Isaiah says that the coming Messiah would be the Prince of Peace! God gave his son as a peace offering. God gave us his son as a gift that we should receive by faith. Wherever Jesus rules, he brings perfect peace!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
– Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
Remind the kids that we’ve been in Advent season. Advent means ‘arrival’. Advent is a word to describe Christmas because we were celebrating the arrival of Jesus Christ!
The nation of Israel waited a long time for the Messiah. The Old Testament is full of promises that one day the Christ would come. About 700 years before Jesus was born, one of Israel’s prophets named Isaiah wrote this special description of the Christ. Listen carefully to the names that he gives:
Read Isaiah 9:6
Today we’re going to focus on the last name that was given: Prince of Peace. A prince is a ruler, and a Prince of Peace is someone who brings peace through their reign.
How do we make peace?
Props: A picture of two kings.
In the old days when a king wanted to make peace with another king, he would send the other king some kind of gift. That gift was called a peace offering. If the other king wanted to be at peace he would accept that gift and they would make a treaty not to fight one another, but to rather work together for each other’s good.
[draw a picture on the board of 2 kings, a big one and a smaller one]
Normally it would be the weaker king that would send a gift to the stronger king because the weaker king knew that if they went to war he would lose the war. So, rather than go to war, the weak king would try to make peace with the powerful king.
The Bible describes God as the King of kings. He rules over all other rulers. Jesus is more powerful than any other king, or president, or prime minister, or chief, or prince! Listen to what the Bible says about God:
Romans 3:25a says (my translation):
God presented Jesus as the peace offering to cover for sin. People are made right with God when they receive the offering of the blood of Jesus by faith.
Wow! God is the ruler over all, yet the Bible tells us that God is the one that gave his Son Jesus as a peace offering. That means that we can be at peace with God through the gift of Jesus. Jesus is the best gift that we could ever hope for!
For 9-11s you can show the Bible Project Peace video.
Props: A box wrapped to look like a gift
700 years after Isaiah prophesied about the Prince of Peace, Jesus came and made peace between God and us by taking our punishment on the cross for our sins against God. That really is a gift!
[Show them the gift]: Imagine there was something special that I really wanted for Christmas and somebody bought me that gift and they wrapped it up for me and put it under the tree. I was waiting and waiting for the day that I would get that gift! Then on Christmas Day I got that gift and I was so happy but I never actually opened it! That would be silly wouldn’t it? Romans 3:25 says that we receive God’s gift of peace by faith. That means we believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he died to give us life in abundance.
Jesus gives peace with God to everyone who believes in him. When we open our heart to him and invite him to be the ruler of our lives, he brings peace into our hearts! When we receive that gift it also puts us at peace with others, and it gives us peace of mind during hard times.
Consider sharing your own testimony of how Jesus has given you peace. Perhaps it’s how you came to faith in him and received the gift of Jesus, or perhaps it’s a testimony of how faith in Jesus helped you make peace with someone else.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you came to make peace with us! Thank you that you’ve given us your son Jesus as a gift. Thank you that you love each one of us and that we can receive that gift by faith.
Activity (Pin the names on the crown)
Supplies: A big sheet of cardboard with a crown drawn on it, four strips of card with the names from Isaiah 9:6 written on them, a blindfold
How to play: Divide the kids into teams of 4. Have all the kids be seated, except for the team who’s turn it is. Give each of the kids on the team a word and blindfold them one at a time to have a turn to pin their name on the crown.
- What are the names of Jesus that Isaiah spoke about?
- What is the peace offering that God gave us?
- How do we receive that gift?
- How does knowing Jesus give us peace?
- How does Jesus help us be at peace with others?