Grace

Own it

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Nobody’s perfect – even the best of us are going to make mistakes sometimes. Though we all know this, it can be really difficult to own up to our actions – to God, to others, even to ourselves. If we want to move forward, though, we’ve got to be bold enough to own our mistake.

1. Discussion 

Genesis 3:11-13 “…the Lord God asked. ‘Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What have you done?’ ‘The serpent deceived me,’ she replied. ‘That’s why I ate it.’”

From the very beginning, humans have been blame-shifting. It’s intimidating to admit our faults!

Q . Why do you think Adam and Eve shifted the blame? What were they afraid of?

Q . When you shift the blame from yourself, who or what usually gets blamed?  How does that make you feel in the moment? How might that negatively affect you in the long run?

2. Challenge

1 John 1:8-10 “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

God is rich in love and mercy, but he wants us to be honest. When we fail, we’ve got to own it, confess it to Him, and move forward.

Q . How do you feel in the moment when you confess your sin to God? How do you feel afterward?

Q . Is “moving forward” and letting past mistakes go difficult for you? How might confessing your sin to God affect that? 

How might confessing to others affect it?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. Confess any sins, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to move forward in confidence and the assurance of your salvation.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Stay Humble

1. Power Verse

Luke 14:11 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

What’s Up: “I Will Choose To Be Humble!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Stand Out!” As Christians, it’s important that we stand out from the world and from culture. We must be different, and one of the greatest ways we can be different and stand out is to stay humble!

2. Discussion

Read: Luke 7:36-50 One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him. So he went to the Pharisee’s house. He took his place at the table. There was a woman in that town who had lived a sinful life. She learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she came there with a special jar of perfume. She stood behind Jesus and cried at his feet. And she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair. She kissed them and poured perfume on them. The Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this. He said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him. He would know what kind of woman she is. She is a sinner!” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.“Two people owed money to a certain lender. One owed him 500 silver coins. The other owed him 50 silver coins.  Neither of them had the money to pay him back. So he let them go without paying. Which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who owed the most money.” “You are right,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman. He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water to wash my feet. But she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss. But this woman has not stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You did not put any olive oil on my head. But she has poured this perfume on my feet. So I tell you this. Her many sins have been forgiven. She has shown that she understands this by her great acts of love. But whoever has been forgiven only a little loves only a little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to talk about this among themselves. They said, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Q. What did the sinful woman do when she saw Jesus? How did the religious leaders respond?  How did Jesus respond to them?

3. Challenge

This world is full of prideful people who are constantly looking to promote themselves and make themselves greater. It’s all about popularity! However, that’s not how Jesus lived – and that’s not how Jesus wants us to live either. Jesus displayed a life of humility. He was humble and he constantly blessed, promoted, & added value to humble people.  We need to do our very best to live like Jesus – a life of humility. Jesus had an “Others First, Me Last” attitude about everything! We should too! If we put others first, we will really STAND OUT for Jesus! 

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children would have a humble attitude in life. Pray that they would truly live out “others first, me last.”

Growing Where You Are Planted

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Life with God is good, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes we find ourselves in a season of frustration, and the natural tendency is to complain or shake our fist at the Creator. What we need to do instead is to remind ourselves whose we are and whose purpose we live to accomplish.

1. Discussion 

Psalms 92:12-15 “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”

God doesn’t plant His servants anywhere with the intent to wither and kill them. He wants us to flourish in any season – even the difficult and frustrating ones.

Q. If you spend a difficult season looking for a way out, how will that change your effectiveness for God? How about if you spend a difficult season looking for ways to learn or to serve?

Q. Psalms 92 says the “righteous” will flourish. What kind of attitude & response to frustration does God expect from someone who is “righteous?”

2. Challenge

Galatians 1:10 [NIV] “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

If we look at a confusing or frustrating season of life from our own perspective (how does this affect me? Where am I at, compared with my peers?), we’re going to stay frustrated. When we remember, though, that our lives belong to God, and we’re instruments in His hands to serve His purpose, we can find growth – and even joy – in the hardest circumstances.

