Category Archives: THE GOSPEL PROJECT

Sunday Morning 10/22 (Unit 26, Session 1: 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 share with your 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 release sinners from slavery to sin, and when we trust in Him, we are free indeed.

We deserve to die because of our sin, 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.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive.
    • Jesus never did anything wrong.
    • Jesus died on the cross to do God’s plan.
    • God made Jesus alive again.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and He is alive today
    • Jesus died on the cross.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and came back to life to show we are forgiven.
    • Jesus was crucified on the cross.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 (Preschool: Ephesians 2:8)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus’ Resurrection” (Matthew 28:1-15; John 20:1-18)
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Sunday Morning 10/15 (Unit 25, 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 4:29). 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 Is. 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 talk with your kids about Jesus’ arrest, 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 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.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus did God’s plan.
    • Jesus went to a garden to pray.
    • Jesus never made wrong choices.
    • God sent Jesus to rescue us.
  • Preschool
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death.
    • Jesus was arrested, but He did nothing wrong.
  • Kids
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death and to proclaim Him until He returns.
    • Jesus was betrayed and arrested.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Luke 4:18

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus’ Crucifixion” (Matthew 27:11-66)

 

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Sunday Morning 10/08 (Unit 25, Session 3: The Last Supper)

Jesus knew it was time for Him to die. He sat down with His disciples for the Passover meal and did something very unusual. Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. This humble act was usually reserved for a servant. The footwashing symbolized a spiritual cleansing. The disciples were already positionally “clean” before God (see John 13:10) but even redeemed people still sin and need daily cleansing. (See 1 John 1:9.) In this, Jesus also set forth an example of love and humility for His disciples to mirror in their own actions toward one another. (John 13:15)

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. By dying on the cross, Jesus brought forgiveness and made the way for people to know and love God again.

Jesus and the disciples ate the first Lord’s Supper at Passover, a time when God’s people remembered how God had rescued His people from the Egyptians—passing over the houses marked with the blood of a lamb. Jesus instituted a new memorial, to Himself—the Lamb of God whose blood would bring salvation to the world.

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 He will return.

At the Passover, Jesus shared His last meal with the disciples before His death and resurrection. Jesus said that His death would establish a new covenant. God’s people had broken the old covenant, and God promised to make a new covenant to forgive sins. God forgives the sins of those who trust in His Son, Jesus.

Your kids may not be 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.

25.3.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus did God’s plan.
    • Jesus ate a special meal with His friends.
    • Jesus washed His friends’ feet.
    • Jesus told His friends to remember Him.
  • Preschool
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death.
    • Jesus ate a special meal with His friends.
  • Kids
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death and to proclaim Him until He returns.
    • Jesus and the disciples ate the first Lord’s Supper at Passover.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Luke 4:18

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Was Arrested” (Matthew 26:3627:2)
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Sunday Morning 10/01 (Unit 25, Session 2: Jesus Cleansed the Temple)

In preparation for the Passover feast, Jesus made His triumphal entry to Jerusalem. Jesus went to the temple there. Herod the Great completely rebuilt the temple in 20–18 B.C. as part of his architectural projects. The temple was surrounded by walls and gates, with specific places for Gentiles, women, and men to worship God and offer sacrifices. The temple was a symbol of God’s presence among His people.

When Jesus entered the Court of the Gentiles, He was furious to see people buying and selling in the temple. Animal sacrifices were required for participation in the temple. (See Deut. 16:16.) For many worshipers traveling from all over the Roman Empire to take part in Passover, it was easier to purchase unblemished animals for sacrificing in the Court of the Gentiles. There, they also exchanged foreign currency for the temple taxes and offerings. So why was Jesus angry at the people?

The merchants buying and selling in the temple were treating the temple as a market or bazaar, not like the house of prayer for all nations that God had intended for it to be. (See Isa. 56:7.) The money changers’ prices were so exorbitant, they were practically robbing the people. (Mark 11:17) On top of that, people were using the temple courts as a shortcut to get to their businesses. The Gentiles who wished to worship God in peace were surrounded by greed and extortion.

Jesus threw out the merchants and money changers. He was committed to honoring God. The chief priests and the scribes saw what happened, and they wanted to destroy Jesus. (Luke 19:47)

When Jesus cleared the dishonest people from the temple, He showed His commitment to honoring God. The temple was supposed to be a place where people could pray and worship God. Jesus was going to die on the cross to take away people’s sins so anyone who trusted in Him could come to God.

These events led up to Jesus’ death and resurrection, and now we do not need to go to a temple to meet with God. Jesus came as God’s presence among us (John 1:14) and to be the final sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. We gather with the church to worship Him together.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus did God’s plan.
    • People gave gifts to God in the temple.
    • Jesus made the people selling in the temple leave.
    • Jesus showed He is the Messiah.
  • Preschool
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death.
    • Jesus stopped people from misusing the temple.
  • Kids
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death and to proclaim Him until He returns.
    • Jesus drove out the people who were misusing the temple.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Luke 4:18

 NEXT WEEK

  • “The Last Supper” (Matthew 26:26-30; John 13:1-15)
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Sunday Morning 9/24 (Unit 25, Session 1: Jesus Was Anointed)

Three decades had passed since Jesus arrived on earth as a helpless baby. He grew up and began His ministry. People wondered, Could this be the Messiah? From the time sin entered the world through Adam, God was working out His rescue plan. Finally, at just the right time, God sent His Son into the world.

John the Baptist announced Jesus’ purpose: “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus called disciples to follow Him, and He spent three years teaching people about God and proclaiming the good news.

