BIG IDEA: JESUS IS THE MESSIAH
AIM: The aim of the ‘Messiah’ Childrens Lesson on Psalm 22 is to help the children see that although Psalm 22 is a sad song that speaks of suffering, it is also a victorious song that speaks about the future Messiah. This is the third session in the ‘Summer of Songs’ series.
- Gummy Worms. (regular/widescreen) Children are each given a plate of gummy worms and must move them to a plate next to them… without using their hands to pick them up.
- Gummy Worm Fishing. (regular/widescreen) Tie a gummy worm for each player to a small string. Then attach the small string to one long piece of string. Space out the shorter strings. Hold up the long piece of string with the short pieces dangling down. Encourage your players to eat the gummy worm as fast as they can without touching it with their hands – only their mouth. Alternatively set up a string of 4 gummy worms per player and time each one to see how long it takes them to eat all 4. The shortest time is the winner.
- Delve in for Gummy Worms. (regular/widescreen)
- Sports Day Races! Encourage your kids to play some fun sports day races including the egg and spoons race, sack race, three legged race and more. Explain to the children that when we win we have the victory! Then remind the children that with Jesus we ALL have the victory – we are all winners with him because He has the victory! He has won it all!
For more gummy worm games check out Creative Youth Work.
SET the Scene:
Read Psalm 22 together.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) JESUS HAS THE VICTORY
You will want a trophy or something you can show off to the group so that everyone can see. Tell the story of how you won it. If you do not have one, but you know a child that does or another leader, ask them to bring it and talk about how they won it.
Say: This Psalm is a really sad song! David was clearly having a very bad day. Have you ever had a bad day? What happened? (Get some feedback) Everything had gone wrong for David and he was wondering if God was going to step in to save him. Have you ever felt like that? (Get feedback) Maybe you’ve felt sorry for yourself like David did… he was so sad he called himself a worm! He was having a pity party. You might have even heard a version of this song or sung it yourself. [You could sing it yourself to the kids – it might make them laugh!] Well, this is how David’s song starts out!
Some people think this Psalm was written and sung when David had done something very bad. He was feeling sad and He knew He needed God’s help and forgiveness. Then David remembered who his God was. Verses 25-31 say:
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you[f] I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the Lord
and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
What does that mean?
It means that David knew that God was in control and that He has the victory! And David wasn’t wrong! A few hundred years later God would send Jesus to the earth. Jesus is God’s one and only Son and He was sent to live a perfect life and die a perfect death. When Jesus died on the cross He took punishment for all the wrong that we have done. Yet He defeated death! He came back to life! Jesus has the victory! He has won over sin and death. We have nothing to fear!
2) JESUS IS THE MESSIAH
HIGHER OR LOWER GAME. You will need a pack of cards. if you are speaking to a large group, a giant pack of cards is best so that everyone can see. Shuffle all the cards and hold them facing yourself so the children cannot see what card is in front. Then turn over the front card. Invite the children to guess if they think the next card will be higher or lower than the current card. They can show this by putting their hands on their head or on their bottoms. The children that get it wrong are eliminated once the card is turned keep playing until you only have one child left – they are the winner.
Say: This Psalm was written and sung many years before Jesus came to live on the earth. Yet the amazing thing is that many of the things written in the Psalms come true in the life of Jesus. That’s because Jesus is the Messiah. The Messiah was the one person that the Jewish people believed would rescue them. God had promised that this person would come. Many things written in the Old Testament part of the Bible tell about the future. When this happens it is called a prophecy. [Hold up the pack of cards] Just as you have tried to work out the future with this card game, so people told things about the future in the Old Testament times. Yet the big difference here is that God told the people the future – so it was definitely going to come true! That’s what makes a real prophecy – when God tells you something!
The sad parts of this song tell all about Jesus’ death: Psalm 22:15 says “My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.” On the cross Jesus was very thirsty. He asked for a drink.
Psalm 22:17-18 says, “All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” The people did stare at Jesus on the cross and the soldiers divided his cloak as they cast lots.
Psalm 22:27 says; “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him.” Millions of people all over the world have turned to Jesus. He really does have the victory! Jesus is the Messiah – the chosen one by God to rescue us from the wrong things we have done, to bring us forgiveness and to give us a right relationship with God. All we need to do is turn to Him, ask Him to come into our lives and make Him the Lord of our lives. Why? Because He is the Messiah – the Savior of the world!
3) JESUS KNEW HE HAD THE VICTORY
You will need a few well known songs that the children will be able to sing.
Say: When Jesus was dying on the cross he said the words in Psalm 22:1: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It was awfully painful for Jesus on the cross, yet perhaps Jesus was reminding the people of the end of the song. [Sing a/some well known song/s, like Old McDonald has a farm, see if the children can keep singing it/them.] Jesus started the beginning of the Psalm, yet he knew that anyone that knew Psalm 22 would know what the end of it says: He has done it! Perhaps Jesus was telling the people that though it was sad and he was suffering on the cross, God has the victory. Jesus knew he had the victory. He was not afraid. We don’t need to be afraid either – we have the victory with Jesus! No matter what we go through we can know that we are winners, because Jesus is the greatest winner of all!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
SLIME FIND. (regular/widescreen) Using slime baff make a bowl or tub full of slime. Hide all the printed Bible Verses on Messiah inside the slime. Invite a few or all of the children to put their hands in the slime and find the Bible Verses. Explain that sometimes we go through very difficult times. We may even feel like giving up. Yet God will always help us to get some good out of what we go through. He promises that to those that love Him and are called according to His purposes, that we will overcome (Romans 8:37) and He will intend what we go through for good (Genesis 50:20) – He will work it all together for good (Romans 8:28).
SENSE How You Feel:
CRAFT: Create a tissue paper cross. Simply print out a cross, then add tissue paper onto it and use a piece of ribbon to loop and stick to the back so that you can hang the cross. This is a craft to help children remember that Jesus is the Messiah. They can even write ‘Jesus is Messiah’ on the cross.
- What does ‘messiah’ mean to you?
- What is a prophecy?
- What does it mean to have the victory?
- Do you know Jesus? If so, has He changed your life? How?
- If Jesus really has the victory, who needs to know about this?
- In what ways do you need/want victory?
- Create a cross out of boxes or paper or any other material or use a wooden cross to encourage children to write their prayers of sorry/thanks to Jesus the Messiah.