Scripture: Matthew 28 (entire chapter)
Memory Verse/Key Verse: "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world." -- Matthew 28:19-20 (CEV)
1. God raised Jesus from the dead.
2. The risen Jesus rules over heaven and earth.
4. Even disciples sometimes doubt.
5. Jesus Christ is always present with us and with his church.
1. Older children will locate the story of Jesus’ resurrection in Matthew. Younger children will learn that the story is in Matthew and the other gospels.
2. The children will play a game to help them learn the details of Matthew’s account.
3. The class will discuss the parts of the scripture that teach the concepts above.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag.
2. Open with a brief prayer.
1. Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. Help the students to find the book of Matthew.
2. If necessary, review the organization of the Bible:
The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part
is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Have them
figure out whether Matthew is in the Old or New Testament (it’s about Jesus so
it’s in New Testament).
Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they’ll usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that the book name is at the top of each page. After finding Psalms, if they then take the pages on the right side and divide them in half, they’ll land somewhere near the beginning of the New Testament. Tell them that Matthew is the first book of the New Testament. (Some of the older children should know the books of the Bible. Encourage everyone to learn them.)
After they’ve found the book of Matthew, help them find chapter 28 and tell them this is one of the places where the story of Jesus’ resurrection is told in the Bible. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.
3. Review the story, using the CEV or the summary below as a guide. Emphasize the parts that are boldfaced below, as they are key concepts for the workshop. Unless this is the first Sunday of the rotation, let the children help you tell the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. Other ideas for reviewing the story in later weeks:
Begin the story and let each person in the circle add one line to the story until it is complete. Help them tell the COMPLETE story.
Tell the story with inaccuracies (Jesus was crucified on a telephone pole on Good Thursday, the next day was Superbowl Sunday, etc.) and let the kids correct you (especially fun for the younger ones -- but don’t do this until the later part of the rotation).
Photocopy the passage (remove verse numbers), cut it up and see if they can put it back together correctly.
After Jesus was crucified, his body was placed in a tomb with guards, and a stone was rolled in front of the tomb. The next day was the Sabbath, so everyone rested. As soon as the Sabbath was over, at dawn on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at Jesus’ tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, and an angel went to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. He was as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and fell down like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; God has raised him to life. Hurry and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is on his way to Galilee. Go there and you will see him.'"
The women were frightened but also happy. They hurried to tell the disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They held onto his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my followers to go to Galilee; they will see me there."
Meanwhile, some of the guards went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. The chief priests gave the soldiers a lot of money, telling them to say, "His disciples came during the night and stole the body while we were asleep." So the soldiers took the money and did as they were told.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to a mountain where Jesus had told them to meet him. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Jesus told the disciples: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world."
Divide the class into several teams of three to five players. Have the shepherd keep score on the white board. Line the teams up and let them take turns spinning the game wheel, then answering questions. Let the first person in line spin for the team. The spinner can ask his team for help, but he is the only one who can answer.
If the spinner answers correctly, award his team the points he spun for. If he answers wrong, no points. Make sure the class hears the correct answer. Either way, go on to the next team for the next question.
After spinning, the player goes to the end of his team’s line. One spin, one question per turn.
Keep going until every child has spun at least once. If the kids are taking too long to answer, give them a 30-second limit and get the shepherd to time the game using the timer in the supply bin.
See end of lesson plan for questions. Feel free to add some of your own. For the first couple of weeks, ask the questions in the order given to reinforce the sequence of events. In later weeks, if the children seem to know the story well, you might mix them up.
Grades 1-2: If some of the questions are too hard for the younger kids, make up some multiple choices:
According to Matthew, how was
Jesus’ tomb secured?
It was locked with a big padlock;
A stone was rolled in front of it; or
It had a burglar alarm.
1. Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall. "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world." -- Matthew 28:19-20
When the angel told the women, “I know you’re looking for Jesus. He is not here…” Do you remember what the angel said had happened to Jesus? God has raised him to life.
