The Ascension of Jesus: He’ll be Back, Meanwhile, Follow the Written Instructions!
Main Objective: This message is meant to remind children that they should joyfully proclaim the news of Christ. Jesus promised to return one day, and assured us that He would send comfort and hope. Meanwhile, our earthly job is to share the love of God with one another.
Law/Gospel Theme: After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples several times. He did this in part to assert the validity of who He was as Messiah and risen Son of God. The appearances also gave encouragement and peace to His followers, and reminded them of how to live out their lives. As we consider the Ascension, we can rejoice in the culmination of the earthly ministry of Jesus, and get ready to share the news of the Gospel in our own earthly ministry.
Optional Materials: Raisins, grapes, clear bubbling soda (or baking soda and vinegar if you’re adventurous and prefer it over the dancing raisin trick), clear glass, stuffed animal or “audience participant” (light weight one).
Note: All elements are open to adjustment. Cater to the needs and ages of your group
Bonus Ideas: Some more inspiration for your teaching (offsite links)
- See another Ascension Children’s sermon from Sermons 4 Kids
- What Goes Up message for Ascension Sunday from KidsSermons.com
- Compare our full Sunday School lessons on the Ascension
Ascension of Jesus Children’s Sermon
Greet and welcome children, and open your talk with an interesting experiment…
Good morning! Today we are going to talk about a very special event that took place in the Bible. First, though, I want to show you a little trick. Have you ever seen a raisin dance?? It might sound strange, but let me show you what I mean. Here are my raisins, ready to party (show a handful of raisins). Now, do you know what a raisin used to be? That’s right, a grape! You’d think the grapes might want to dance, so maybe we’ll try it out with them too… Okay, here’s my dancing juice (pour enough fizzy soda to fill about half a glass or jar).
Let’s see, do the grapes want to dance? (Drop in a grape or two…nothing happens). Well, the raisins look a little shriveled up here, but watch what happens when I drop them in the bubbles… (wait a few moments, and observe the raisins float up to the top of the glass).
Wow, those raisins got excited about being in that glass, didn’t they? They might have seemed like all the juicy grape life was drained away, but they got new power and rose back up!
So, the reason we watched raisins is because today we are looking at what happened when Jesus ascended into Heaven. Have you ever heard the word “ascend”? It means something goes up, like an elevator or a person going upstairs. In our lesson today, we are looking at the last time Jesus was on earth. We’ve been talking about how He showed up to His disciples a few times after His resurrection, and spoke with them about things or gave them encouraging words.
Well, He had one final special meeting with them…Jesus took His disciples out of the town a little ways, and He reminded them again of who He was, and how He suffered and died to fulfill the prophecies. He told His friends that He was going to send them an exciting present, and that they should wait for that present to get an amazing sort of power…then He gave them a blessing, and then do you know what happened? Well, have you ever had a balloon, the kind with helium, and let it go? What happens? It just floats all the way up into the sky, right? That’s what happened to Jesus! He floated up, ascending into the sky just like those raisins. But He didn’t come back down. (At this point, you may use your stuffed animal to demonstrate the “lift off”; or for extra effect, hoist one of the kids—safely—and lift them up for the others to see).
The disciples were left open-mouthed, starting into the sky and wondering when He would return…an angel let them know that Jesus would be coming back, though they didn’t realize it would take such a long time.
In the meantime, the disciples were excited about what Jesus had said. They went to Jerusalem and hung out in the church, giving praise to God and telling people about what they had seen. They were all stirred up with energy and excitement, just like those raisins were stirred up and started dancing! How do you think you might have felt if you saw Jesus go up into the clouds like that??
It might have been shocking or confusing or exciting. One thing we can know is that we should be eager to share God’s love and good news with one another. And do you want to know something else? This story about ascending has a sequel! Jesus told the disciples to wait for a special power that would be sent, remember?
Do you want to know how that power came? You’ll have to stay tuned, because in our next lesson we will get to hear all about it! For now, let’s say a prayer and ask God for patient hope, and for enthusiasm to share His news with others:
Prayer: (Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for who you are
Thank you for resurrection joy
Help us to be excited about your story
So we can share the good news with others
Thank you for your love
Thank you for Jesus!
In His name, amen
Luke 24:44-53 NIV
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
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 and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The Ascension of Jesus
50 When he had
led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and
blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he
left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then
they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And
they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
Acts 1:1-11 NIV
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come backin the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
- Illustrations from ChristianClipArts.com
- Scripture quotes from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®