Breath Prayer (1 Peter 2:23)
Breathe in: Jesus, I believe
Breath out: Your cross has healed me
Remember each other: Care
Have the kids break up into pairs and share something they’re grateful for. Invite them to pray together giving thanks to the Father for His good gifts in their lives
This exercise is meant to build relationships between peers and help kids grow comfortable in prayer. You may want to model it first with a child in the class who is comfortable role playing.
Practice the Following Jesus Liturgy (With our youngest kids only focus on the portion that we’re currently learning)
For young children rehearse the first 3 points of the Gospel
God has always loved us and given us His Son Jesus
He lived a life we couldn’t live
Died the death we should have died for sin
Remember what we learned and put into practice last week?
Gospel: 2. He lived the life we couldn’t live
Do you remember what Jesus did in the desert? Did he listen to the lies of the enemy? And now that Jesus lives in us, do we have to listen to the lies we hear and negative thoughts we have? No! Jesus has given us His Spirit and He helps us make life-giving decisions.
Explore Key Concepts
“God was going to pour into Jesus’ hearts all the sadness and brokenness in people’s hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus’ body all the sickness in people’s bodies.”
When Jesus died He paid the price for our sin. Our punishment was swallowed up. He took our punishment so we could be free to come to Father God without fear or worry.
We’re not in trouble with God! He has forgiven us through Jesus! All of our mistakes and bad decisions are swallowed up in Jesus’s love when he died for us on the cross.
Read: “A Dark Night in the Garden” (Jesus Storybook Bible)
Discover through curious questions:
Why did Jesus die on the cross?
What does the cross mean to you?
Jesus took our punishment “He died the death we should have died for sin.”
Prep: You will need a sticky note for every individual. You will also need a large cross. The cross could be made from something you have a home. Or it could also be as simple as a poster or a printable coloring page (found here Jesus on the Cross coloring page | Free Printable Coloring Pages).
Prepare the kids for the activity by sharing about a mistake you made, a time you were not perfect. Talk to the children about how you felt when you made that poor decision and how it affected the people around you (ex. You were acting selfishly demanding your own way and it ruined someone else’s day). Help them recognize the consequence of a sinful choice and model taking responsibility for it.
Ask the group if they can relate. Have they ever made a choice that wasn’t loving? Refused to do something they knew they should? Broken something by accident, said something they regret, hurt someone they loved? Write down a couple of those things on the stick note.
When all the kids have their “confessions” on their notes, pause to ask how it feels to remember these things. Heavy. Sad. Uncomfortable. It can be hard to acknowledge that we’re not perfect and we’ve done things that we’re not proud of.
Pray together, “Father, you know me and you see me. You hear all of my words and know every choice I’ve made. Please forgive me for the times I’ve chosen to do my own thing instead of listening to you and acting in love towards myself, you, and those around me.”
Have the kids get up and place their sticky note on the cross. Explain that when Jesus died he took all of our sin, our wrong choices and bad attitudes upon himself. When he died he too our punishment so that we wouldn’t have to die for sin. Now, if we believe that He is God’s son, we are free from punishment and able to be near to God all the time any time!
Pray a prayer of rejoicing! Throw a party. Put on some dance music and celebrate that Jesus has removed our sin from us on the cross. When we repent He forgives us and we don’t carry it any longer.
For Preteens and Teens: Sacrifice and Atonement - Why Jesus had to Die
30 min kids video: “It is Finished” (2-6yrs)