Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach children about what the sacrament means and how Jesus started it at the Last Supper.
Needed: Bibles, a Communion set (It’s up to you whether your church will allow you to have Communion with the children. If not, simply show them the items used in Communion.)
Intro Game: Traitor Among Us!
Have students close their eyes. Explain that when you walk among them and tap one student on the shoulder, that student is the Traitor. When you tap them, they should look up and point to another student.
Have everyone open their eyes and say that the student the Traitor pointed to is not the Traitor. Students then have the opportunity to guess who the Traitor is. If they guess more than one person, have them take a vote. If the majority votes for the actual Traitor, they win and the game is over. Choose a new Traitor and play again.
If the majority is wrong, the person the Traitor pointed at is out. Have everyone close their eyes and then, ask the Traitor to point to another student. The game continues until students guess the real Traitor or the Traitor is one of the last two students left. If the Traitor makes it to the end, they win.
Play as long as time allows. Then, explain that one of Jesus’ disciples was a traitor.
Ask students, What is Communion?
Why do we take Communion?
(Read Matthew 26:14-16.)
“Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Him over.”
It says that Judas offered to be a traitor to Jesus and help the priests arrest Jesus. Why would Judas be a traitor to Jesus? (Judas didn’t really believe in Jesus. He just wanted to get money from the priests.)
(Read Matthew 26:17-25.)
“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Where do you want us to make preparations for You to eat the Passover?’
“He replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, “The Teacher says: ‘My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
“When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, He said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray Me.’
They were very sad and began to say to Him one after the other, ‘Surely You don’t mean me, Lord?’
“Jesus replied, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with Me will betray Me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.’
“Then Judas, the one who would betray Him, said, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?’
“Jesus answered, ‘You have said so.’”
How did Jesus know that Judas was a traitor? (God told Him. God knows everything, even before it happens.)
(Read Matthew 26:26.)
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is My body.’”
Jesus and His disciples were having the first Communion. What does Jesus say the bread is in Communion? (Jesus’ body.)
(Read Matthew 26:27-28.)
“Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”
What does Jesus say the wine, or grape juice, is in Communion? (Jesus’ blood.)
So, when you see the bread being broken for Communion, it’s supposed to remind you of all the pain that Jesus went through in His body when He died. And when you see the wine or grape juice being poured into the cup for Communion, it’s supposed to remind you of how Jesus bled and died on the cross.
Administer Communion to your students if this is allowed in your church.
Optional Game: The Life of Jesus Relay
Divide students into two or more teams. When you say, “Go!” the first student on each team will perform the first leg of the relay race, traveling to the other side of your play area and back to their team. The second student on each team then does the second leg, and so on until that team completes the last leg. The first team to complete all legs of the race wins.
Leg 1. Crying. Cry like a baby to show Jesus was born as a baby.
Leg 2. Crawl. Crawl like a baby to show that Jesus had to crawl when he was little.
Leg 3. Slow Walk. Walk slowly like a one-year-old to show that Jesus had to learn to walk.
Leg 4. Run. Run like a child, as Jesus did when He was a boy.
Leg 5. Hammer the Ground. Hit the ground like you’re a man hammering nails to show that Jesus learned how to be a carpenter.
Leg 6. Spin. Spin around saying, “You’re healed! You’re healed!” to show that Jesus helped all the people around Him.
Leg 7. Crucifix Run. Run with your arms outstretched to the sides to show that Jesus was crucified on a cross.
Leg 8. Backward Walk. Walk backward with your arms crossed over your chest to show that Jesus died.
Leg 9. Skip. Skip, yelling, “Ta-da!” to show that Jesus came back to life.
Game: Traitor Among Us!
Play the intro game and remind students that Judas betrayed Jesus.
Jesus, we thank You for coming to die on the cross to take the punishment for our sin. Help us to believe in You just like Your disciples did during that first Communion. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, He Came, He Saw, He Conquered.