Skip to main content


If you are looking for resources for a specific Bible story related to any of these subjects, look up that Bible story in our Bible Story Lessons Forums.  For example, there is some "Communion" material posted here in the "Theological Subjects" forum, but our "Last Supper" Bible story forum is full of great ideas and lesson resources, including lots of ideas about Communion. Questions should be posted in the Teachers Lounge.


The Case for Christ

This lesson set is based on ideas from The Case for Christ for Kids (ISBN-10: 0-310-71147-9) and The Case for Faith for Kids (ISBN-10:0-310-71146-0), both by Lee Stroebel, and Jane Vogel’s Leader’s Guide to The Case for Christ Student Edition. (ISBN 0-310-25490-6)

In these lessons I will refer to the Leader’s Guide as “LG”, “CFC” is The Case for Christ for Kids, and “CFF” is The Case for Faith for Kids. It is advised that you purchase or borrow a copy of CFC for every child (or child pair, if they can share appropriately) in your class so they can read along with certain portions of some lessons.

I suggest that you arrange to complete at least the discussion portion of Day One as one large group. For the activity portion, you might choose to split up into smaller groups. (most of us are not lucky enough to have the computers for all of our kids at once, anyway!) The other days, esp. 2 and 3, are more suitable for rotation; that is, if half of the kids do day 3 before they do day 2, it’s not the end of the world.




Introduction to the Study: “Just Who Did This Jesus Think He Was?”


Purpose:

In today’s lesson, kids will explore who Jesus said he was and address the challenge that Jesus would have to be crazy to say he was God.


Presentation


Opening:

Welcome the kids to class. Explain that this month we are going to learn about some of the arguments some other kids may have against Jesus. We will look into some of these ideas and decide what we believe. We will be like detectives looking into the claims Jesus made about himself, and also what his friends and other people said about him. Our goal is to know why we believe what we believe about Jesus, so if other kids challenge our faith, we will have answers.
Optional:
Read aloud CFC p 7-10, “What’s Up With That?” Discuss the actions of the Delgados. Would you be like them-excited to share what you have even though you don’t have too much yourself? How would Jesus respond to what the Delgados did? Do you know any people who have faith like theirs?

Dig:

Play Three Truths and a Lie, following the directions on p 14, LG. The point the game makes is that while most people believe that Jesus Christ was a real historical figure, some people think that the stories of Jesus are some truths and a few lies, just like the statements in the game we just played. Explain that Lee Stroebel, the man who wrote the books we are using in our study, was just such a person until he started looking into the evidence for Jesus. He had always been skeptical of Christianity, but he wanted to know more about what reasons a person might have for believing in Jesus. What he found changed his mind considerably. He wrote several books about this experience so other people could read what he found out. Today we are going to examine the answers Lee found to these questions: “Who did Jesus say he was? Was Jesus lying when he said those things? Could Jesus have just been crazy?”

Examine the Evidence
I suggest you look through each section before reading it with the kids. That way, you can highlight portions of the reading selection that you wish to focus on with your students. I find if I read long sections aloud I lose them, and there are certainly sections you can skip in these books.

Part One: Who Was Jesus? Was He Telling the Truth?
Have students turn to p 18 in CFC. Read aloud (or have kids take turns reading aloud) beginning with “What did the man say about himself?” and finishing the chapter on p 23.

My Main Points:

  • In Matthew 16:15-17, Peter answers Jesus’ question about who the disciples think Jesus is
  • John 10:24, 30 Jesus tells the disciples “I and the Father are one”
  • See the box, CFC p 20, which lists places in John and Luke where Jesus tells people who he is-the way, the truth, and the life, the king of the Jews, etc. (consider giving a verse to each child to look up and read aloud)
  • Thomas needed proof and Jesus gave it to him (from John)
  • Mark 14:61-62 when Jesus confirms his identity despite his knowledge of what would happen to him for making this claim


Part Two: Was Jesus Nuts?
Turn to p 25 in CFC and read aloud to p 30, focusing on the main points you chose to highlight.

