If it’s your wish for your students to understand the gospel and begin the New Year by understanding God’s love and Jesus’ death, this Sunday school object lesson, using the floor and involving the students, may have a strong impact. You’ll walk kids through the concepts of God losing His closeness with man and how Jesus provided the means to get close again.
Sunday School Object Lesson: The Jesus Bridge
– Roll of Paper Towels (sturdy brand)
Move the table to the side of the room so you have space for kids to jump across the floor. About two feet from one wall, tape a long line that runs parallel to that wall. Write “heaven on earth” on it. Have the tape and marker readily available so you can use it again mid-lesson.
Note: As this lesson involves running tape across the floor while talking, it works best if you read and your assistant tapes.
Sunday School Object Lesson
Have all the students stand behind the taped line (on the heaven-on-earth side.
Put on your best “imagining” voice.
Have you ever heard the expression, “lines in the sand?” It means that there are rules that exist in life and those rules are like lines we don’t want to cross. You can’t really see the “lines” that God has drawn…such as the lines between heaven and earth.
But they’re real in the spiritual realm. We’ll use tape to make them real to you.
Right now, let’s imagine we are in a beautiful heaven that God made for us.
With younger children, look all around as if you can really see things.
There are pretty flowers…and waterfalls…and the lions we can pet and the lambs that the lions lie down with in friendship. And look! Over there is God! He has come down to walk with us in the garden! See how big He is smiling? He loves us. He is very happy to have us as friends. Just don’t step over the taped line! That is outside the garden.
I’m going to tell you the story of salvation…how man came to need Jesus and got outside of the garden.
It started when mankind decided to do bad things. God said to one lady, “You can go anywhere in the garden, climb any tree, eat any fruit, and do anything you want. Just don’t eat of that tree over there…”
Point to an imaginary tree.
It’s got stuff in it that isn’t good for you.
So the lady said, “Okay.” But one day she thought, “Hm…maybe He lied. Maybe God didn’t want me to be important. Like, maybe He ought to trust ME to know what’s right for ME. After all, who knows better what’s right for ME than ME?”
So, she started the bad things. First she thought of God as a liar, which is impossible, and then she was very stuck up and thought she knew something God didn’t. So, that was the first sin.
Take a kid in your class and urge him outside the garden.
And it sounds like she was a very bad lady in comparison to us. But guess what? Any of us…
Pull other kids across the line and out of the garden.
…could have done that. We all do our stuff, don’t we? The first person who made God out to be tricky and not savvy, the world started to fall…to turn dark…Now the world is considered “under the fall.”
Take all the kids and push them back from the tape about eight feet. Put down another taped line in front of them and write “fall of man” on it.
Here’s the problem. God is so perfect that He can hardly look at bad…He can’t be around bad. For Him to be around bad would be like taking a perfectly healthy kid and putting him in a room with a bunch of kids who have the worst cases of mumps and measles and chicken pox all at once. Or it’s like there is this deep, deep pit between man and God.
Point to the taped lines.
We can’t cross over back to God and heaven.
Pretend you’re looking over at the garden, reaching with your arm and looking sad.
God was very sad. He created people to be His good friends. But after that lady started everything, He couldn’t get near people because they’re all messed up and sick in the head, and fallen, and they do nasty things sometimes that he can’t get around. God missed us. Look over. Doesn’t He look sad?
Pretend you’re waving and sniffing.
But God would think of something! After all, He’s God!
Get out your roll of paper towels. Tape the end to the piece of tape marked “fall of man”. Roll it across the floor to the piece of tape marked “heaven.”
Write “Jesus” on a piece of tape and stick it in the middle of the paper towels
So, what God did is… He made a man out of Himself. That man is Jesus. Jesus came to earth and got next to all the sick, measled-chicken-poxed-disgusting mumps bad-mood, stingy selfish people. And He let all that foulness get all over Him, and all the disgusting things that people did, all that got all over Him until He died.
He died in our place. He died so that we wouldn’t have to. He took on all that bad stuff so that He could be a bridge. Now, we can get back to God again.
Everyone take off your shoes.
Have them take off their shoes so they don’t tear the paper.
God wants us to come back. We can now come back by using Jesus as a bridge. All we have to do is say that we understand that we are no great shakes. We all make mistakes and the mistakes have kept us from being close to God, sort of like germs would. Then we have to believe that Jesus died because He took all our sins onto Himself.
When He was resurrected, He would serve as the way back to God.
If we say we believe all of that, we can cross the Jesus Bridge. Who wants to be with God again?
If so, repeat after me:
God, I know that I mess up. I don’t mean to, but I am part of this “fall.” I need help getting up and over and back to you. I believe Jesus died so that I could have life with you. I would like to use Jesus to come back to you. I would like to cross the Jesus Bridge.
If anyone said it, he can cross and be with God again.
If anyone crosses, make an enormous big deal.
Wow, you made God so happy! He is so glad to have you back! Will you promise to speak to Him often? Will you ask Him to help if you mess up again? Will you ask Him what he’s like so that you can be his good friend?
tear up the masking tape lines.
…God will take all these lines away…when we live with Him in heaven. We’ll be able to go anywhere we want and do everything with Him. Let’s pretend we’re up in heaven and sit down here and have a picnic feast with God.
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