Then at the end of the story, Jesus tells the disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Do you know what “authority” means? Power, the right to be in charge. Who do you think gave Jesus authority? God. So God raised Jesus from the dead, and God gave Jesus the authority to rule over heaven and earth.
Matthew tells us that when the disciples met Jesus in Galilee, some doubted. What do you think they doubted? That it was really Jesus, or that Jesus had been dead and was now alive. Why do you think they doubted? It was hard to believe such a thing could happen. So even Jesus’ closest followers had a hard time believing that he was risen from the dead. We are Jesus’ disciples too, and sometimes we have doubts as well. It’s hard for humans to understand the power of God.
At the end of the scripture, Jesus tells the disciples, “I will be with you always.” How can that be? Jesus lives within and through his disciples. When we live the way he lived and carry on the messages he taught, Jesus is with us too. Jesus is always present with us and with his church.
Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.
Tell the students to write “I will be with you always” at the top of the page, and write or draw a picture of something they can do this week to be like Jesus.
Grades 3-5: If you have time, play a few rounds of "who can find the passage first." Hand out Bibles and call out verses for the students to search and read when they find them. Do this in pairs if you wish. Use these passages from the other gospels’ Resurrection accounts. See if the kids can spot differences and similarities between Matthew and the other gospels. Despite differences in the details, the stories all tell us that Jesus is risen.
Luke 24: 1-4
Mark 16: 1
John 20: 1-2
Luke 24: 9-11
Mark 16: 4-5
John 20: 11-12
Luke 24: 50
Mark 16: 6-7
John 20: 14-16
Encourage the children to bring an offering next week. Remind them that the money they bring during this rotation will go to the Pentecost Offering. The money supports things the church does that help children and young adults.
Prayer: Close with a brief prayer. Suggestion: Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus. Help us to live the way you lived and know that you are with us always.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help pick up Bibles, papers and pencils. When the room is tidy, dismiss the class.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare opening and closing prayers.
3. Write the scripture verse on the white board or display it in the room some other way.
Questions for game
Questions for game
True or false: According to Matthew, Jesus’ body was placed in
an unguarded tomb.
False – soldiers guarded the tomb.
According to Matthew, how was Jesus’ tomb secured?
A stone was rolled in front of it.
According to Matthew, who came to the tomb on Sunday morning?
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
What time of day was it?
Why did the women come?
To look at Jesus’ tomb.
True or false: According to Matthew, there was a thunderstorm
and a bolt of lightning hit the tomb.
False – a violent earthquake.
According to Matthew, when the earthquake struck, what did the
Went to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
What did the angel look like?
He was as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. (Note: the scripture doesn’t say he had wings. An angel is a messenger from God.)
What did the guards do when they saw the angel?
Shook and fell down like dead men.
True or false: The angel said to the women, "Do not be
True or false: The angel said to the women: I know that you
are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is right here!”
Who raised Jesus to life?
Where did the angel say Jesus had gone?
What did the angel tell the women to do?
Hurry and tell the disciples.
What were the disciples supposed to do?
Go to Galilee and see Jesus
How did the women feel?
Frightened but happy
As the women hurried to tell the disciples, who did they meet?
What did the women do when they saw Jesus?
They held onto his feet and worshiped him.
True or false: According to Matthew, the guards decided not to
tell the chief priests what had happened.
What did the chief priests do when they heard what had
Gave the soldiers money to say that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body.
True or false: The soldiers refused to accept the bribe.
According to Matthew, once the disciples met Jesus in Galilee,
they all believed he was risen.
False -- some doubted.
True or false: Jesus told the disciples: "All authority
in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
True – the risen Jesus rules over the world.
True or false: Jesus said: “I will be with you always.”
Complete this sentence: Jesus said, “I will be with you
always, even until ______”
The end of the world."