Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to reveal the glory of Christ to your students.
Needed: Bibles, a blackboard, whiteboard, or large piece of paper to write on, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game: Taking Our Place
Divide students into two teams for a game of Freeze Tag. Choose one team to be It, chasing the other team. Then, choose one student from the team being chased. They are “Jesus.” They cannot be tagged. They can go stand in the place of a frozen team member, allowing them to run again. When “Jesus” takes the place of someone else, they must stay there for 3 seconds since Jesus was in the grave for three days.
Before the game, set a timer for 3 or 5 minutes, depending on how many students you have. If the team chasing the other gets everyone out within that time limit, they win. If they don’t, the team being chased wins.
Switch roles and play again.
(Note: This is an in-depth, verse-by-verse study. Depending on your age group and the students in your class, it may be better to split this lesson over two or more weeks.)
Ask students, How would you describe Jesus? Give me some words or phrases to describe what He’s like or the kinds of things He does, and we’ll put those descriptions on the board. (Students will probably focus on Jesus’ earthly life, saying things like He’s kind, or loving, or that He heals people, or teaches, or died on the cross, etc.)
Those are all good and true descriptions. But let’s look at some descriptions of Jesus that we don’t hear too much about. Let’s see if we can look at another side of Jesus.
(Read Revelation 1:1-2.)
“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show His servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
The writer says his name is John. Which John is this? (Not John the Baptist because he was beheaded. John the Apostle, the writer of the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Revelation.)
(Read Revelation 1:3.)
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
John says the time is near. What time do you think he’s talking about? What time is near? (The time for Jesus to come back.)
Do you think that time is near? John thought the time was near when he was writing this, and that was around 2,000 years ago.
We don’t know when Jesus will come back, but we do know that it’s sooner now than it was then. Right now is the closest time it’s ever been.
(Read Revelation 1:4.)
“John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne,”
Who is John talking about? (God.)
Why does he say that God is, was, and is to come? (God is forever. He always has been, He is now, and He will be forever.)
(Read Revelation 1:5-6.)
“and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”
How is Jesus the faithful witness? (He speaks what is true from God. That’s why He came to earth: to teach us and tell us about God.)
Why is He the firstborn from the dead? (He rose from the dead and will bring us back from the dead when He comes back.)
Why is Jesus the ruler of the kings of the earth? (He is God. He rules the whole universe.)
How did Jesus free from our sins by His blood? (He died in our place. Since He didn’t have any sins to be punished for, He took our sins on Himself so that our sins could be punished without us having to be punished.)
How are we a kingdom to God? (We are under God’s reign. We obey Him as our King.)
How are we priests to God? (Priests serve and are devoted to God. We are all supposed to serve God.)
Game: Resurrection Tag
Play this game to illustrate how Jesus is the firstborn from the dead.
Pick one student to be It. That student is Death. Pick another student to be Jesus. When Death tags someone, they fall down and lie on the ground like they’re dead. Jesus can then come to tag them, and they can get back up. If Death tags Jesus, Jesus must count to three (because Jesus was dead for three days), but can then get up again. If Jesus tags Death, the round is over. Play until everyone has had a chance to be both Death and Jesus or as long as time permits.
Remind students that Jesus will come back one day and will raise everyone who believes in Him back to life.
Read Revelation 1:7.
“’Look, He is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him’; and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of Him.’ So shall it be! Amen.”
Why will people mourn when they see Jesus coming back? (Those who didn’t believe in Him will realize that they were wrong not to believe, and they will weep.)
(Read Revelation 1:8.)
“’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’”
What does it mean for God to be the Alpha and the Omega? (He is the first and the last. He was before anything else, and He is already at the end of everything. God stands outside of time.)
(Read Revelation 1:9.)
“I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”
Why do you think John was on the island of Patmos? What does it mean for him to be there because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus? (Some people think he was there on a missionary trip. Actually, we know from church history that he had been exiled there by the Romans. Patmos was a prison camp. John was in prison on the island for teaching about Jesus.)
(Read Revelation 1:10-18.)
“On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
“I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to His feet and with a golden sash around His chest. The hair on His head was white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and coming out of His mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’”
Who was John seeing? (Jesus.)
And what was Jesus like? Was He like He was on earth? (No.) Read the description of Jesus again.(Jesus is seen here in Heaven, in all His glory.)
Why does it say that He was like a son of man? (Jesus is human, but not exactly. He is much more than human. He is God’s Son.)
(Read Revelation 1:19-20.)
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”
If Jesus holds the churches in His hand, what does that mean for the churches? (It means that Jesus is the one who is in control of the churches, and He is the one taking care of them.)
If Jesus is in control of and taking care of those churches, do you think He is holding our church in His hand and taking care of us too? (Yes.)
Craft: Drawing the Heavenly Jesus
Give students drawing supplies and have them do their best to draw Jesus as given in the description from Revelation.
Jesus, You are awesome! When You came to Earth, You lived a perfect life. You never sinned, so You were able to die for our sins. And now that You’re in Heaven, You are glorious! Help us to remember Your how awesome You are and that You are holding us and Your churches in Your hands. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Followers of the Christ.