Archive for March, 2015

Triumphal Entry

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The people celebrate their king while others plot His death

Key Verse: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord…” Psalms 118:26a

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child John 12:10-50) When Jesus entered Jerusalem the people cheered him on and celebrated. Jesus was the one who fulfilled the prophecy of a coming King, so they all cheered, but some questioned if Jesus was a king. For one, he rode in on a donkey, which isn’t an animal that conveys military might. However, Jesus was going to be raised up as the king of man, the one who would justify us and bring us back to God. Jesus was not here to conquer our enemies, He was here to save us from the enemy. Our sins are forgiven because of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and savior.

The Jesus Connection:
Even as Jesus was riding into Jerusalem, the very people who were celebrating his arrival would put him to death in a few days, Jesus would soon die for the sins of men by suffering on the cross. It is true that Jesus came to earth to be king. But he came as a heavenly king for a spiritual kingdom. That is why he said that if the people did not praise him, the very stones would cry out. The cross did not come as a surprise to Jesus (John 12:27); it was the very reason he had come to earth. Jesus even predicted how he would die (John 12:32–33). Many of those who hailed Jesus as king in his triumphal entry would soon cry out with the religious rulers, “Crucify him!”

Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Only those who are washed by Jesus are saved

Key Verse: …to Him who loves us has freed us from our sins by His blood” Revelations 1:5c

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child John 13:1-15) Jesus was about to be betrayed and suffer on the cross, but as the disciples prepared for the last supper, Jesus became a servant. He washed the feet of the disciples, a job that was not pleasant. People wore sandals in those days, so their feet were dirty from the dust and dirt. Furthermore, they traveled on animals, so the roads were littered with animal feces. By washing the feet of the disciples Jesus made a statement. Not only was this an example for how leaders should lead, it also showed that unless you are washed by Jesus, you can’t be saved. Jesus washes away our sins, so that we may have eternity with him.

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?

Jesus’ greatest act of service was not washing feet. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:7–8 that our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus who “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Jesus—God himself—performed his greatest act of service for us by giving up his life for us. The events in the upper room were pointing ahead to what would soon happen in the crucifixion. It was demeaning for Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet. He was washing away the outward dirt with water and a towel. How much more demeaning was it for him to wash filthy hearts, taking upon himself all our vile sin and shedding his own blood as an atoning sacrifice to wash our sin away?

The Widows Offering

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The Lord looks into the heart of our offering

Key Verse:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 20:45—21:9) Jesus traveled among us teaching everyone to have faith. He wanted us to not only believe in Him and who He is, but also to trust him. He saw this trust in the widow, who gave all she had. She didn’t do it to get recognition or in hopes of God giving her riches in return, but simply to worship God. She trusted that He would provide all of her needs. This is in contrast to the teachers of the law who gave out of their surplus and then bragged to others through their prayers of how holy and righteous they are. God knows the heart, and He wants us to give out of love.

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?

Mark’s description of the widow’s offering (Mark 12:41–44) contains an additional detail: Jesus purposefully “sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box.” Having spoken against the hypocrisy of the teachers of the law who devour widows, now Jesus used a widow as an example of sincere faith.

Each of us has a choice to make. Will we be like the widow who entrusted her life to God or like the rich who trusted in their riches? Are we willing to entrust everything we have to God, or is our faith limited to that which does not cost us? Jesus knows what is in our hearts. He can see by our actions who or what we really worship. Jesus died on the cross to set us free from the love of money and replace it with love for him. When our hearts are changed by his grace, it is easy to give back to him because we trust him with our lives.


Lazarus

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus is the resurrection and the life

Key Verse:
Jesus Answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child John 11:1-53) When Jesus found out his friend Lazarus was sick, he didn’t rush to see him. He waited several days before making the journey, and when he arrived it was too late. Why would Jesus wait so long before coming to see his friend? The only possible answer is that he wanted Lazarus dead. He wanted this so he could show everyone that he has power over life and death, because when he arrived he spoke Lazarus back to life. Jesus was fully God, and he showed his disciples and other witnesses the power that he possessed.

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?

“I am the resurrection and the life.” With these words, Jesus revealed that he is the author of life, God over all creation, and the object of our faith. He had already explained to the disciples that he was glad he was not in Bethany to heal Lazarus so that Lazarus might rise again. Now, Jesus declares that he is the one who rules over life itself. Martha, who had earlier complained that her sister, Mary, was wasting time at the feet of Jesus, declared her faith with two simple words: “I believe.” These two simple words are all that God requires. “I believe” is the statement of faith that God requires of us all. It forces us to submit to God’s Word and points us to his saving plan through the death of his Son. The raising of Lazarus is a picture of the gospel. Death looks to claim people, but the plan of God through Jesus conquers death and brings salvation from its grasp. Jesus told his disciples that he would lay down his own life that he might “take it up again” (John 10:17). Jesus would soon die, but like Lazarus, he would be raised again to new life.