Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about how Jesus fulfills prophecy from the Old Testament.
Needed: Bibles, slips of paper with prophetic statements about Jesus written on them, close-up images of common objects, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game #1: Fulfilling Prophecy
Print or write out prophecy clues about Jesus, along with their Scripture reference, on strips of paper and hide them around the room. Kids rush to find them and then, put them in order according to book of the Bible.
When they’re finished, explain that all of the statements are prophecies about one person and see if they know who the prophecies are describing.
Prophecies could include:
Will be born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2
Will not have a human father – Isaiah 7:14
Will be a prophet – Deuteronomy 18:15
Will be protected by angels – Psalm 91:10-12
Will ride a donkey into Jerusalem – Zechariah 9:9
Will be rejected by people – Isaiah 53:1-3
Will be betrayed by a friend – Psalm 41:9
Will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver – Zechariah 11:12-13
Will die for other people’s sins – Isaiah 53:8
Will come back from the dead – Psalm 16:10
Intro Game #2 – What is It?
Show kids close-up images of everyday objects and let them guess what the images are.
Play until interest fades. Then, explain that it’s difficult to tell what something is sometimes.
Tell students, Today’s story happened the same day that Jesus rose from the dead.
(Read Luke 24:13-16.)
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him.
Jesus was talking with the two disciples as they walked on the road, but it says that they were kept from recognizing Him. They didn’t know who He was. How do you think they were kept from recognizing Him?
God made them think they were seeing somebody else other than Jesus.
(Read Luke 24:17-27.)
“He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’
“They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, ‘Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’
“‘What things?’ He asked.
“‘About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him; but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find His body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said He was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.’
“He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.”
Jesus said that the Christ had to put to death and rise again. Then, He explained it to them in the books of Moses and the books of the prophets. What are the books of Moses and the books of the prophets? Do we still have those books? Can we read them? (Yes, they’re the books of the Old Testament in the Bible.)
Jesus is saying that the books of the Old Testament prophesied about Him, telling the future about Him and what He was going to do. How could Moses and the prophets have known what was going to happen to Jesus before Jesus was even born? (God told them about Jesus and what He was going to do.)
It was God’s plan for Jesus to come and die in our place so that we could be forgiven for our sins and so that we could go to Heaven when we die instead of going to Hell.
Why do you think God told the writers Moses and the prophets about Jesus before He even came?
God told the writers of the Old Testament about Jesus so that people would know He was the chosen one when He came. They would see Him fulfilling the prophecies and know that He was the one God wanted us to believe in.
It was like God was saying, “When you see someone who matches all these prophecies I gave you, that’s the one I want you to believe in.” The prophecies are God’s clues to us to believe in Jesus.
(Read Luke 24:28-31.)
“As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if He were going farther. But they urged Him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ So He went in to stay with them.
“When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight.”
It says that the two disciples finally realized it was Jesus talking to them when He took some bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them. Why would Jesus doing that remind them of Jesus and make them realize that it was Jesus talking to them?
Jesus had done the same thing a few nights before this when He started the tradition of Communion. He had taken the bread, given thanks, broke it, and handed it to His disciples, saying “Take and eat. This is My body, which is broken for you.” The bread being broken reminds us of how Jesus’ body was hurt when He was being crucified.
Craft: Drawing Prophecy
Show kids the slips of paper from the Fulfilling Prophecy game. Give them drawing supplies and have them draw one scene from one of the prophecies. Then, remind students that God told the prophets that Jesus would do each of those things hundreds or even thousands of year before Jesus was born.
Father God, thank You for telling the writers of the Bible about Jesus before He was born so that we could see how You planned to send Him to earth to save us. Help us to believe in Him and to believe in You even more because we know that You had a plan for Jesus, and You have a plan for the future too. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, He Came, He Saw, He Conquered.