Q. Think back to a frustrating season in your life. Was your attitude positive or negative? Was your focus primarily “God, why are you doing this to me?” Or was it “God, what do you want to do through me?” How did your response affect your attitude in that season? What would be the best response in a future season of frustration?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for loving you through the easy times and the hard times in life. Ask the Holy Spirit to develop the attitude of a servant, so you can have the right attitude and response in any season of life.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Evidence of Grace

1. Power Verse

Titus 2:11  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”

What’s Up: “I Will Show The World God’s Grace In Me!”

This week, we start a brand new series called, “Stand Out!” As Christians, it’s important that we stand out from the world and from culture. We must be different, and one of the greatest ways we can be different and stand out is by demonstrating the evidence of grace in our lives.

2. Discussion

Read: Mark 2:13-17 “Once again Jesus went out beside the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd came to him. He began to teach them. As he walked along he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus. Levi was sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him. Levi got up and followed him. Later Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples. They were part of the large crowd following Jesus. Some teachers of the law who were Pharisees were there. They saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors. So they asked his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus heard that. So he said to them, ‘Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. I have not come to get those who think they are right with God to follow me. I have come to get sinners to follow me.”’

Q: Who did Jesus ask to be his disciple? 

Q. What was his job? Where did Jesus have dinner?

Q. How did the religious leaders feel about that?

Q.  How did Jesus respond to the religious leaders?

3. Challenge

We need to show the world with our words and actions that we have been changed by God’s grace. Matthew ended up going from a despised, wicked tax collector to a man with the evidence of grace in his life.

Q. What does grace mean?

Q. Who does God give grace to?  

Q. How can you show the evidence of  grace in your life? 

God’s grace is for everyone and it helps us say  “NO” to sin and stay focused on Heaven! We need to make sure we have the evidence of grace in our lives!

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for salvation if your children are ready to receive God’s grace and forgiveness. Pray that they would trade their sins for the hope of Heaven. Pray that they would begin to spend their time focused on the Kingdom of Heaven, instead of the temporary pleasure of sin.

Peace

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Everybody wants to be at peace – peace with God, with others, peace with whatever life throws at you. God wants that, too. He has peace that’s beyond anything humans can find or cultivate, but it can only be experienced when we’re submitted to His leadership.

1. Discussion

2 Thessalonians 3:16 [NLT] “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.”

The peace of God is different than a human emotion. Just like His contentment, it supersedes logic and circumstance, and works no matter what kind of storm is blowing around us.

Q. What’s the greatest stress in your life right now? What situation brings the most anxiety?

Q. Have you tried just talking yourself out of stress/worry? How did that work for you?

Q. If you could hit a button and instantly relieve the stress from this situation, how would that impact your quality of life? What other areas in your life might improve?

2. Challenge

Isaiah 26:3 [NLT] “You [God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

God’s peace is perfect- it overcomes any stress or worry- but it’s not a promise to every human. His peace comes with His presence, to those who trust Him and keep their thoughts fixed on Him. When we lean in close to our heavenly father, we can experience the peace of His protection- something truly supernatural.

Q. Think of your stressful situation again, is it easy or difficult to trust God to see you through, no matter the outcome?

Q. What steps could you take this week to keep your thoughts focused more on God your helper and less on the situation and the stress it brings?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for His supernatural peace. Whatever is stressful to you, hand it over to Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep your thoughts focused on Him, and to bring, with His presence, perfect peace in every situation.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Lessons From Haman

1. Power Verse

Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”

What’s Up: “Treat People Nicely – Don’t Be A Jerk!”

2. Discussion

This week, we continue our series called, “You Only Live Once”, or “YOLO.”  We’re learning some important lessons about making our lives count!  Since we only live once, we need to make sure we do our very best to honor God with our life and remain faithful to Him.

Q. What do you think the word “pride” means?

Q. Have you ever met someone that was filled with pride?

Nobody likes a jerk.  They’re filled with pride, always get what they want, and treat others as less than themselves.  As followers of Jesus, we need to avoid becoming a jerk.