People began talking about the possible Messiah. If He really was the “Anointed One”—the promised Deliverer—when would He rise up against the Roman government? As Jesus’ ministry came to a close, He made His way toward Jerusalem. But Jesus wasn’t about to overthrow a government; He was about to die.

Jesus was eating supper at Simon’s house in Bethany when Mary (the sister of Lazarus) poured oil over Jesus. Her act angered the disciples, who thought the oil should have been sold and the money used to help people who were poor. But Jesus affirmed Mary for her actions.

Pouring the expensive oil on Jesus was not a waste, it was worship. By allowing Mary to anoint Him, Jesus showed that He is more valuable than anything. Jesus knew He would soon die for sinners, be buried, and rise from the dead on the third day.

Help your kids see the bigger picture here. What happened in the days leading to Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan. Jesus said that Mary had prepared Him for burial. (Matt. 26:12) Days later, Jesus died on the cross to rescue people from sin. On the third day, He rose from the dead. Jesus is alive!

Jesus is our Lord and Savior. God calls us to treasure Him more than anything or anyone else. We can show our love for Him through the ways we worship. He is worthy of all our praise.

25.1.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus did God’s plan.
    • A woman poured oil on Jesus.
    • Jesus knew He would die on the cross.
    • God sent Jesus because He loves us.
  • Preschool
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death.
    • Mary anointed Jesus.
  • Kids
    • Why do believers share the Lord’s Supper? Believers share the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ life and death and to proclaim Him until He returns.
    • Jesus said Mary anointed Him for burial.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Luke 4:18

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Cleansed the Temple” (Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19)
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Sunday Morning 9/10 (Unit 24, Session 3: Jesus Healed a Woman and Raised a Girl)

Jesus had just returned from the region of the Gerasenes, where He had healed a man with an unclean spirit. He crossed the Sea of Galilee and came on shore, where He was surrounded by a large crowd of people. News of Jesus’ teachings and healings was spreading, and people wanted to see Jesus. They wanted to learn from Him and be healed.

Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, came to Jesus in crisis. His daughter was at the point of death. Without Jesus’ help, she would surely die. Jesus went with Jairus, but as He walked, a woman in the crowd came up behind Him and touched His robes. She too was desperate for healing. The woman believed that Jesus’ power was strong enough to heal her even if all she did was touch His robes. Because she had faith, Jesus healed her.

Imagine Jairus’s devastation when he heard that his daughter had died. The people suggested that Jesus was too late to help her, but Jesus proved them wrong. He went to Jairus’s house and raised the little girl from the dead.

By healing the woman and raising the little girl from the dead, Jesus showed His power as the Messiah. Jesus died on the cross and rose again to save people from sin and death. When we trust in Jesus, God forgives our sin and changes us to be more like His Son.

As you talk with your kids, point out that the woman and the father of the little girl came to Jesus in faith. They needed Jesus’ help, and they trusted in Jesus’ power to heal. After Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, He ascended to heaven. Even though Jesus is not physically on earth today, we can pray and ask God to heal people who are sick. Whether or not God grants physical healing, we can rest knowing that He brings ultimate healing through His Son, Jesus.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus healed people.
    • A woman touched Jesus’ robes to be healed.
    • Jesus made a little girl alive again.
    • Jesus has power over sickness and death.
  • Preschool
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a woman and raised a girl from the dead.
  • Kids
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a bleeding woman and raised a girl from the dead.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Psalm 103:2-3 (Babies and Toddlers: Psalm 103:3)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Raised Lazarus” (John 11:1-7,17-44)
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Sunday Morning 9/03 (Unit 24, Session 2: Jesus Has Power Over Evil)

Jesus had enemies. In the midst of His public ministry, the Jewish religious leaders began plotting to kill Him. (See Mark 3:6.) So one day, Jesus went to a land on the east side of the Sea of Galilee where Gentiles lived. Jesus’ mission to the Gentiles was not a backup plan after the Jews rejected Him; when Jesus was an infant, Simeon prophesied that His work would be for all people—both Jews and Gentiles. (See Luke 2:30-32.)

In that land was a man who needed help. An evil spirit was inside the man, and he suffered greatly. The people had tried to control the man by tying him up with chains, but the man broke free. So he lived alone in the tombs, crying out day and night.

When Jesus stepped ashore, the man ran to Him and kneeled down. Jesus commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many evil spirits were in the man, and Jesus gave the evil spirits permission to go into a herd of pigs. They did, and the man was healed.

The healed man wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus told the man to go home to his own people and tell what the Lord had done for him. The man obeyed Jesus. He testified to the cities in that area about the Lord’s mercy, and the Gentiles were amazed.

Jesus is Lord over all things, good and evil. In His teaching, Jesus said, “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (Matt. 12:28). Jesus—as well as the Bible—is clear that Satan exists, and he and the demons work against God and His purposes.

Only Jesus had the strength to control the man with the evil spirits. Jesus has power over evil, and He used His power to free the man. He has power over everything. Jesus came to earth to destroy the Devil by dying on the cross. One day, Jesus will end evil forever.

2.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus healed people.
    • Jesus healed the man with the bad spirit.
    • Jesus told the man to tell everyone what God did for him.
    • Jesus has power because He is God’s Son.
  • Preschool
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a man with many evil spirits.
  • Kids
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a man with many evil spirits.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Psalm 103:2-3 (Babies and Toddlers: Psalm 103:3)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Healed a Woman and Raised a Girl” (Mark 5:21-43)
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