For the next week, I’ll be posting lessons for the 2 weeks leading up to Easter Sunday and Easter Sunday. You can make this series special by decorating your children’s church to look like Jerusalem with a cave on one side and a curtain with columns symbolizing the temple on the other. Also find characters to play the parts for the skit.
This is the lesson about Lazarus for two weeks before Easter.
Theme: Jesus Gives Us Life Eternal
Verse: John 11:25 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will have life even if he dies.” ICB
Object: rolls of toilet paper
Have two teams. Give each team a roll of toilet paper. Give the teams 5 minutes to wrap their Lazarus in grave clothes. Whoever has the best mummy at the end of the 5 minutes wins.
Skit: Lazarus Story
Characters: Jesus, Lazarus, Jewish Man who tells the Story
Objects: cave, toilet paper, Bible costumes
Man dressed in robe and turban comes out and tells how Jesus really stirred things up the last couple of weeks. He says something similar to this.
I live in Jerusalem, but I went to visit some friends in Bethany a few days ago. My friends told me a neighbor of theirs died. This man, Lazarus was a friend of Jesus, that prophet who’s been going around teaching about God and healing people. I heard about him but I never met him. Anyway, Lazarus had died, and Jesus didn’t even come to the funeral. Lazarus sisters were pretty upset about. Then four days later, Jesus showed up. (Jesus comes up to the cave.) I visited the cave with my friends so I saw him coming up the road. He didn’t look like a prophet. One of Lazarus sisters told him he should have been there. If he had, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. She probably figured Jesus would heal Lazarus.
Anyway Jesus said something really strange. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will have life even if he dies.”
I couldn’t believe it. Only God gives life. How could this man be the resurrection and life? And how can we live if we die. That just doesn’t make sense. Well let me tell you, that didn’t make me believe in him. First he doesn’t come to heal his friend. Then he doesn’t even come to the funeral. Then he says all this strange stuff about being the life.
But what happened next was even more amazing. Jesus told some men to roll the stone away from the cave door. They tried to tell him that the body would stink, but he wouldn’t listen. So they rolled the stone away. And let me tell you, it did stink. I’ve never smelled anything so bad. I would have left, but I wanted to see what Jesus was up to. He walked up to the cave. (Jesus walks up to the cave.) And he said something. (Jesus shout “Lazarus, come forth.” Lazarus comes out of the cave wrapped in toilet paper.)
I couldn’t believe it. Lazarus came back to life. Jesus told up to release him from his grave clothes. (Man unwraps Lazarus.) We had a big party to celebrate. I’d like to hear more about this Jesus. If he can bring people back to life, maybe he is who he says he is. Maybe he’s the Messiah, the one sent from God who has been promised. I’m going back to Jerusalem today, but I’d like to hear more about this Jesus.
For the complete lesson and two more lessons up to and including Easter, go to this link to buy downloadable curriculum, Journey to Easter.