In the Bible Story this week, we learned from King Xerxes how to NOT be a jerk.  King Xerxes made a lot of terrible mistakes that made him a total jerk!  We learned to avoid the mistakes King Xerxes made and be much better examples of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

3. Activity

Q. Who in your life is a great example of kindness?

Q. How can we avoid becoming prideful?

Q. What are some things we can do to show kindness to others?

We need to do our very best to always be humble, to not get mad when we don’t get our way, and to treat people like they matter!

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children to avoid being a jerk.  Pray that they would love and treat everyone with humility and kindness!

Generosity

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Have you ever received way more than you expected? Whether it was a bigger tax refund, or an unexpected hand from your neighbor hauling bags of mulch, it feels great to be on the receiving end of generosity. It feels great to be on the giving end, too… because generosity is a function of God’s character at work in us.

1. Discussion

Ephesians 1:7–8  [ESV] “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.”

God modeled generosity – going beyond what’s required or expected – when He sent Jesus to live and die to redeem humankind.

Q. God didn’t have to go to such great lengths to save humanity. What other responses to sin could He have taken? What response would you have taken if it had been your decision?

Q. God’s generosity shows up in plenty of other areas in life beyond our salvation. What are some other ways that God has gone above and beyond for you?

2. Challenge

Ephesians 3:17–19 [ESV]  “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

God expects His children to take on His character – including His generosity. And that encompasses more than money – it’s a willingness to give, whether the need is funds, time, energy, attention, etc. The only way that character change happens is by growing in faith through discipleship.

Q. If someone gauged your relationship with God based solely on your generosity, how close to God would they think you are?

Q. Is generosity easy for you, or is it a challenge? Is there one area for you where generosity comes more easily than others?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for giving to you so freely and extravagantly. Ask the Holy Spirit to grow His generous character in you as you work to know and serve Him better.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Lessons From Haman

1. Power Verse

Psalm 4:4a “Don’t sin by letting anger control you…” 

What’s Up: “I Won’t Let Anger Control Me!”

2. Discussion

This week, we continue our series called, “You Only Live Once” or “YOLO.” We’re learning some important lessons about making our lives count! Since we only live once, we need to make sure we do our very best to honor God with our life and remain faithful to Him.

Q. What are some things that make you angry?

Q. How do you normally respond when things make you angry?

There are many things in life that can make us angry. From not getting our way, to attacks against those we love, many things can bring out the anger in us.

Anger is a powerful emotion. If we allow it to take control of our lives, it can bring some dangerous results. If we don’t allow God to help us with our anger – it can turn to bitterness.

3. Activity

Q. Have you ever allowed anger to take control of your life? Explain.

Q. Why should we ask for God’s help when we’re angry?

In the Bible Story this week, we learned from the story of Haman and how he reacted to Mordecai and the Jews. We learned that it is not a sin to become angry, but it is a sin to allow anger to control you.

Q. What are some appropriate ways to act when you become angry?

Q. What can you do to avoid allowing anger to take control of your life?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children would begin to ask for God’s help when they become angry so they don’t allow their anger to control their lives or lead to bitterness.

Contentment

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Everyone wants to be happy. When you’re happy, life is sweeter, your outlook on the future is brighter, the glass is always half full. God wants you to have hope and a positive outlook, too, but in a way that supersedes the human formula for “happiness.” He wants us to experience supernatural contentment.

1. Discussion

Philippians 4:11-13 [ESV] “…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, Paul found the secret to feeling content with his life, no matter what it looked like. It wasn’t a switch that flipped instantly – it was a process.

Q. When Paul says in verse 12 “I have learned,” in what sorts of ways do you think he was taught?

Q. Paul wrote this letter nearly 30 years after deciding to follow Jesus. How long do you think it took him to grow to the place where he could write these words truthfully?

2. Challenge

Paul may have been content with his life, but most outsiders looking in at his life would call it difficult at best. It’s hard to understand how someone who was repeatedly rejected, beaten, and threatened could write about contentment, but that’s just the point – God’s contentment bypasses our logical understanding. It may not makes sense to others, but when it’s you… it just works.

