Key Passage: Luke 24:46 “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day”

Big Picture Question: What did Jesus do for sinners? Jesus died on the cross and is alive

Christ Connection: The most important thing that ever happened is that Jesus died and was raised from the dead. Jesus never did anything wrong, but He took our punishment because we sinned. God forgives us for sin because Jesus died for us. God raised Jesus from the dead to be King over everything.

Dear Parents,

Jesus is alive! Thank you for entrusting your child to us throughout this year. We celebrate with you and your family the joy of Easter. This week’s story in The Gospel Project for Kids® was all about Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection three days later.

Why did Jesus have to die? God is just and requires due payment for sin. To simply forgive without receiving a payment would be unjust. The wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23) Jesus came to earth was to save us from our sin (Matt. 1:21), to show God’s
love to us (Rom. 5:7-8), and to give those who believe in Him eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus came to die so that
we would be forgiven (Eph. 1:7), and to bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18).

Jesus’ resurrection proved that God accepted Jesus’ death as payment for our sins. Jesus’ crucifixion and
resurrection are not the end of the story, but the climax. Pray with your family, thanking God for sending His
Son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the world.

Family Activity: Look at a cross on a necklace or other item found in your home. Ask kids to tell you in their own words why the cross is used as a decoration today. Remind kids tat the cross is a reminder of what Jesus did for us y dying on the cross and rising again three days later. Review Matthew 26:36-28:10. We deserve to die for our sin, but Jesus died in our place so that our sins might be forgiven, and we may have new life through His power to conquer sin and death.

Key Passage: Luke 24:46 “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day”

Big Picture Question: How did people act when they saw Jesus? People welcomed Jesus as their King.

Christ Connection: The people were happy to see Jesus. They knew He was their King. Jesus came riding on a donkey, just as the prophet Zechariah said He would (Zechariah 9:9).

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project for Kids®. We’d like to take a break from the chronological study of the Bible and invite boys and girls into the stories of Easter. Today’s Bible story describes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem during Passover week, riding on a donkey like the prophet Zechariah foretold. (Zech. 9:9) The people welcoming Jesus with palm branches believed He would overthrow Roman oppression and be an earthly king. Jesus sent a different message when He arrived in Jerusalem.

Jesus entered the temple complex. He turned over the tables of the money changers and those selling doves.
Jesus said the temple was supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:6-7), declaring His
kingship would be over all people, not just the Jews. Jesus healed the blind and the lame. Jesus wasn’t just an
earthly king; He was God! (Isa. 35:4-6)

Help kids connect the dots between God’s promises of a Messiah and Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem. How did the
people act when they saw Jesus? The people welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem as their King. Celebrate why Jesus came: to save the world from sin!

Family Activity: Conduct a parade through your home. Allow one child to march around while other family members wave their arms and show excitement as he marches by. Read Luke 19:28-44 and remind kids that people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem as King! Talk about ways that others can see Jesus is the King in your life.

Key Passage: Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Big Picture Question: What does Immanuel mean? Immanuel means “God is with us.”

Christ Connection: God told Isaiah about His plan. Isaiah said that God was going to send someone named Immanuel. Jesus is the One God promised to send. One of Jesus’ names is Immanuel. The name Immanuel means “God with us.” Jesus is God with us.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids follows Isaiah’s message to King Ahaz. During King Ahaz’s reign, the king of Assyria was expanding his kingdom by taking over other nations. The Northern Kingdom of Israel and the king of Syria formed an alliance against Assyria and invited King Ahaz to join them. King Ahaz was in a difficult position. If he joined the alliance and they lost, the Assyrian king would destroy him. If he did not join and the alliance won, he was as good as dead.

King Ahaz said no. Israel and Syria attacked Jerusalem. Isaiah 7 opens with the armies of Israel and Syria approaching Jerusalem. King Ahaz was terrified. God sent Isaiah and his son, Shear-Jashub, to give Ahaz a message. God would be Ahaz’s ally. All God asked of Ahaz was to trust Him. God gave Ahaz a sign: “The virgin would conceive a son, and name him Immanuel.” God could do the impossible. What would Ahaz have to fear with God on his side?

Through the prophet Isaiah, God promised to send Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Jesus fulfilled this promise when He came to earth and was born of a virgin. Jesus is our Immanuel, God with us.

