Preparing

Note to the Teacher

As we come to the end of Lent and enter Holy Week, it can be a good time to pause and ask ourselves how we will respond to Jesus.  What is it that Jesus is calling his people to do in response to the way he lived his life, and the way that he faced the cross?  All of this done to show us a better way.

Times are based on a 60-minute lesson period but can be adjusted as is necessary.

20 min

1. Opening Activity: River of Lava

You will need pieces of paper or cardboard cut into circles about 10 inches in diameter; these are the rocks for this activity.  You will also need to tape out a river…about 40 feet bank to bank and about 20 feet long (depending on the number of people in your group.

Break up your group into teams of no more than 10.  Each team should be given enough “rocks” so there is one per person.

When the round starts, each team must use the rocks to get across the river without touching the floor (the floor space between the two lines of tape). The cardboard pieces can be placed on the river of lava as stepping stones and can be moved around.

The team must therefore share the cardboard pieces and attempt to get the whole team across to the other side of the river.

If anyone makes contact with the river, then he/she is considered eaten up and has to go back to the starting point.

The team that gets its team members across in the fastest time wins.

The rocks cannot be tossed from one side of the river of lava to the other, rather they must be carried back from one side to the other.

 

 15 min

2.  Read Scripture & Discuss

  • How would we see our world differently if we really looked at it like Jesus does?  How would we see it if we had the eyes and mind of Jesus?
  • How does our world view humility and obedience? Are these attributes viewed as weaknesses or as strengths? Are they viewed as positives or negatives? Why is it that throughout the Bible, we challenged to love and serve others instead of standing up and fighting for faith?
  • List some areas of your everyday life that could be positively affected by thinking like Jesus thinks. Can this type of thinking change any struggles that you are currently going through?

 

Read Philippians 2:5-11. You can have one person read, or you can break it up and have two or three people read.

  • In verse 5, the phrase “Let the same mind” (or attitude in some versions of the Bible) is defined as, “a settled way of thinking or feeling.” What would your relationships look like if you truly think the way Jesus thinks?  Think of the places you visit during the week.  How would you see them differently if you looked at them as Jesus see them?
  • Jesus was fully God and fully human.  This is a difficult thing for us to grasp, yet in verse 6 Paul tells us that Jesus didn’t exploit the fact that He was God.  What does Paul mean here?  How would have Jesus been different had he exploited the fact that he was equal to God?
  • What is it that makes the name “Jesus” so powerful?  Is it just his death on the cross and resurrection?  If not, what else makes what Christ did on earth so powerful and sustaining for generations?

Read Luke 19:28-40. You can have one person read, or you can break it up and have two or three people read.

  • As Jesus enters Jerusalem he is at the height of his popularity.  But we know that just 5 days later he will be crucified on the cross. Those who lined the streets to welcome him will turn their back on Jesus. Why do you think the people went from cheering Jesus to yelling “Crucify him” so quickly? What does this say about our own faith and walk with Jesus? 
  • Why are we so quick to leave our faith behind when things get tough?
  • In Luke 19: 38 - 40 and Philippians 2: 10 – 11 we are told of a time when Jesus is cheered, exalted, and worshipped.  The coming Holy Week is a tough time for us when we think of all that Jesus went through, and yet he endured it for us.  What is your response to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection?  Does what Jesus did on earth and through his death give you cause to celebrate?  Does it give you cause to have hope?  If so, how?

15 min

 

 

 

3. Activity: Seeing The World as Jesus See the World

Ask students to sit in a circle. Give each person a piece of paper and a pen and ask them to write down an issue that would break Jesus’ heart.  This can be an injustice in the world, a situation happening in their school, or an issue your local community is facing.  Give the group about 5 minutes to write these down.

Have everyone share what they have written by placing them in the middle of the circle.  If there are any that are similar to one another, place those next to each other.  For example, if 2 people list “bullying at school” those would be put together.

Choose one of the issues at a time (you can vote on which you do), then take a moment to share thoughts about that issue.  How does the group see it, how could they respond like Jesus would respond, and what experiences with it do they have?

After a moment of sharing, enter into a time of prayer for that issue.  Ask a couple of people to pray out loud. Repeat for other issues that came up as time allows.

10 min  

4. Closing

Light a candle, turn out the lights, and make sure the group is sitting in a circle.

Pass the candle around the circle and let the person holding the candle share any joys or concerns.  The person with the candle gets to be the center of attention.  If someone is uncomfortable sharing, they can simply say, “Pass”.

Close in prayer.

60 min

 

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