Leader Notes "I have seen the Lord!" (John 20:18) NASB
Perhaps one of the most gracious things Jesus did after His resurrection was appear to the disciples, proving He was alive. The disciples were devastated to see that Jesus had died. How could He save them if He was dead? Even though Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection (Matt. 20:17-19), Jesus’ disciples believed by seeing.
Jesus showed the disciples His hands and His side to prove He was not a ghost. He had a real, physical body. Then He spoke to them: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). This verse contains the Gospel of John’s version of the Great Commission. Jesus, the One sent from the Father, was now sending the disciples to be His messengers and representatives. Jesus equipped the disciples with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel.
Thomas, who was not with the disciples when Jesus came, had a hard time believing that they saw Him. Thomas wanted physical proof—and that is just what He got! Jesus showed Thomas His hands and His side. Thomas immediately believed.
Jesus’ resurrection proved that God was satisfied with Jesus’ blood sacrifice for sins and that God’s new covenant had begun. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul addressed how the resurrection is essential to the gospel. In verse 17, Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”
If Christ had remained dead, His death would have meant nothing more than yours or mine. Humanity would still be without hope. Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope that we one day too will be raised and changed. God gives us victory over death through Jesus. Emphasize to the kids you teach that Jesus is alive! Share with them that they have a special purpose: to tell others that Jesus is alive. He is reigning as King today over all of creation.
Opening Activity Pass it on Gather a large number of items into a pile. Items could be cotton balls, books, small toys, wads of scrap paper, and so forth. Items should be easy to pass from one kid to another.
Ask kids to stand or sit in a circle formation. Explain that you will hand items to a player one-by-one. Each item is to be passed to the right around the circle. Each item may not be put down. If a player drops an item, she must pick it up.
The number of items will continue to increase. When the kids begin to struggle to keep up or begin to drop multiple items, stop the game and debrief.
Say • The gospel—the good news of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection—is a message that God’s people are to share with others. We are to pass it on. In our game, you had too many items to manage. It would be hard for one person to tell every non-Christian about Jesus. We all must share the message of Christ. It is a command Jesus gave His followers. Guide kids to read Luke 24:46-49 and John 20:21.
Bible Story Resurrection! Luke 24:1-35 John 19:1-42
Read from your Bible. Ask students to find it in a Bible too. Those that can read can follow along. Choose the passages you would like to read aloud. Use Tell the Story below. Use visuals to help tell the story. Use a picture Bible to help children see the story.
From Luke 24:1-35 Some women who loved Jesus, including Mary Magdalene, followed Joseph to see where he put Jesus’ body. Then they went home to prepare spices to put on Jesus’ body. That was their way of showing they loved Jesus, like people put flowers on graves today.
The women could not go back to the tomb Friday night, because the Sabbath (day of rest) started when the sun went down. So they had to wait until the Sabbath was over.
Early on Sunday morning, when the Sabbath had ended, the women went to Jesus’ tomb. They took the spices with them to put on Jesus’ body. When they arrived at the tomb, the large stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. They went inside to find Jesus’ body, but it was not there!
Suddenly, two men appeared in shiny robes. They were angels. The women were very afraid and they bowed down in fear. The angels asked them why they were looking for a living person in a tomb for the dead. They said that Jesus was not there because He had risen from the dead! They reminded the women that Jesus had told them He would die and rise again. Then the women remembered Jesus’ words.
From John 19:1-42 John does not tell us what happened on the Saturday after Jesus died. But on Sunday, very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus’ friend Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, or cave. When she arrived at the place, she noticed something. The stone had been moved away from the cave and Jesus was not there! Mary left running! She went to find Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples. She told them what she had found. She said, “They have taken Jesus and I don’t know where they have placed Him.”
The disciples went running to see for themselves. Mary also returned with them. They ran towards the cave. When they were almost there, John sprinted ahead of Peter and got to the cave first. John stopped outside of the cave and looked in. When Peter arrived, he ran ahead of John and into the cave. They saw the linen fabric that Joseph and Nicodemus had used to wrap Jesus’ body in. It was lying where Jesus had been placed. But there was a linen napkin that had been put on Jesus head. This napkin had been moved to a different place than the other wrappings. John then came into the cave and saw the wrappings.
They did not know, yet, that Jesus had to come back to life. Jesus had tried to tell them, but they did not understand. So, the disciples headed back home.