My Main Points:

  • Use box on CFC p 26 about the symptoms of insanity. Discuss what we know about Jesus. Does he fit any of these symptoms?
  • John 10:20-21 Crazy people can’t perform miracles (discuss miracles we have heard Jesus performed, and read examples from the Bible- wedding at Cana, resurrection of Lazarus, healing of centurion’s servant, Jairus’ daughter, feeding of the 5,000, stopping the storm, etc. Have you ever met anyone, “crazy“ or not, who could do those things?)
  • Discuss hypnotism using the info on p 29-30 CFC. Some people have claimed that Jesus must have used hypnotism on people to make them believe they were seeing miracles. Using the book discuss the problems with that theory: for instance, some skeptical people believed when they saw Jesus perform miracles. Despite what the movies show, you cannot hypnotize someone to believe or do something they are very resistant to.


Activity:
Time Permitting, you may choose to reinforce your lesson with one or more of these options.

  1. Using the questions on LG p 16 under Application: Convinced?, discuss the evidence you heard today and what questions this lesson has raised/answered. Consider using a whiteboard or large paper chart to record questions kids still want answered in future sessions.
  2. Use the CD-ROM “Life of Christ”. Have students listen to Lesson #11 “Lamb of God?” and take the quiz.
    Note: Discovery Interactive’s "Life of Christ" CD has gone out of print (its material has been turned into an online course).
    Learn more here!
  3. Order canvas Bible covers from Oriental Trading Co. Use fabric paint/permanent markers to decorate each cover with different names Jesus called himself. “The Bread of Life”, “The Good Shepherd”, etc. Draw pictures too if you want.
  4. Use decoupage glue and tissue paper to decorate clear glass votive candle holders to remember that Jesus called himself “The Light of the World”.


Reflection:

Close in a prayer of your choice, or choose one of the “Prayer Options” on p 17, LG.




Did Jesus Fit the Description of the Messiah?


Purpose:

To learn about the predictions made about who the Messiah would be and determine if Jesus fit the description.


Presentation


Opening:

What if you could create any superhero you wanted? What would he/she be called? What special powers might they have? What problems could the hero solve for the world?
(Optional: Draw a picture of your superhero with crayons/markers and share it with the class.)
Tell students that the ancient Hebrew people for hundreds of years expected a hero sent by God to rescue them. The prophets over time had written down special qualifications this Messiah was to have, such as where he would be born, whose family he would come from, and what he would do for the Hebrews. Many people thought Jesus was the Messiah, and they used evidence from the writings of the Bible to back up their opinions. Today we will look at what the Messiah was supposed to be like and decide if Jesus fits this description.

Dig:


Examine the Evidence:
Discuss who the Messiah was expected by the Jewish people to be, reading aloud from CFC p 33-41. Remember to highlight what you see as the most important points beforehand so you can focus on those.

My Main Points:

  • Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and be from the lineage of King David.
  • Messiah’s challenges, found in Isaiah 53:3, 5, 12 (written 700 years before Jesus)
  • Messiah would accept punishment meant for others, be killed among wicked and buried alongside the wealthy.
  • 60 predictions about Messiah, many of which Jesus could not have arranged, coincidence that he would fit just 8 of them is astronomical
  • Psalm 22:16-18
  • Use chart on CFC 39 to put this in perspective. Consider blowing this chart up for wall use.
  • Jesus certainly knew he was fulfilling the prophecies. Knowing the prophets had predicted suffering for the Messiah, what was in it for a regular guy to claim to be the Messiah and try to fulfill the prophecies if he were NOT the Messiah? (See Jesus’ words from Gospel of Matthew, CFC p 40-41.)


Activity:
Reinforce your lesson with one or more of these options.

  1. Discuss the lesson using the discussion questions on CFC p 37 and/or 41.
  2. Going back to the earlier discussion about superheroes, what about Jesus is most like your favorite made-up superhero? His power over death? His willingness to suffer to save others? Use thin cardboard or sturdy cardstock to create wrist cuffs or a superhero belt. Or, use inexpensive cloth to make superhero capes. Decorate the superhero item of your choice with Bible verses you heard today which talked about what the Messiah would be like.
  3. One way we can be superheroes for others is by obeying Jesus’ instructions to care for others who can’t care as well for themselves, such as widows, orphans, prisoners, or the poor. Choose a service project to complete in this class or to do outside of class, such as collecting school supplies for needy children or visiting a children’s home.


Reflection:

Close in a prayer of your choice or use LG p 12 for prayer ideas.




Did Jesus’ Friends Lie?


Purpose:

To discuss the different authors of the Gospels-who they were, what they saw, what they wrote, and whether we can trust their opinions.


