Week 3 objective: to discover that Jesus' name means ‘Saviour’ - someone who saves or rescues people. Christians believe Jesus has saved them from a life without God, they believe he has saved them from the wrong things they have done.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game about being rescued.
Explain to the children how to play ‘Stuck in the Mud’.
Ask for a volunteer to be ‘it’. The remaining children should run around while ‘it’ tries to tag them. When ‘it’ tags a person they become ‘stuck in the mud’. The stuck player cannot move and needs to stand with their arms stretched out until they are rescued. To rescue someone, a free player must run under the stuck person's outstretched arms.
The game continues until everybody (apart from ‘it’) is ‘stuck in the mud’. If ‘it’ is struggling to tag everyone, choose an additional person to be ‘it’ so that two people are chasing the free players.
If you have a small group or the children would rather not play a running around game, print sufficient ‘Stuck in the Mud’ puzzle pieces and sheets for one set per child (see Printables).
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, a Bible, a book of baby names, the ‘name badge’ (see Printables) and the “‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness” infographic (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper, print and cut out the name badge.
Read the verse aloud with the children, or ask an older child to find it in the Bible, then read it to the group. Remind the children that last week we learnt that Jesus doesn’t change; he is the same yesterday, today and forever. Underline the words ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ and ‘forever’ as you say them.
But what is it about Jesus that stays the same? We know that he didn’t stay as a baby and we know that he didn’t stay on earth. The best way to find out what doesn’t change about Jesus is to take a closer look at his name. This week we are going to find out more about the name ‘Jesus’. Next week we will find out more about his title ‘Christ’.
Circle the word Jesus in the verse. Show the children the book of baby names. Explain that our names have meanings and Jesus’ name has a meaning too. The name ‘Jesus’ means ‘Saviour’. A saviour is someone who saves people or rescues them. Show the children the name badge. Remind the children of the game they have just played and talk about how the ‘free players’ had to save the stuck players. (If the children completed the puzzle talk about the farmer saving the walker from the mud). In the games we could describe the ‘free players’ and the farmer as ‘saviours’ or ‘rescuers’, because they saved the people; they saved people from the mud. The Bible teaches that Jesus is The Saviour because he saves people; Christians believe Jesus saves people from a life without God, they believe he saves people from the wrong things they have done.
If you have time talk about why Christians believe people need to be saved. Explain that the Bible teaches that when God made the world he made it perfect. In God’s perfect world he created a garden. In the garden he put two people, Adam and Eve. Everyday God visited his people. But one day Adam and Eve did something wrong – they disobeyed God. The Bible calls the wrong things people do ‘sin’. The sin crept into the lives of Adam and Eve and began to change them. With sin in their lives they could no longer be close friends with God in the way they had once been. The sin spoilt Adam and Eve's friendship with God and separated them from him.
Christians believe sin can still keep people apart from God today. In fact the Bible says that everybody, everywhere has done wrong things and before people turn to God their sin spoils and separates them from him. Christians believe sin makes God sad because it spoils things he loves and separates people from a life with him.
But the Bible teaches there is good news. Although thousands and thousands of years ago disobedience spoilt God's creation, God had a plan to put things right. His plan was to send his son Jesus the Saviour to live with people.
If you still have a bit more time explain how Christians believe Jesus saves people from the wrong things they have done. Explain that the Bible teaches that on the cross Jesus took the punishment for all the wrong things people have ever done. On the third day God raised him back to life. Show the infographic and explain that because Jesus lived, died and rose again, everybody everywhere can now be forgiven for the wrong things they have done. Everybody everywhere can say ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness and the sin that spoils and separates can be wiped away. Everybody everywhere can now become close friends with God.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘B-I-N-G-O’
Yesterday, today, forever Jesus never changes,
Je-sus, Jesus Christ,
Je-sus, Jesus Christ,
Je-sus, Jesus Christ,
Oh Jesus never changes.
Divide the children into two groups. Ask one team to sing the name ‘Jesus’ and the other to sing the title ‘Jesus Christ’. Explain to the children that at the appropriate moment they should stand to sing their part of the song then sit back down again. Encourage everybody to sit down together to sing the first line of the song.