Q. What are 3 things you would change about your life today?

Q. Is contentment and thankfulness for your life- just as it is – easy for you to feel and express, or is it a challenge right now?

Q. Learning contentment means seeing your life through God’s worldview. What can you do this week to strengthen that worldview in your mind & heart?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for the good in your life… and for the challenges that help you to learn true contentment. Ask the Holy Spirit to develop His worldview in you more and more, so you can be content under any circumstances.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Galatians 6:9 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

What’s Up: “God Will Honor Those Who Do What’s Right!”

2. Discussion

This week, we start a brand new series called, “You Only Live Once”, or “YOLO.” We’re learning some important lessons about making our lives count! Since we only live once, we need to make sure we do our very best to honor God with our life and remain faithful to Him.

In the Bible Story this week, we learned from a man named Mordecai in the book of Esther. We learned from his example of caring for others, doing the right thing no matter what, and remaining faithful to God.

Q. What are some ways you can show others you care about them?

Q. What are some things you can do because they’re the right things to do, even though you may not enjoy doing them? (i.e. chores, school, etc.)

We should never grow tired from doing the right thing. Instead, we should stay faithful to God because, just at the right time, God will honor and bless our faithfulness.

3. Activity

Have your children do some of the things they discussed earlier when asked some ways they could show others they care about them. Perhaps, they could

write a card to someone, do a  craft to give as a gift to someone, help clean something for someone, lighten someone’s load, or simply share kind words with someone who needs encouragement.

Because you’ve done these things, God said He’ll bless your faithfulness to Him and your faithfulness in doing the right thing no matter what!

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children to care for others and always do the right thing – no matter what. Pray, as they care for others and do right, God will honor their faithfulness.

My Purpose

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Every human has an innate desire to find purpose in life. People go about that search in different ways, but ultimately, there’s only one fulfilling solution – serving the purpose you were created for. Serving God.

1. Discussion

Psalm 100:2-3 [ESV] “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

Understanding our purpose starts with understanding our origin. We are God’s creation- He’s the one who determined our purpose, and He designed us for it specifically.

Q. Have you ever wondered what your purpose was in life?

Q. When (if) you wondered that, did it feel like something you needed to discover, to remember, or to create?

Q. How do you think someone with a secular evolutionary belief would view the quest for purpose?

2. Challenge

Psalm 100:4-5 [ESV]   Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good…”

Your purpose in life is to serve the Lord, to acknowledge Him as a creator and benefactor, and to praise Him – not only with our words, but with our lifestyle. Trying to substitute any other purpose will be unfulfilling in the long run.

Q. What are some alternative purposes people substitute in place of serving God?

Q. What are a few examples of how functioning in your true purpose (serving God) might bring more fulfillment in your life?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for creating you for a purpose. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you stay focused on Him, living life with Him infused in every part.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

The kids experienced wacky science experiments is Overflow Kids Church this week, all designed to demonstrate Biblical truths.  Take a few minutes to discuss the what they learned.  

Q. What was your favorite experiment? Did you learn any scientific facts? What interesting things did you see at the science fair?

2. Bible Reading

These are some of the  experiments that were used in the children’s service, and the Biblical points they demonstrated:

Tornado Tubes:  We created tornadoes in 2 liter bottles of water.

Big Idea: God will bring me through any storm.

Psalm 46:1 (ESV) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Q. What are some times that you feel afraid?  

Q. What should we do when we are scared?  

Q. How should we pray?

3. Discussion

The acetone ate through the styrofoam: It really dissolved when placed in acetone.

Big Idea: God makes my sins disappear.

1 John 1:9 (ESV) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Q. Do you think it disappoints God when we disobey Him and sin? What are some examples of sin?  

Q. What happens to us when we ask Jesus into our hearts and ask for forgiveness for our sins?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that God would help your children find God in their everyday experiences. Through struggles and victories we can praise God for the things and people around us.