Presentation


Opening:

Play the “Telephone” game, sitting kids in a line. Give the first child a silly nonsense phrase to whisper to the next child, such as “I eat fuzzy smelly peaches in my motorboat on Sunday”. Only allow them to say the phrase once, and they have to whisper. If they play right, once the last child hears the phrase and says it aloud, the meaning should be very different! Tell the students that in the early church, the story of Jesus passed from one person to another in a very different way. Back then, very few people could read, but people were used to memorizing stories in great detail so they could accurately pass them on to others. That is how the Old Testament began- as a series of oral histories which were lately written down. So a person who heard about Jesus was likely to pass it along as accurately as possible, but inevitably little details were heard differently. The first Gospel was written about 40 years after Jesus, by a man who had traveled extensively with Paul and was friends with the Apostle Peter himself.

Examine the Evidence:
PART ONE
Have children turn to chapter 4 “Don’t Believe Everything You Read”, on CFC p 45. Read through p 51, focusing your discussion on what you see as the most important points.

My Main Points:

  • The Bible’s claims about Jesus are pretty incredible- how can we know the authors were truthful?
  • Historians consider events with a lot of eyewitness testimony to be better documented than events where maybe only one or two people saw it.
  • If only one person had told about Jesus we would wonder at the credibility of that one guy. But 4 people wrote his life story.
  • 1 John 1:1 The disciple John saw Jesus’ ministry with his own eyes.
  • See the chart on CFC p 47 to compare the four Gospel authors side by side.
  • Gospel writers expected for there to be questions about their stories of Jesus. (Luke 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:16)
  • Consider question at bottom of CFC p 48 about how to determine who is telling the truth.
  • Variations in the gospels are not a problem, as historians say that shows differences in perspective. The Gospels agree on the major points.


PART TWO
Have the children turn to CFC p 53, for chapter 5, “It’s a Conspiracy!”. Explain that a conspiracy is an agreement between people who are trying to cover up what really happened. Give the example of the Kennedy assassination if you wish. Back in 1963, President Kennedy was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald while driving in a parade down a Dallas street. Although the government only arrested Oswald and charged him alone for the crime, some Americans believe other people helped him plan the crime and even helped shoot the President from other positions. The “conspiracy theorists” believe these people then let Oswald be blamed alone for the murder and covered up evidence that other people had helped him. Some people who don’t believe in Jesus claim that the disciples made up the resurrection story and all agreed to tell the lie to others. Is this what happened?
Read CFC p 53-59, focusing on the main points.

My Main Points:

  • CFC p 54 People who lie usually have something to gain like power or riches. Early Christians were often rewarded with death!
  • CFC p 54-55 Some of the details about Jesus, such as being crucified, would have been a mark of shame-such as the crucifixion, which was the most terrible death the Romans could come up with-why claim your friend was crucified if it wasn’t true?
  • CFC p 55 Witnesses who could act as fact-checkers were still alive when the disciples were teaching about Jesus
  • CFC p 55-56 Peter says in Acts 2 that the crowd he is preaching to knows what Jesus did, many of them had been witnesses
  • CFC p 57 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 Paul tells about it
  • CFC p 57 Question- discuss whether thousands of people who could have found out the truth would believe in Jesus if the disciples lied
  • CFC p 58 In 2000 years no one has been able to prove that Jesus’ story did not happen


Activity:
Reinforce your lesson with one or more of these options.

  1. Take a couple of “small detail” examples from the Gospels, such as who was with Mary Magdalene at the tomb Easter Sunday morning or who they saw. Make a side-by-side chart comparing the differences. For instance, John said Mary saw 2 angels, Luke said Mary and several other women saw 2 angels. Mark said it was Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, and they saw an angel in the tomb. Matthew said two Marys went to the tomb and saw one angel. These are just two ways that the Gospels all slightly differ from each other. Does this mean that you can‘t trust the authors, or is it possible they all heard slightly different versions of the story? In all 4 versions, Mary is at the tomb and she is there to discover that Jesus‘ tomb is empty-which after all is the main point-Jesus has resurrected! (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20)
  2. Cooking Lesson- Use the question on CFC p 59. Why do people still follow Jesus? As the Bible says, there were 2 other guys crucified with Jesus. If the Romans crucified 3 men in one day in a little backwoods province called Judea, think of all the tens of thousands of people they probably killed in this way over the hundreds of years they ruled that part of the world. Why is Jesus the only crucified man we remember? (Take any answers, but guide them toward these responses: Jesus came back from the dead-none of the other crucified guys did that!, Jesus was God’s son who died for our sins, Jesus still can have a relationship with us 2000 years later, Jesus makes our lives better by teaching us how to live, etc.)
    The Bible has much to say about how we should live our lives if we follow Jesus. Consider these important verses concerning service: Matthew 22:39, Matthew 5:14-16, Philippians 2:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, Titus 2:14. Obviously this was important to Jesus. Today we are going to make a treat for some of the shut-in members of our church family.
    Choose a recipe for cookies, bread, or other treat that you can make together, then make a treat bag for each member of your congregation who is not currently able to attend services. Don’t forget to include a personal note from one of the children in each bag. Either make arrangements to deliver these treats yourself or give them to the people in your congregation who visit shut-in members.





