In this Easter lesson, children discover that Jesus loves us so much, He willingly died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. When we respond to God's call to repent and ask Jesus to forgive our sins, He washes us clean so we may have eternal life with Him in Heaven.
Easter, Cross, Crucifixion, Forgiveness, Redemption, Salvation, Sin
AS KIDS ARRIVE (10 minutes)
Power of the Cross (Puzzle) Click here
OPENING PRAYER AND PRAISE (5 minutes)
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MEMORY WORK (12 minutes)
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV
For ideas on memorizing this verse, visit our memorization teaching aids. Click here
SCRIPTURE READING AND DISCUSSION (15 minutes)
After Judas betrayed Jesus by kissing Him on the cheek, the chief priests, officers, and elders who were there had Jesus arrested. The next day they asked Jesus, "Are You the Son of God?" Jesus replied, "You are right in saying that I am." Upon hearing that, they took Jesus to Pilate to be sentenced for the crimes of not paying taxes and blasphemy. Pilate questioned Jesus, but did not find any reasons for the charges and tried to set Him free. However, the people insisted all the more. They began to yell, "Crucify Him" over and over. Our story today starts at the time they led Jesus away to the place He would be hung on a cross to die. It was a Friday.
Read Luke 23:26-49 (The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus)
1. How many people followed Jesus to the place He would be crucified? (A large number.)
2. Jesus was crucified with two thieves (See Matthew 27:38). What did Jesus say to them and to the people responsible for putting Him on the cross? (Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.")
3. What did the two thieves say to Jesus? (One thief hurled insults at Jesus, telling Him to save Himself. The other thief asked Jesus to remember him when going into His Kingdom.)
4. Which thief, the first or second, do you believe had a change of heart and a desire to stop sinning? (The second thief.)
5. What did Jesus say to the second thief and what do you think it meant? (Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in paradise." Paradise is believed to be a place of bliss and rest before going to Heaven. In any case, one would assume that this man was sorry for sinning, and after hearing what Jesus asked from His Father, he sought forgiveness.)
6. What happened to the sky just before Jesus died? (The sun stopped shining and there was darkness over the whole land.)
7. What were Jesus' last words before He died? ("Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.")
8. Some of the people who were present beat their chests and then went away; others stood at a distance and watched. How do you think you would have reacted seeing Jesus die on the cross? (Allow for answers.)
9. If Jesus didn't do anything wrong, why did He have to die on the cross? (He willingly sacrificed His life to die for our sins, so that through Him we can have forgiveness and everlasting life.)
CLASS EXERCISE (15 minutes)
To the Cross (Review Game) Click here
(This is a review game containing questions from this lesson and the lesson called, "Palm Sunday - The Triumphal Entry of Jesus." For a quick review of the Palm Sunday lesson, you can read Matthew 21:1-11.)
ALTERNATE CLASS EXERCISE (15 minutes)
Hearts on a Cross (Craft) Click here
APPLICATION (5 minutes)
All of us do things that are wrong from time to time. All of us have sinned. No matter how large or small the sin, it separates us from God, and all sin leads to death. However, as we learned today, God loves us so much, He sent His only Son to save us. Jesus did not sin; instead, He died on the cross in our place, so we could have everlasting life and be with Him in Heaven. When we choose Jesus as our Lord, and with repentance ask Him to forgive our sins, He will. This is a wonderful and exciting message of Easter. However, the message of Easter does not end here. Let's read a few more verses from the Bible before we close.
Read Matthew 28:1-7
So the full message of Easter is not only that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins, but that He rose from the grave on Sunday morning and conquered death once and for all. Because Jesus rose from the grave, He can give us new life as well.
This Easter, take some time to celebrate God's love by thinking about how Jesus gave up His own life for us. Remember to be forgiving, as Jesus forgives us.
Continue to make it count, while making it fun by selecting another lesson from Kids Sunday School Place!
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
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