1. HOOK: “Can you do everything?” challenge
- Make an agreement/contract with the class. If anyone can do everything that you ask them to do, they get rewarded. Have ready the reward/treat and display it. Get them to agree. Write with large handwriting on a big piece of paper of paper
“ (your name) will give chocolates/treats to the children if they can do everything she/he asked them to do”.
(on behalf of the children)”
- Get a representative from the children to sign the agreement and you also sign.
- The challenge has to be difficult so much so that no one meets it. You can start with a “Simple Simon” game: What Simon says, everyone must do. When Simon didn’t say, no one must do. (Get another helper to help you catch those who didn’t follow what Simon said). Let’s start – Simon says “Lift your right arm”, Simon says “lift your left arm”, Simon says, “jump”. Simon says “wave your hands”. Stop. (If they stop keep jumping and waving the hands, they are out because Simon didn’t say so. They have to keep jumping and waving the hands. You have to say it quite fast to catch them and may vary the actions).
- If there are those who managed to win the game, try to give the winners a quiz where they have to answer all the questions.
- You may use other games, but the objective is to show that no one can do everything they are told to do.
- Now you can use the game to illustrate your point. “Remember the Old Covenant?” “Who did God make the covenant with?” Israelites. “Were they able to obey everything in God’s law?” No. “The game we played (can you do everything challenge) was something like the Old Covenant”.
- Tell the class, “I want to change the agreement so that I can give chocolates/treats to you even when you can’t do everything I asked you to”. Tear up the piece of agreement in front of the class, and similarly you and the representative of the children sign:
“ (your name) will give chocolates/treats to the children”.
(on behalf of the children)”
- Tell them you will distribute the treats to all children at the end of the class.
2. LESSON: The New Covenant foretold
A. The Problem with the Old Covenant
- We just played a game where we had to change the agreement so that you wouldn’t lose.
- But do you know that God did exactly that. He made a New Covenant because the people couldn’t obey the Old Covenant.
- Who did God make the Old Covenant with? The Jews/Israelites.
- The Old Covenant/Law was good. It showed us God’s holiness and perfection.
- But there were 2 big problems. First, we could not fulfil our part. Second, it could not help us keep it. E.g. it was like a mirror — it showed us our faults and mistakes, but it couldn’t help us change. <bring a mirror as a visual aid if u like>
- About 600 years before Jesus was born, God told his prophet, Jeremiah to tell the people that he would make a new covenant with his people and it will not be like the Old Covenant.
B. God promised a New Covenant
- God made all these promises in Jeremiah 31:33-34
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,”
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
- Who did God make the New Covenant with? Jesus.
- It’s ALL about what Jesus does for us. Not about what we can do for God.
- The biggest difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is:I WILL vs THOU SHALT NOT
- New Covenant = ALL ABOUT JESUS!
C. What God promised in the New Covenant
i. God’s Law written in our minds & hearts
- Under the Old Covenant, there were altogether 613 laws for the Israelites to obey. If you break one, it is the same as breaking them all. It is impossible to remember and obey 613 laws!
- Today, we don’t need a rule book to tell us how to live our lives anymore.
- As the Holy Spirit lives within us, he will guides us so we will know what we should do or not to do in any situation. As our minds are renewed and our hearts transformed, we will live in response to all the Jesus has done on the cross for us!
- Just like in class: Jesus loves us so much, so we can love one another — don’t disturb our friends, listen to our teacher etc.
ii. He is our God, We are His People
- We always belong to Him.
iii. We will know God
- Under the Old Covenant, only the high priest can enter the Holy of Holies in the temple, where God’s presence was to offer animal sacrifices to God once a year. Other people cannot enter the Holy of Holies. Under the New Covenant, we are made clean and righteous by Jesus’ blood. When we receive Jesus as our Saviour, the Holy Spirit who comes and lives within us. He will never leave us!
- As we have the Holy Spirit, we can all know God personally, whether we are 4 years old or 80 years old, whether other people think we are important or not.
- Jesus is our BFF!
iv. Our sins are forgiven and forgotten
- When he was on this earth, Jesus kept the whole law and did not sin. On the cross, he took all our curses, all our punishment so that God forgave our past, present and future sins and remembers them no more.
- Today we have learnt that under the New Covenant:
- Everything is done for us by Jesus! We just need to believe in Jesus to receive all the blessings of the New Covenant!
- The Holy Spirit guides us and is always with us.
- God is our God, and we belong to Him.
- We can all know God personally.
- God forgives our past, present and future sins and remembers them no more.
- Who would like to belong to God and know Him personally? <pray>
3. SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES
- To reinforce that the Holy Spirit is always within us and he will remind us of Jesus, sing:
Every move I make I make in you Jesus
Every move I make I make in you Jesus (actions)
- Memory verse: Jeremiah 31:33-34
- Print 2 sets of these verses; cut out into phrases/words (for younger kids, use longer phrases). Get the kids into 2 teams to fix it all back together.
- Or worksheet.
- Matching Game: 2 posters — 1 grey in shape of tablets of stone; 1 red in shape of heart.
Prepare 10 “You shall not”s in black; Prepare “I will” in red with accompanying pix.
Get kids to match the “You shall not”s to the grey tablets; and the “I will”s to the red heart.
Close in prayer