Soon after Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, He was betrayed, arrested, tried, and crucified. However, the darkest moment of the story became the brightest when Jesus rose from the dead to provide forgiveness for all of God’s people. In Unit 26, kids will study Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and appearance on the road to Emmaus.
Session 3 presents the story “The Emmaus Disciples” from Luke 24:13-35. Jesus’ death and resurrection should not have surprised the disciples. Sometimes Jesus spoke metaphorically about His death and resurrection. (See Matt. 12:39; Mark 14:58; John 2:19; 3:14-15.) Other times, Jesus plainly told the disciples that He would be betrayed, crucified, buried, and resurrected on the third day. (Matt. 17:12; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22) In fact, Jesus had spoken so frequently of His death and resurrection, the chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to place guards at the tomb in case the disciples stole Jesus’ body. (See Matt. 27:62-66.)
On resurrection morning, the angel at Jesus’ tomb asked the women, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5). Even when Peter and John ran to the empty tomb to see it for themselves, Peter was amazed but uncertain (Luke 24:12), while John believed (John 20:8).
That same day, two disciples were walking to Emmaus, arguing about recent events. Jesus began walking next to them, but God prevented them from recognizing Jesus. (Luke 24:16) Jesus simply asked them what they were arguing about. They stopped walking. How could He not have heard about what happened over the last three days?
The two disciples had hoped Jesus was the Redeemer of Israel. Their hopes were crushed when Jesus died. Now Jesus explained to them why the Messiah had to die, starting with Moses and the Prophets. Jesus showed how the Scriptures point to Him. (Luke 24:27; John 5:39)
Remind kids that the Bible is not a collection of unrelated stories. The whole Bible is about Jesus. When Adam and Eve sinned, God began working out His plan to send Jesus to rescue people from sin. (Gen. 3:15) All of the Old Testament points forward to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—the time when Jesus would bring God’s promised salvation for sinners.
Do you remember the first time you realized the Old Testament points to Jesus? How did you feel? Leave a comment below.
Here is more help for leaders preparing for the October 15, 2017 session (Unit 26, Session 3) of The Gospel Project for Kids.
Alyssa Jones has been a content editor for The Gospel Project for Kids since 2011. She lives with her husband, Nate, and their two kids in Nashville, TN. Alyssa volunteers with the kids’ ministry at Refuge Church, a church plant in Franklin, TN.