A Life Worth Living

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Jesus came to make life better – not just in eternity, but in this season of living on earth. That difference that He brings is more than theory or philosophy – it’s a real-world, observable change that lifts every part of life.

1. Discussion

John 10:10 [ESV] “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Jesus’ famous words still ring true today. There’s a level of living that can only exist when the Holy Spirit is regenerating us from the inside out. It’s that change – the kind that people can see – that gives credibility to our story when we share with others.

Q. What are some visible changes that happen in people when they surrender their lives to God?

Q. What’s an example of a behavior or way of life that’s different in you because of the Holy Spirit’s influence?

2. Challenge

Psalm 42:1-2 [ESV]   “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

Have you ever had a craving for something, but didn’t know exactly what it was that you were missing? Frustrating, for sure! You understand that the craving in your spirit is for God, but people who don’t know God don’t realize what they’re missing. That’s what’s so exciting about sharing the gospel?  Getting to see someone made spiritually whole when they first encounter God’s abundant life! 

Q. Think back to when you first gave your life to God. How would you describe the difference between the pre-God you, and the spiritually-whole you?   Q. The people in your life who need God may not realize what it is they’re missing. How would you explain the difference God can make in their life?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for making your life abundantly better (be specific!). Ask the Holy Spirit to use you to share that experience with other people who need to experience the God-life.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Matthew 28:5-6  “The angel said, … ‘You are looking for Jesus… He isn’t here.  He has been raised from the dead.’”

What’s Up: “I Believe Jesus is ALIVE”

Thomas gets a bad rap. Most of us know him as “Doubting Thomas,” but he is not the only one to ever have doubts about Jesus.  If we are honest, we all struggle with doubts from time to time.  Sadly, we choose to hide our doubts because we are ashamed and think they make us less of a Christian.

2. Bible Reading

Instead, we should admit our doubts to God and ask Him to help us overcome them with faith.  The truth is – even if we doubt Jesus rose from the dead, it doesn’t change the truth that He did!

Read: Luke 22-24 

Judas Agrees to Hand Jesus Over

22 The Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus. They were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, who was called Iscariot. Judas was one of the 12 disciples. He went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard. He talked with them about how he could hand Jesus over to them. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. Judas accepted their offer. He watched for the right time to hand Jesus over to them. He wanted to do it when no crowd was around.

The Last Supper

Then the day of Unleavened Bread came. That was the time the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John on ahead. “Go,” he told them. “Prepare for us to eat the Passover meal.” 13 Peter and John left. They found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover meal. 17 After Jesus took the cup, he gave thanks. He said, “Take this cup and share it among yourselves. 18 I tell you, I will not drink wine with you again until God’s kingdom comes.” 19 Then Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to them and said, “This is my body. It is given for you. Every time you eat it, do this in memory of me.”

 

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives. His disciples followed him. 40 When they reached the place, Jesus spoke. “Pray that you won’t fall into sin when you are tempted,” he said to them. 41 Then he went a short distance away from them. There he got down on his knees and prayed. 42 He said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup of suffering away from me. But do what you want, not what I want.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to Jesus and gave him strength. 44 Because he was very sad and troubled, he prayed even harder. His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 After that, he got up from prayer and went back to the disciples. He found them sleeping. They were worn out because they were very sad. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up! Pray that you won’t fall into sin when you are tempted.”

Jesus Is Arrested

47 While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up. The man named Judas was leading them. He was one of the 12 disciples. Judas approached Jesus to kiss him. 48 But Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you handing over the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen. So they said, “Lord, should we use our swords against them?” 50 One of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered, “Stop this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus spoke to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders. They had all come for him. “Am I leading a band of armed men against you?” he asked. “Do you have to come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courtyard. And you didn’t lay a hand on me. But this is your hour. This is when darkness rules.”

 

The Guards Make Fun of Jesus

63 There were men guarding Jesus. They began laughing at him and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him. They said, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 They also said many other things to make fun of him.