Family Activity: Isaiah and other prophets often had to tell powerful people hard messages from God. They could speak with confidence because they were speaking words from God. Practice at home greeting one another with confidence. Stand tall, make eye contact, smile, introduce yourself clearly, and shake hands firmly. Next time you go to church, think of someone you don’t know well and greet that person with a smile, hello, eye contact, and perhaps, a handshake.

Go further: Work together as a family to plan a time to share the gospel with people. Ask your church leadership about family outreach opportunities that may be coming up soon (like our Easter Egg hunt!)

Key Passage: Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God call Isaiah? God called Isaiah to warn His people.

Christ Connection: Isaiah knew he was sinful and shouldn’t be with God. God is holy. God forgave Isaiah’s sin. God had a plan to send His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. We must trust Him. When we trust in Jesus, we answer like Isaiah: “Here I am. Send me.”

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. During the next four weeks, kids will learn about the prophet Isaiah and his message of the coming Messiah. Today’s Bible story focuses on Isaiah’s calling by God to prophesy to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

In the year King Uzziah of Judah died, Isaiah was worshiping God in the temple when he had a vision. Isaiah saw God sitting on a throne. God’s robe was long; its edges filled the temple. Seraphim—heavenly beings—stood above Him, each with six wings, calling out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!” The magnitude of God’s holiness made Isaiah realize the magnitude of his own sin. His response? “Woe is me!” A seraph touched Isaiah’s lips with a piece of coal, an outward sign of God removing Isaiah’s sin and preparing Isaiah for the next step. Isaiah would eagerly take God’s message of hope and the coming Messiah to the people.

God extended His grace to Isaiah and took away Isaiah’s guilt. God passed over Isaiah’s sins because He was going to send Jesus to pay for them. In His death on the cross, Jesus paid for the sins—past, present, and future—of those who would trust in Him. When we trust in Jesus, God says to us, “Your guilt is taken away. Your sin is atoned for.”

Family Activity: Roast hot dogs or make s’mores over a fire, if possible. Talk about using fire (or heat) to purify. (Washing dishes in hot, soapy water lifts grease away faster than washing in cold, soapy water. Doctors sterilize instruments at high temperatures.) In Isaiah’s vision, a seraph (a winged being) touched Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal. This was a picture of cleansing his lips so Isaiah could tell messages from God. We are cleansed by trusting Jesus.

Go further: Work together as a family to plan a time to share the gospel with people. Ask your church leadership about family outreach opportunities that may be coming up soon (like our Easter Egg hunt!)

Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: What is God’s desire for people? God wants all people to be saved

Christ Connection: The people in Judah sinned. To punish them, God sent locusts and stopped the rain. Joel told the people to be sorry for their sin. Jesus also wants people to be sorry for their sin. Jesus died to take away our sin, and He is alive. If we trust in Jesus and are sorry for our sin, God forgives us.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. In today’s Bible story, God called Joel to prophesy to the Southern Kingdom of Judah in the middle of a crisis. Judah was experiencing an invasion of locusts, on top of a drought. Joel made it clear the people were not undergoing bad luck—God was judging them for their sin.

In Deuteronomy 28, God told His people that if they did not obey Him, “You will sow much seed in the field but harvest little, because locusts will devour it” (vv. 15,38). That is exactly what happened. These disasters were a wake-up call. Joel told the people to repent. He told them to fast. He told them to cry out to God and ask Him to show them mercy. Then Joel looked ahead to the future. The Day of the Lord was coming, a day when God would show His strength through an invading army. God’s power would be against them. So Joel implored them, “Return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and He relents from sending disaster.”

God would rather forgive His people than punish them. God used locusts and drought to get Judah’s attention. They had turned from God, and the prophet Joel called them to repent. Like Joel, Jesus calls sinners to repent. Jesus died and was resurrected so repentant people could experience forgiveness. (Luke 24:46-47)

Family Activity: Use a jar to create a temporary insect container for each kid by taking a nail and putting a small hole in the lid. Set aside a time to hunt for grasshoppers or other insects. Place the bugs in the jars and talk about how God used locusts to punish the people of Judah for their sins. Explain that we deserve punishment for our sins too, but Jesus took our punishment.

Go further: Go online to find instructions to make a sundial. Work with your family to create one and use it to time how long it takes for something to occur. Talk to your kids about why we wait eagerly for Christ to return.

Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: How can we be forgiven? God forgives people when they are sorry and ask for forgiveness.

Christ Connection: God was going to punish the people in Nineveh because they sinned. The people of Nineveh were sorry. They told God they were sorry. God did not punish them. He showed them mercy. God showed mercy to the world by sending His Son, Jesus. Jesus took the punishment we should get for our sin. God wants us to go, like Jonah, and tell others about Jesus.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids is one that many kids have heard before, and we often lose sight of the central message. The message isn’t so much about Jonah being swallowed by a big fish, although that is certainly amazing. Jonah’s account centers around the compassion of God, not only for the people of Israel, but for people throughout the earth—even Israel’s worst enemies!

Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and the rulers of Nineveh were notoriously evil and cruel. Check out how the prophet Nahum described the city in Nahum 3: “Woe to the city of blood, totally deceitful, full of plunder, never without prey” (v. 1). No wonder Jonah ran the other way! Through a storm and some time in the belly of a fish, God got Jonah’s attention. Jonah went to Nineveh. For three days, Jonah walked around the city. His message to the Ninevites was brief: “In 40 days Nineveh will be demolished!”

The people of Nineveh immediately repented, and God withheld His judgment. Jonah was furious. God rebuked Jonah and prompted him to examine his heart. God displayed His mercy and grace by forgiving the people of Nineveh when they repented of their sin. God showed His love to the rest of the world by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross. God saves those who trust in Jesus and repent of their sin, and He sends them out, like Jonah, with the good news of salvation.

Family Activity: Take a family fishing trip, a trip to a local aquarium, or even a pet store. Challenge each family member to catch (if fishing) or find (if visiting an aquarium or pet store) the biggest fish they can. Talk about what it would be like to be swallowed by that fish. What sounds would you hear? What would you see or feel? Talk about how Jonah’s lack of obedience landed him in a fish. Invite each family member to share times they didn’t obey that got them in trouble.

Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: Does God stop loving us when we sin? God loves us even when we sin.

Christ Connection: Gomer did not love Hosea with all her heart. She did things that made Hosea sad, but Hosea still loved Gomer. God’s people do not love God with all their hearts. We do things that make God sad, but God still loves us. He showed us His love by sending Jesus to be our Savior.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids reveals what true, unconditional, godly love looks like. God told Hosea to show the people of Israel how much God loved them but in an unexpected way. God told Hosea to marry an unfaithful woman, and to raise her children who were conceived with other men.

Hosea obeyed God. He married a woman named Gomer, and she was unfaithful just as God said she would be. God’s people were no different than Gomer. They loved and worshiped idols, people and things that were not the one true God.

It would have been easier for God (and Hosea) to throw up His hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!” But God’s love never gives up. He gave Hosea a love for his wife that compelled him to buy her back from the slave market after all she had done.

Hosea’s relationship with Gomer reminds us of God’s relationship with the people of Israel and with us. Even though God’s people are unfaithful and love other things more than they love God, God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin and bring us back to Him.

Family Activity: During the week, write a love note to your kids reminding them that no matter what happens, you always love them. Invite each kid to write a love note to a sibling or parent. Encourage non-writers to draw a picture expressing their love.

Go further: Make heart shaped sugar cookies with your family to pass out to your neighbors. Explain the gospel through the story of Hosea. Help your kids prepare a response to people confused by heart cookies outside of Valentines Day.

Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: What does God do when people sin? God loves people, but He punishes sin.

Christ Connection: God is holy and He punishes sin. But God also loves people. God wanted His people to stop sinning and love Him, but they would not. God punished His people. God loves us. We sin and should be punished. But God sent Jesus to be punished for us.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Over the next four weeks, our Bible stories will focus on four prophets whose messages to God’s people foreshadowed Jesus Christ. In today’s Bible story, Amos was a regular, hard-working man who raised sheep in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. God called Amos to prophesy to the people of Israel.

On the outside, the Northern Kingdom of Israel looked good. They were prospering economically, their borders were expanding, and sure, King Jeroboam was an evil and ungodly man, but he could have been worse. But God was not pleased with His people. Their hearts were far from Him. They ignored God’s laws, worshiped idols, and mistreated the poor. They were greedy, hypocritical, and prideful. So God called Amos to tell Israel that God was going to judge them for their sin.

Taking God’s message to the people of Israel was no easy task. When Amos told Israel through three sermons that God’s judgment would also fall on them, they told him to go away. The Israelites’ refusal to turn back to God eventually led to their exile and brought an end to their time of prosperity.

God is holy and just, but He is also loving and gracious. God wanted His people to turn back to Him, but they refused. Israel faced the punishment for their sin. God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sin. God accepts anyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Family Activity: Encourage each family member to intentionally do something nice for someone. It can be a friend, family member, or neighbor. You may even choose to do something as a family. Talk about how God wants His people to treat one another fairly, something those living in Israel were not doing during the time of Amos.

Key Passage: 2 Kings 17:13-14 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah… ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands.’…But they would not listen.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God scatter His people? God’s people sinned against Him

Christ Connection: When the people of Israel did not do what God said, God punished them. We disobey God too, but Jesus took our punishment for us. People who trust in Jesus can be with God forever.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids focuses once again on the Northern Kingdom of Israel. God’s people in the Northern Kingdom had a long history of disobeying God. God sent His prophets to the people of Israel. The prophets told the people of Israel to repent and worship God again. Many times, the prophets told the people what would happen in the future if they continued to sin.

Sometimes God’s people listened to the prophets, repented of their sins, and followed God. But many people did not. God had been very patient with the Israelites. He had helped them in times of trouble and had delayed their punishment because He is gracious and compassionate. (2 Kings 13:23) But many years passed, and God knew His people would not love Him with all their hearts.

God had had enough of His people’s sinning. They wouldn’t listen to Him, so He allowed their enemies to send them into exile. The king of Assyria attacked Israel and laid siege to Samaria. Assyria captured Samaria and forced the people to leave the city. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was destroyed and the people were scattered, just as God had said it would be. (1 Kings 14:15)

When the Israelites disobeyed God, God judged their sin and punished them by removing them from His presence. Jesus took the punishment for our sin upon Himself. He unites and restores those who trust in Him. Jesus brings us into God’s presence and keeps us there.

Family Activity: Work a puzzle together as a family. Prior to working the puzzle, scatter several of the pieces around your home. Challenge kids to find the pieces and add them to the puzzle. Explain that because God loved His people, He allowed them to be scattered. Remind kids of God’s promise to one day reunite His people with Him forever.

Key Passage: 2 Kings 17:13-14 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah… ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands.’…But they would not listen.”

Big Picture Question: Who heals us from our sin? Jesus heals us from our sin.

Christ Connection: Naaman was sick. He had a problem with his skin. When Naaman washed in the river, his skin got better. No one can obey God all the time. We are all sick with a sin problem. When we trust in Jesus, He heals us. God forgives us and makes us better.

Dear Parents,

This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, we turn our attention to Elisha, Elijah’s friend and successor, and Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army. The Syrians often attacked Israelite cities and took whatever they wanted, including people to work as slaves. One of the slaves carried off by the Syrians has a pivotal role in today’s story.

Naaman was sick with leprosy—a serious skin disease. Without a cure, Naaman would suffer horribly. A young slave girl from the land of Israel, however, knew about the one true God. She told her mistress that Elisha the prophet could heal Naaman.

Naaman told his master, the king of Aram, what his servant said. The king of Aram wrote a letter to King Ahab, commanding him to heal Naaman. King Ahab panicked. He couldn’t heal Naaman—only God could do that! Elisha called for Naaman and told him to wash seven times in the Jordan River. It wasn’t the “cure” Naaman was expecting, and initially he rejected Elisha’s instructions. His servants, however, encouraged him to obey. Naaman washed in the Jordan and he was healed! Naaman told Elisha, “I know there’s no God in the whole world except in Israel” (2 Kings 5:15).

Naaman was sick with a skin problem. His disease went away when he washed in the river. All people are sick with a sin problem. They need a Healer. When we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, God forgives our sin and heals us.

Family Activity: Ask your church leadership about any people in your congregation who may be homebound. Plan an outing with your family to visit them, bring them a meal, and pray over them for healing.