The Ascension marks the time when Jesus was taken up into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the father. The Ascension is most clearly told in Matthew 28, Mark 16 and Acts 1. Use this fun and memorable activity to help teach your students about the Ascension, AND about the practice of good behavior at the same time!
The Day of the Lord Cometh… (Ascencion Object Lesson)
Jesus promised that after his Ascension, he would come back someday. The Ascension is a great time to teach the lesson from 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “The day of the Lord cometh like a thief in the night.” It’s not only fun for kids to think that God is always watching them, but it makes practicing good behavior fun also. This lesson using a bed sheet will remind students that they need to keep their eyes on “Jesus” until He returns—even tho the temptations are pretty powerful!
Household Object: Bed sheet
• Bowl of candy
• Bottle water
• King-sized bed sheet
• 3 or 4 discarded things from your garage such as age-appropriate toys, t-shirts, or DVDs that you can use as prizes (if your garage sale already happened this year, visit a thrift store or a neighbor’s garage. The prizes should be tempting enough to turn kids’ eyes from your assistant, playing Jesus.)
Have the assistant wrap up in the bed sheet so that she looks like she’s wearing a hood and a cape almost.
Have the assistant practice one time twirling around in the bed sheet, as if she’s “going up in the clouds” and then covering herself with the bed sheet so that she has “disappeared” in the corner of the room. (The bed sheet should completely cover her at that time, but she should be able to open the part covering her face or drop the sheet from her face so that it can be seen at a moment’s notice.)
Ascencion Object Lesson
Does anyone know what the Ascension is? See if anyone can answer.
Pretend that Miss [Assistant’s Name] is playing Jesus. The Ascension goes like this, according to Acts chapter one:
After Jesus’s resurrection, he showed himself to the disciples.
Have your assistant sit at the table with them and wave.
He had showed them his scars from his crucifixion and death.
Have her hold up her palms as if she’s showing nail scars
He ate food and drank beverages with them.
Have her take a sip from her bottled water and toast everyone.
He gave them instructions and said they would be his witnesses to the ends of the earth!
Have her pat heads and make gestures of love and hope.
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Have the assistant stand, back away toward the corner, waving, then twirling, then completely covering herself with the bed sheet and staying still in the corner.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
So, Miss [Assistant’s Name] has gone up through the clouds to heaven. But guess what? She’s coming back. You don’t know when. Jesus talked to the disciples about his return. He said they didn’t know when it would be. Nobody did. But everyone should be on their watch. Because when you take your eyes off of Jesus—in real life–that’s when you can get off track. Instead of becoming a bigger Christian, you can become a big goof-off. Or a big bully. Or a big conceited thief! Or a big, well, nothing really bad. Just a big spiritually lazy slug.
If Jesus came back today…how would you want him to find you? Being good or being bad? Being good.
And since we don’t know when he’s coming, how should we be every day? Good.
We should keep our eyes on Jesus, because he will tell us how to be our best every day. When we do something wrong, he will tell us how to feel his forgiveness. When we’re in trouble, he can show us his love and protection. But we can’t get too distracted.
We want to be aware when he comes! Right, Jesus?
Point to the Assistant, who should nod solemnly, all wrapped up.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 says, “The Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night.” A lot of people won’t be watching Jesus. But we want to keep our eyes on Miss [Assistant’s name], because who knows when she’ll be ….”coming back.”
Let the assistant slowly unwrap herself, looking around, then wrap herself up again. They should understand that they need to keep watching for her to do it again!
Stand in the opposite corner, so that students have to choose between looking at you and looking at her.
Wow, look what I have here! It’s candy! Who would like a piece of this? Most should look. Let them raise their hands and start giving out the candy.
As the assistant starts to unwrap herself, exclaim, “DAY OF THE LORD COMETH LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT!”
Every student who was looking at her and not you before you spoke gets a point.
Move on to the first item giveaway from your garage. Explain it in an exciting way and ask who would like to have it. Have the assistant keep still until the third or fourth item so that the kids get more trustworthy that they can look at you.
Give away all four items, stopping one more time as she stealthily unwraps herself and you exclaim, “DAY OF THE LORD COMETH LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT!”
As the last item is being given out, have the assistant unwrap herself one last time and come back to the table to rejoin everyone. Tell them, THE DAY OF THE LORD HAS ARRIVED!
Have everyone greet the assistant with hugs or high-fives.
It was hard to keep your eyes on Jesus, wasn’t it? All the stuff I gave away, starting with the candy…these are like life’s temptations. They distract us:
We can have something for free if we steal it…
We can have power if we bully someone…
We can have more TV time if we ignore our chores.
If Jesus came back and you were stealing, bullying, or being lazy…how would you feel?
It isn’t easy to look away from temptation and keep looking at Jesus. For those of you who did well, this morning, you might not get the most candy or the most prizes in our short lives on earth. But you will get huge rewards forever and ever in heaven with Jesus.
Give out the rest of the candy, letting students who kept their eyes on Jesus the most pick from the candy bowl first.
Will you be trying this ascension object lesson with your students? Do you have other ascension lessons or activities you like to do with your class? Feel free to share them below! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook and Follow Me on Twitter, where I will share more great object lessons and sunday school activities!