“I Am … The Bread of Life”
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Resurrection Rolls: instructions are posted elsewhere on the rotation.org site (or can be found by googling). We did not have success using “crescent rolls” and instead used the regular “refrigerator rolls” in the tube.
It’s important for the workshop leader to try the recipe at home to see how the dough needs to be sealed tightly so the marshmallow doesn’t leak out while baking.
John 6:28 - 35
Goals for this workshop: Children will …
- Learn why bread is important
- Learn the significance of bread in the Bible: manna, Passover, Jesus’ body, Lord’s prayer
- Hear the story of the last week of Jesus’ life (Holy Week) through a candle lighting activity
- Make “resurrection rolls” which are hollow to signify Jesus’ as the Bread of Life and the Resurrection
- Roll dough in tubes
- Cookie Sheet
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Try it at home.
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the kids warmly to the workshop and have them sit at chairs around the tables.
While they’re doing this, introduce yourself and tell them one quick fact about yourself that will make them say wow!
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
- Do you remember some stories in the Bible about bread?
Remind them of two recent stories we’ve studied:
Connect with Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by Satan --- Jesus not needing to turn stones into bread
Connect to Lord’s Prayer – “give us this day our daily bread”
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life”. You’ll hear a little later when and why Jesus said this.
Jesus also said, “I am the resurrection.” We’re going to make a tasty bread treat to remind us not only of Jesus as being the Bread of Life, but also the Resurrection … let’s say the Bible memory verse together (John 11:25). We’re also going to be hearing the story of the last week of Jesus’ life here on earth and his death and his resurrection. I’m going to light candles as I tell the story so that the colors will help you remember the story.
Tell the kids to all wash their hands in the kitchen. While they wash up, set out a napkin at each place and also set out the candles in a row down the table in this order:
First put the White candle --- leave a large space, then put the following in this order.
When kids are sitting, give them each 1 large marshmallow. Tell them to just leave it on the table in front of them. Tell them that when creating this fun bread treat, the marshmallow will help them remember Jesus!
Light the white candle and read/tell in your own words:
In the last few days of Jesus' life, a lot of things happened to him. Jesus knew that he was about to die. He looked toward heaven and he prayed for his followers. He said "Father, it is time for me to die. I have taught my followers everything that you wanted me to teach them. I am praying for them now, that they will be one and love each other." We will use WHITE to symbolize both Jesus and his prayer, because his prayer was so pure and showed what Jesus' heart was like, a pure heart.
When Jesus finished praying, he went with his followers across the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and Jesus and his followers went into it.
(Light the green candle)
We will use GREEN to remind us of the garden. While they were there Judas brought some men that wanted to arrest Jesus. The religious leaders didn’t like that people were calling Jesus a king and they were afraid that Jesus would get too powerful. They arrested Jesus.
Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples who used to be a fisherman, was upset about Jesus being arrested. But then he became afraid. He was afraid if someone knew he was a follower of Jesus that they’d arrest him, too. Someone asked Peter if he knew Jesus and he pretended he didn’t and said "No, I don't know him!" Three times people asked him if he knew Jesus and three times he said that he didn't know him. After he said no three different times, Peter could hear a rooster crow.
(Light the orange candle)
We will use ORANGE to remind us of the rooster. Peter remembered that Jesus told him not long ago that he would deny knowing Jesus and Peter felt very sad.
After this, Jesus was questioned by the High Priest and then by the Roman Governor.
(Light the purple candle)
We will use PURPLE to remind you that these were important people. When they questioned Jesus, Jesus told the truth. But they ordered that Jesus should be taken away and whipped.
Jesus was whipped and a crown made out of thorns was put on his head. They made fun of him and said "Look here is the King of the Jews!"
(Light the brown/tan candle)
Brown/tan can remind us of the whip and the thorns. Pilate could not find anything wrong with Jesus and he wanted to let him go. But the people were shouting to "Crucify Him" and so they did.
The soldiers took charge of Jesus. They made Jesus carry his own cross, to a place called The Place of the Skull, which in the Jewish language is called Golgotha. There they crucified Jesus. They nailed his hands and feet to the wood cross. They also crucified two other men who were theives, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and put it on the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
(Light the gold candle)
Let’s use GOLD to remind us of the King that Jesus really is.