Mary stayed by the cave and began crying. She missed Jesus. And on top of missing Him, she had come to finish what Joseph and Nicodemus started and couldn’t even find Jesus’ body. She cried and cried. As she was crying, she leaned over to look into the empty cave but the cave wasn’t empty any more. There were now two angels in the cave, sitting where Jesus’ body had been. The angels spoke to her. They asked her why she was crying. Mary told them the she was upset because she didn’t know where Jesus’ body was.
Jesus was right there in the garden! He spoke to Mary, but Mary did not recognize Him because He was different somehow. Jesus also asked Mary why she was crying. Mary, thinking Jesus was the gardener, told Him she wanted to know where He had taken Jesus. Then Jesus spoke Mary’s name as He had done many times before. And that is how she knew it was Him, Jesus, alive again! Mary fell to the ground and grabbed Jesus around the feet and legs. What a miracle! What excitement!
Jesus was not dead any longer. He was alive! But Jesus had other things He needed to do and other people He needed to visit.
Mary couldn’t keep holding on to Him. Jesus asked Mary to go tell the others the good news. Mary obeyed Jesus. She went to the disciples and announced to them saying, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she told them all that Jesus had said. What an amazing story! Jesus had come back to life, just like He said He would. Jesus died to pay the price for my sins and for your sins. And after being dead and in the grave, God raised Him back to life.
God’s Word In My Heart Read this passage from your Bible. Ask students to locate it in a Bible too. Help them learn this verse. "I have seen the Lord!" (John 20:18) NASB
Read this passage from your Bible. Ask students to locate it in a Bible too. Help them learn this verse.
Activity Ideas In the Tomb, Out of the Tomb Materials: Masking Tape.
Preparation: Draw a long line using masking tape.
What you will do: Have the children line up in a straight line facing the leader on the right side of the line. The right side of the line is "In the Tomb" and the left side of the line is "Out of the Tomb." The leader yells either "In the tomb," or "Out of the tomb.”
Upon hearing the command, the children jump from one side to the other. If the children jump in the wrong direction or don't jump to the other side when it's a valid command they are out of the game.
The last player still in wins the game.
The leader will try and get the players to jump incorrectly by pointing to one side as they yell to jump to the opposite side or by repeating the same side and/or changing the pace.
He’s Alive! Relay Bible Focus: Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20 Materials Bibles, large sheets of brown or gray paper, scissors, black markers; optional—Post-it Notes, pencils.
Preparation Cut paper into rock shapes, creating one “rock” for every four to six students. Place paper rocks on one side of the playing area. Place a black marker next to each paper rock.
Lead the Game John the Baptist’s announcement about Jesus helped everyone know—even people today—that Jesus is the Savior.
We’re going to play a game to announce that great news, too! When Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning, what did she find? (The stone had been rolled back and the tomb was empty.)
Mary, Peter and John discovered that the tomb was empty because Jesus had risen from the dead and was alive! What did they all do next? (Told everyone that Jesus had risen!)
What are some things we can say to share the good news about Jesus’ resurrection? (“Jesus is alive!” “He is risen!” “Christ conquered death!” “Hallelujah!” “Jesus rose!”) List students’ responses on a large sheet of paper. (Optional: Each student writes one phrase on a Post-it Note.)
Group students into teams of four to six, creating at least two teams. Teams line up across the playing area from the paper rocks. At your signal, the first student from each team runs to his or her team’s paper rock, writes one good news phrase on the rock, calls out the phrase and returns to his or her line, tagging the next student, who repeats the action. (Optional: Student sticks Post-it Note phrase on rock.)
Students refer to list of responses during relay if necessary. Relay continues until all students have had a turn. Repeat relay as time permits.
Discussion Questions 1. What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean for us? (Our sins can be forgiven when we believe in His death and resurrection. Jesus has the power to forgive our sins.) 2. What do you want to do when you hear the good news about eternal life through Jesus’ death and resurrection? (Tell others. Thank God. Celebrate.)
Blessing:May God, who is all around you, Beginning at the bottom of the circle, slowly pour his love upon you.make a large circle with your hands. Finish by bringing your hands down and wiggling the fingers to resemble rain.) And Jesus, his life a sacrifice,Slowly make a large sign of the cross. Then walk right there beside you.move your hands out to the sides. And may God’s Holy Spirit, Cross your hands over the heart. the one who lives inside you, keep you strong, Move to a “strong man” position. Then comfort, lead and guide you!cross your arms with the hands on corresponding upper arms to communicate comfort. Bring one hand forward with “lead” and the other with “guide” to complete the blessing.)