Exodus 18.1-28; John 1.29; Galatians 5.1
Nobody wants to be a slave. When somebody–or something–is controlling you it becomes difficult to be who God called you to be. God promised that the Israelites would be his chosen nation, but they were enslaved by the Egyptians. By the blood of a pure and spotless lamb, God spared his people from the devastation of the final plague, and he set them free from slavery. Jesus cares about the whole world enough that he came as the pure and spotless lamb so that we could be set free from sin.
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ”
– 2 Corinthians 1.20a (NLT)
Explain to the kids that each week you’re looking at a story from the Old Testament* that points to Jesus. It’s often helpful to briefly review the previous week’s lesson.
Object Lesson (Lamb visit)
Supplies: A lamb will be provided.
Since it’s lambing season, we will have real live lambs come in to visit the children! Since we’re having the lambs rotate through 3 rooms it might not be possible to have them in each room before the story is told. Here’s what I’d love you to do though:
Before you let the kids pet the lambs tell them that there is something that you want them to think about when they pet the lamb. Have them think about whether the lamb is a very dangerous animal. Is it seem very strong? If you were in trouble would you hope for a lamb to come rescue you?
Last week we learnt that Jacob and his family went to live in Egypt because there was a famine in the land. Jacob’s son Joseph was a ruler in Egypt, so he made it possible for them to come and stay there. Remember that God had promised to make Jacob’s family a great nation to be God’s chosen people! Well, that’s exactly what happened because you can always trust God’s promises.
Jacob’s children had lots of children and his grandchildren had lots of children, and his great grandchildren had lots of children, and his great great grandchildren had …
So the people of Israel had increased in number and they were a nation, but there was a problem. Remember that God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had three parts: God would make them a great nation, he would give them the Promised Land, and they would be a blessing to all nations! The problem was that they were living in Egypt and they had become the slaves of the Egyptians. God needed to set them free from Egypt!
Props you may want to use: A whiteboard with dry erase pens (black and red), a small bunch of leaves to wrap around one of the markers, .
Who knows who God called to set his people free from Egypt? … Who did he speak to from the burning bush? That’s right, he spoke to Moses and he sent Moses to go speak to Pharaoh and tell Pharaoh to set the Israelites free. Did Pharaoh want to set the people free? No! Did he care about God’s promises? No!
But God was more powerful than Pharaoh. He gave Pharaoh many chances to let the Israelites go. Every time Pharaoh stopped the Israelites from leaving, God sent a plague over Egypt. Go through the list of the first nine plagues with the children:
- Water into blood
- Diseased livestock
- Darkness for three days
Before you teach the tenth plague draw the following drawing on a white board (without the red part):
Explain that God told Moses that he was going to send one final plague and that after that Pharaoh would let the people go.
Read the story from Ex. 11.4-8; 12.1-8; 12-13. (highlight these verses in your Bible before hand to make it easier to read)
Read the story from Ex. 12.21-23; 12.29-32 (when you get to verse 22, use the red marker to mark the blood on the door post in the shape of a cross).
We might not think that we are slaves, but all of us are slaves to sin. It means that none of us are able to be perfect all the time. The Bible teaches us that God came to set us free from sin! In the same way that God set the Israelites free, he wants each of us to be part of his chosen people. He wants us to know him and to follow him all the days of our lives. In the New Testament John the baptist said “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1.29) Why do you think he said that? Remember that Jesus died for our sins [at this point you can erase the picture leaving only a red cross on the board]. When Jesus died on the cross he fulfilled God’s promise that all the nations of the world will be blessed through Abraham’s descendents! Today, anyone who believes in Jesus and receives him as their savior can be saved.
Prayer: Thank God for sending his Son Jesus and making a way for us to be close to him. Thank him that we can always trust his promises. Pray for wisdom and courage for the children as they seek to follow God.
* Old Testament: The first part of the Bible that tells the story of God’s people and explains his promise.