Now we come to the saddest part of our story. This is when Jesus dies.
(Light the black/dark candle)
We’ll use a VERY DARK candle to stand for the sadness that we feel when we hear this story. Often people dress in the color black when someone they love dies.
Jesus knew that everything had been done that God asked of him. So that the Scripture would come true, he said, "I am thirsty." There was a jar full of vinegar there, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a branch of a hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' mouth. When Jesus tasted the vinegar, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and died.
Blow out all the candles, including the white cande.
Let there be a dramatic pause here, silence for a moment.
After Jesus died two men who were followers of Jesus (one was Nicodemus – do you recognize that name from another lesson?) took care of Jesus' body. They and Jesus’ mother Mary, other women helped to anoint Jesus’ body with special oils. Then they also anointed Jesus’ body with sweet smelling spices.
HERE show the kids how to take their marshmallow and roll it in the bowl of melted margarine, covering it. Then roll it in the bowl of the cinnamon/sugar mixture to coat it. Pass the bowls down along the row of kids, helping if they need help. Tell them to set it on their napkin.
While they’re doing this, you and the shepherd can pass out a refrigerator biscuit roll for each of the kids and set it on the table in front of them.
Then they wrapped Jesus’ body with pieces of linen cloth, which is how the Jewish people bury the dead. Wrap your marshmallow in the biscuit dough, making sure it is completely sealed with no marshmallow showing through. Pinch the dough to seal it. Then set it on the cookie sheet.
Continue The Story:
In the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb, like a cave, that had never been used before. The men laid Jesus in that tomb because it was nearby. They rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb.
Say: Let’s all go to the kitchen and open the oven, place the biscuits inside and seal the door.
Note: Bake according to package directions.
Have the kids sit down again and RE-LIGHT THE WHITE CANDLE and continue reading ….
On the third day after Jesus died, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb while it was still dark outside. When she saw that the large stone had been moved away from the tomb, she ran back to Peter and John. Mary said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him. So Peter and the other followers started for the tomb. Simon Peter arrived and went into the tomb and saw the strips of linen lying there. He also saw the cloth that had been around Jesus' head, which was folded up and laid in a different place from the strips of linen.
Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she bent down and looked inside the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, sitting where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and one at the feet. They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
She answered, "They have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have put him." When Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but at first she did not know it was Jesus! He was no longer dead, but he was alive!
God’s plan all along was for Jesus to die to pay for all the sin of all the people of the world. But also part of God’s plan was for Jesus to be resurrected – to be alive once again. Jesus now lives in heaven with God and is preparing a place there for us!
While the rolls are baking:
Distribute Bibles and have kids find John 6:28 – 35. (K/1st graders you will just read this to them). Give them a set up and pause as different parts come up that require explanation (especially manna).
Ask these open ended “I wonder” questions, not really looking for a specific answer, just listening to their thoughts.
- I wonder …. why would Jesus call himself the bread of life?
- I wonder …. what’s so important about bread?
Be sure these points about bread are brought out:
Bread is eaten all over the world in some form. Even when people have little or no money, bread is one of the things they’re usually able to get/have and it’s healthy to help them survive.
- Ask again …. So I wonder why would Jesus call himself the bread of life?
By this time the rolls should be done baking. They will need to cool for a bit. If necessary, have the Beacon do their prayer and sharing time while you wait for the rolls to cool.
When the rolls cool, give each child a roll. Have them sit at the table with a napkin. Tell them to slowly open the roll and look for the marshmallow … and ask them how this compares to the tomb on Easter morning ….
The marshmallow is gone! (It melts into the roll). Our marshmallows seemed to disappear. Jesus did not disappear though. Jesus was not in the tomb, because he was resurrected and alive again!
While kids are eating their roll, if the shepherd did not get time to do sharing/prayer then this time would be appropriate. If they already did, then you can add any other thoughts/ideas/questions you have at this time.
- Candle idea adapted from lesson at Christiancrafters.com titled The Last Days of Christ's Life on Earth Written by Vicki Wiley. Unfortunately, it is no longer posted on their site.
A lesson posted by Jan from: First Presbyterian
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.