jesus. When we believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, we won’t be able to keep that information a secret. We will tell everyone that Jesus is our Lord!
Spend some time praying as a family.
Here’s a free coloring page the kids can print out if they would like: