Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 “Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey.”
Big Picture Question: Why did the people rebuild the temple? The people rebuilt the temple to worship God.
Christ Connection: God’s people rebuilt the temple so they would have a place to worship God. Years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be with His people on earth. People don’t need to go to a temple anymore to meet with God. Jesus is with us wherever we go.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story takes us back to Jerusalem where the returning exiles were rebuilding the temple. At this time, Darius was king of Persia. The Persian Empire was vast, so Darius appointed governors over the provinces. A man named Tattenai watched over the province that included the land of Judah. Tattenai noticed the work of God’s people, and he was concerned. He sent a letter to King Darius. “Is this allowed?” he asked. “The people say that King Cyrus said they could rebuild the temple and the city. Please investigate this matter.”
King Darius did investigate, and Cyrus’s decree was located in the Babylonian records. Darius instructed Tattenai to allow the people to rebuild the temple and the city. “In fact,” Darius wrote, “give them whatever they need from the royal treasury. And if anyone gives them any trouble, he will be punished.” God had turned the heart of the king for His people’s favor. (See Prov. 21:1; Ezra 6:22.) The people completed the temple. They dedicated it joyfully and observed the Passover.
God’s people rebuilt the temple so they would have a place to worship God. God declared in Haggai 2:9 that the glory of this second temple would be greater than the first. This prophecy was fulfilled by the presence of the Messiah, the Son of God. Years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be with His people. Now God dwells not in the temple, but directly with His people. Because of Jesus, we don’t need a temple anymore.
Family Activity: Gather building blocks, playdough, or graham crackers and icing for each family member. Guide family members to create a building of their choice and share with the family what they designed. Talk about why the Israelites rebuilt the temple. Name places your family can worship God.