This is lesson continues our curriculum for preschoolers about knowing Jesus. Each lesson is based on a passage in the Gospel of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons.
This particular lesson is from passages in Mark 14:12-26 and covers the events of the Last Supper. Preschoolers will understand why Christians celebrate communion and feel thankful in remembering Jesus’ great sacrifice.
Bible Passage: Mark 14:12-26; Exodus 12
Bible Lesson Title: The Last Supper
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 40 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Twenty-Six (40 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 14:12-26; Exodus 12
Exegetical Idea: Jesus points to Himself as the fulfillment of the Passover and provides a symbol of the new covenant based on His body and blood.
Pedagogical Idea: Jesus has provided for us a way to remember His great sacrifice and our redemption through taking part in communion.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will understand why Christians celebrate communion.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel thankful in remembering Jesus’ great sacrifice.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will praise God through song and memorize His Word.
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 11:23b-25, “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” (Too long for them to memorize in one setting, but good for them to repeat. May consider condensing it in your own words.)
- Kindle Curiosity (10 minutes) Description: Make dough for unleavened bread; Supplies: Bible outfits, ingredients for the unleavened bread recipe (found at the end of the lesson).
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Hear the Scripture passage, enjoy a meal together. Supplies; Bible, unleavened bread (made beforehand), tablecloth, juice or water, cups for each child, napkins.
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Praise the Lord through song, apply the passage; Supplies: Song The Power of the Cross sung by Stuart Townend (link found in section below)
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize God’s Word, pray; Supplies: Notecards with memory verse written out for each parent
**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready. Make the unleavened bread beforehand (recipe is located at the end of the lesson).
1. Kindle Curiosity (10 minutes)
- Have the children put on their Bible outfits after they have all arrived.
- SAY: Today we are going to begin by making some dough for bread! There are just a few ingredients. We have flour, butter, brown sugar, honey, and water. (Allow each child to take part in measuring and mixing.)
- While you are mixing the ingredients, ASK: Can you think of holidays that we celebrate in order to remember something important? (Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day…)
- SAY: Now we do not have an oven here to bake it, but I have some here already made!
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- SAY: Come join me at our blanket. I have a meal set up for us to share. Today we are going to experience something very special that Jesus did on the same night He would be betrayed. As I read to you the Scripture, we are going to eat our bread and experience some of what it was like for Jesus and His disciples as they shared their last meal together.
- Say the following in your own words, using the bread and juice or water you have to demonstrate/reenact the passage. Allow the children to take part. Talk about the feelings that the different characters may have had while everything was happening and ask them to show those feelings on their faces (Judas-guilty, other disciples-confused, maybe afraid; Jesus-serious, loving-we don’t really know, but it will help make it more real):
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
“It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with 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.”
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
- SAY: The Passover was a special time to remember when God set His people free from slavery in Egypt. Each year a lamb would be sacrificed, the Passover lamb. This lamb had to be perfect in every way possible. It symbolized God’s protection over His people from judgment. Jesus is showing the disciples that He will now become the Passover Lamb. Why do you think Jesus was able to become our Passover Lamb? (He never sinned, lived a perfect life on earth) Christians trust in His perfect blood to cover all sin, protecting them from eternal judgment without God.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- SAY: Let’s have a time of remembering Jesus’ sacrifice now through singing, just as the disciples did with Jesus.
- Begin with a time of no talking, just listening to the words of the song. Allow them to join in after 1 minute or so. Encourage them to praise Christ with their full hearts as they sing of His work on the cross.
- SAY: We continue to remember Jesus’ sacrifice through what we call communion. Communion is like the holidays we celebrate to remember something important (mention the your discussion at the beginning of the lesson). You may have seen your parents taking communion before (describe how your particular church does it). When we do this, we are remembering together how Jesus died so that we may have forgiveness of our sins and a relationship with God. It also reminds us that Christ is coming again to conquer all sin and reign for eternity.
- Communion is something that should be a special meal within the family of the church (believers who are brothers and sisters in Christ). In the Bible, the Passover meal was shared within the family. This was the last meal Jesus would ever have with His disciples. It was a very special time for Him to be with the people He was closest to on earth; they were His family. The Lord’s Supper (Communion) that we celebrate today is the same way. It reminds us that we are one family in God.
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- SAY: One way we can always remember Jesus’ great sacrifice is through memorizing His Word and reciting it to ourselves often. Today we have two very long verses that we will probably not be able to memorize all at one time. But if you work on it every day this week with your parents, I know you can do it! Our verses come from 1 Corinthians, chapter 11 verses 23-25, “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”
- SAY: Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper so that we would have a picture to continually be able to remember what He did for us on the cross. Just as the people of Israel celebrated the Passover to remember God’s physical deliverance of them out of Egypt, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper to remember God delivering (setting us free) from the bondage of sin. We trust in Him as our Passover Lamb. His perfect blood covers our sin, protecting us from eternal judgment without God.
- SAY: Let’s pray together now, thanking God for His work on the cross.
- Remind the parents how important it is for them to help their children review their verses all throughout the week. Encourage them to memorize the verse with their children. Provide each parent with a notecard that has 1 Corinthians 11:23b-25 written on it.
Unleavened Bread (matzah):
4 cups wheat flour 1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup margarine 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
Combine ingredients, knead a few minutes. Divide dough in half.
Make two 5-inch diameter, 1-inch thick circles.
Bake at 350 degrees, 20-25 minutes in ungreased pan.