Jesus Is Brought to Pilate and Herod

66 At dawn the elders of the people met together. These included the chief priests and the teachers of the law. Jesus was led to them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me. 68 And if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” 70 They all asked, “Are you the Son of God then?” He replied, “You say that I am.” 20 Pilate wanted to let Jesus go. So he made an appeal to the crowd again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22 Pilate spoke to them for the third time. “Why?” he asked. “What wrong has this man done? I have found no reason to have him put to death. So I will just have him whipped and let him go.” 23 But with loud shouts they kept calling for Jesus to be crucified. The people’s shouts won out. 24 So Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. 

Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross

32 Two other men were also led out with Jesus to be killed. Both of them had broken the law. 33 The soldiers brought them to the place called the Skull. There they nailed Jesus to the cross. He hung between the two criminals. One was on his right and one was on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” The soldiers divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Jesus Dies

44 It was now about noon. Then darkness covered the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The sun had stopped shining. The temple curtain was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my life.” After he said this, he took his last breath. 47 The Roman commander saw what had happened. He praised God and said, “Jesus was surely a man who did what was right.” 48 The people had gathered to watch this sight. When they saw what happened, they felt very sad. Then they went away. 49 But all those who knew Jesus stood not very far away, watching these things. They included the women who had followed him from Galilee.

Jesus Is Buried

50 A man named Joseph was a member of the Jewish Council. He was a good and honest man. 51 Joseph had not agreed with what the leaders had decided and done. He was from Arimathea, a town in Judea. He himself was waiting for God’s kingdom. 52 Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Joseph took it down and wrapped it in linen cloth. Then he placed it in a tomb cut in the rock. No one had ever been buried there. 54 It was Preparation Day. The Sabbath day was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph. They saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was placed in it. 56 Then they went home. There they prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath day in order to obey the Law.

Jesus Rises From the Dead

24 It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared. Then they went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from it. When they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were wondering about this. Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightning stood beside them. The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. Then the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here! He has risen! Remember how he told you he would rise. It was while he was still with you in Galilee. He said, ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day he will rise from the dead.’ ” Then the women remembered Jesus’ words. They came back from the tomb. They told all these things to the 11 apostles and to all the others. 10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them were the ones who told the apostles. 11 But the apostles did not believe the women. Their words didn’t make any sense to them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent over and saw the strips of linen lying by themselves. Then he went away, wondering what had happened.

 

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

36 The disciples were still talking about this when Jesus himself suddenly stood among them. He said, “May you have peace!” 37 They were surprised and terrified. They thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 Jesus said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do you have doubts in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It’s really me! Touch me and see. A ghost does not have a body or bones. But you can see that I do.” 40 After he said that, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 But they still did not believe it. They were amazed and filled with joy. So Jesus asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of cooked fish. 43 He took it and ate it in front of them.

44 Jesus said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must come true.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written. The Messiah will suffer. He will rise from the dead on the third day. 47 His followers will preach in his name. They will tell others to turn away from their sins and be forgiven. People from every nation will hear it, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You have seen these things with your own eyes. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised. But for now, stay in the city. Stay there until you have received power from heaven.”

Jesus Is Taken Up Into Heaven

50 Jesus led his disciples out to the area near Bethany. Then he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them. He was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him. With great joy, they returned to Jerusalem. 53 Every day they went to the temple, praising God.

3. Discussion

Q. How did Jesus die?  How long was he buried?

Q.  What happened on the third day?  What did the angel say?

John 20:24-29 Now Thomas… one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands… I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Q. Who doubted that Jesus rose from the dead?

Q. What did Thomas say when the disciples told him about Jesus?

Q. When did Thomas finally choose to believe?

Q. What did Jesus say about those who believe without seeing?

It’s okay to have doubts.  Jesus doesn’t get angry when we doubt, but He does want us to admit our doubt and allow Him to help us overcome it and replace it with strong faith.  

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that God would help your children to leave their doubt behind and choose faith.  Remind them that Jesus loves them even when they doubt, but He wants their lives to be full of faith so they can do amazing things for Him.