After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent 40 more days proving that He is alive and preparing His followers to continue His mission after He returned to heaven to be with His Father. In Unit 27, kids will study the time between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension.
Session 1 presents the story “Jesus Appeared to the Disciples” from Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23. Only a few days had passed since Jesus was arrested, beaten, and crucified. His followers were undoubtedly afraid and confused. They met together in a house, locking the doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Would the Jews do to them what they had done to Jesus? They had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but they had abandoned Him and Jesus was killed. How could He save anyone if He was dead?
But now some people were reporting that Jesus was alive! Could it be true? The disciples were talking about these things when Jesus stood among them. They thought they were seeing a ghost.
“Peace to you!” He said. What good news. Imagine how Jesus’ words might have calmed the disciples’ anxious hearts. Their Lord, whom they had deserted, didn’t show up to scold them for their failures or shame them for their lack of faith. He spoke peace to them.
Even though Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection (Matt. 20:17-19), Jesus showed His disciples physical proof that He was alive. He showed them His hands and His side. With His resurrection, Jesus’ mission was accomplished. He paid the debt for sinners, and the transaction cleared. But the disciples’ work was just beginning.
Jesus gave His followers a job to do: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). This verse contains the Gospel of John’s version of the Great Commission. Jesus, the One sent from the Father, sent the disciples to be His messengers and representatives. Jesus equipped the disciples with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel—the good news of what Jesus has done—to the world.
Emphasize to the kids you teach that Jesus is alive today. We haven’t seen Him for ourselves, but we believe this by faith. He sends out all believers to tell others about Him, and He gives us power through the Holy Spirit.
Do you believe in Jesus by faith? Do you have any doubts? Leave a comment below.
Here is more help for leaders preparing for the October 22, 2017 session (Unit 27, Session 1) 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.