Can a Dead Man Be Raised From the Dead?


Purpose:

To discuss the crucifixion and resurrection. Also, determine whether Jesus could have survived the cross if he were a regular man, and whether a normal human can come back from the dead.


Presentation


Opening:

Complete the Easter Egg Hunt activity on p 23-24, LG. Discuss favorite Easter traditions (yes, it is perfectly okay if it is not Easter! I am doing this unit in October, and I am sure they will get a kick out of Easter at Halloween time!)

Dig:

Examine the Evidence:
Evidence for today comes from CFC p 63-77. Don’t forget to preview the section to plan the main points of your lesson.
Consider breaking up kids into groups today, assigning each group a few pages, and asking them to determine the most important parts on their pages. Give them highlighters to use. Then each group can teach the rest of the class from their section.

My Main Points:

  • CFC 64 Christianity depends on Jesus being dead, buried, and raised 3 days later, offering same power over death to his followers- without this there can be no Christianity
  • CFC 64 people with modern technology can sometimes be revived after seeming dead for many minutes, but not when they have been dead for 3 days
  • CFC 66 Faked his own death? Mark 15:36 (offered a drug?), Mark 15:44 (Pilate surprised about Jesus’ quick death, was he buried too quickly?)
  • CFC 67 Jesus sweated blood in a condition caused by extreme guilt or anxiety, if Jesus knew he was faking his death he would not have been so worried, Luke 22:44
  • CFC 67, 71, 72 Crucifixion was a cruel death-whipping before crucifixion was often so severe people did not even make it to the cross, spikes through wrists damaged large nerve in arm, hanging from arms extended them about 6 inches, death happened from exhaustion/suffocation
  • CFC 72 Had Jesus somehow survived he would not have appeared a champion over death-he would have been pitiful and barely able to move
  • CFC 74-75 Enemies admit Jesus’ body is gone- was it stolen? Matthew 27:63-66
  • CFC 76-77 If it were a hoax, would the disciples have changed so much?
    From being in hiding to spreading message across empire, 10 of the 11 died for it.
  • CFC 80 Paul claims Jesus appeared to the twelve, to Peter, to 500 people-would he have said this knowing so many people could have disproved it? 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
  • CFC 82 people don’t hallucinate a dead guy in large groups
  • CFC 83 today people can know Jesus because they feel his presence in prayer


Activity:
Reinforce your lesson with one or more of these options:
1. Computer-
a. Case for Christ CD-ROM, Lessons 32-33, which deal with Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.
Note: Discovery Interactive’s "Life of Christ" CD has gone out of print (its material has been turned into an online course).
Learn more here!
b. Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D) (or similar program) Break into pairs and work together to make a slide show about what you have learned about Jesus. Maybe a slide for each of the four weeks, focusing on the main message for that day? Such as, the slide for today might show Jesus coming out of the tomb. Be prepared to help the kids find info in the Bible and/or the CFC book.
2. Art- Check out Oriental Trading or your local Christian or craft store. Choose a project that will help your kids share their faith, such as a WWJD bracelet or a colors of faith keychain. Complete it in class and encourage the kids to share what they have learned this unit with their friends.
3. Break up into small groups and discuss some of the questions raised in the last section of the book. Good questions appear on CFC p 64, 67, 74, 76, and 77.

Reflection:

Close in prayer, focusing on what we have learned from this unit. Address questions and concerns kids still might have, perhaps writing them on a giant post-it to discuss in the next few weeks.


By Angela Lewter, Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Decatur-Trinity Christian Church, Bartlett, TN

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource

Rotation.org Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Rotation.org Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service.
Rotation.org is rated5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×