Jesus Lives for Me - a free kids' devotion
Before beginning, print a picture of a very strong man. You can do an internet search for “world’s strongest man” and come up with several options. Also have a picture of Jesus available.
One option below in the “Taking It Home” section includes using a Jesus Lives for Me! toy tambourine—one per child; another option is included if you choose not to use these tambourines.
Welcome, children! Wow, you are all looking great today—very healthy and strong! Hmm . . . I wonder, just how strong are you? Have you ever lifted something really heavy? (Allow volunteers to respond.) That’s great!
I want to show you a picture now. (Show picture of strong man.) This guy is one of the strongest men in the entire world! Look at his muscles. I bet he could lift a truck or maybe push a school bus! What do you think? (Allow volunteers to respond.) Wow - he’s got a lot of power!
Today, we are going to talk about a man who is even more powerful than this guy with all the muscles. It’s Jesus!
Let’s look at Jesus. (Either show children a picture or point to one in your meeting area.) Does he have a lot of muscles? It doesn’t look like it. So, maybe he isn’t very strong? (Allow time for children to discuss.) Most of the people in the Bible didn’t think Jesus was very strong. But I’m going to tell you two stories from the Bible that prove that Jesus is the most powerful of all!
The first story happened in the town of Bethany. One of Jesus’ best friends, Lazarus, was really sick. His sisters wanted Jesus to come and heal Lazarus, but Jesus wouldn’t go. Lazarus died and they buried him in a cave. A few days later, Jesus went to see Lazarus’ sisters. They were terribly sad, but Jesus told one of the sisters this:
I am the resurrection, and the life (John 11:25 KJV).
Then, Jesus did something incredibly strong and powerful, something no other person could ever do - he brought Lazarus back to life! Lazarus wasn’t dead anymore—Jesus gave him life again!
The second story takes place on a hill called Golgotha. For many, many years, people had been sinning - doing bad things that disobeyed God. Even though they were doing these bad things and it made God mad, God still loved his people. He promised to send somebody who would save his people from their sins and make them friends of God again. Jesus was that Savior! And because his love for us is so strong and so powerful, he came down to earth to rescue us from our sins.
Jesus was strong enough to live a perfect life—even when everybody else was sinning. Then, he was strong enough to take all of our sins upon himself and endure the punishment for our sins. On that hill called Golgotha, Jesus hung on a cross and died—a death so powerful that it defeated sin. Lazarus died because he was sick, but Jesus died because he loves you!
Jesus’ friends buried him in a cave and they were all very sad. But then, Jesus did something else incredibly strong and powerful, something no other person could ever do—he rose from the dead! His resurrection is what we celebrate on Easter. Jesus was stronger than death! He is risen!
Jesus lives for me! He lives for all of you too! His love for us is so powerful that nothing could hold it back - not our sins, not death on a cross, not being buried in a tomb. Jesus loves you more than anybody in the world ever could!
Because Jesus lives for us, we have his power too (Galatians 2:20). No, we can’t raise people from the dead, but we can do other incredible things. You can comfort a friend when he’s sad. You can help your mom when she is cleaning. You can carry boxes for your neighbor. These things may not seem like a big deal, but they are all powerful because they share Jesus’ love with other people!
(Option to use with the toy tambourines:)
Let’s celebrate Jesus’ Easter victory and his power that lives in us. You will each get a tambourine and we are going to get loud and excited with these tambourines!
We are going to take turns saying our parts. When I point to you, shake your tambourine and shout, “Jesus has the power!”
(After each of these statements, point to the children so they’ll respond.)
Jesus lived a perfect life!
Jesus healed many sick people!
Jesus raised people from the dead!
Jesus died and rose from the dead!
Jesus will raise me, too, someday!
Now, let’s switch places: I will say, “Jesus has the power” and, when I point to each one of you, you will shake your tambourine and say, “Jesus lives for me!” (Go through the group, pointing to the children and encouraging them to shake their tambourines as they say the phrase.)
That was wonderful! I want you all to keep that excitement for Jesus and his powerful love. Remember that Jesus lives and loves you - with a love so strong and powerful that nothing can hold it back!
(Option to use without the toy tambourines:)
Let’s celebrate Jesus’ Easter victory and his power that lives in us. I will say, “Jesus has the power,” and when I point to each one of you, you will say, “Jesus lives for me!” (Go through the group, pointing to the children when they say the phrase.)
That was wonderful! I want you all to keep that excitement for Jesus and his powerful love. Remember that Jesus lives and loves you—with a love so strong and powerful that nothing can hold it back!
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies one of CTA’s Easter themes Jesus Lives for Me! This theme includes kid-friendly Easter send-homes like sidewalk chalk, a flying disc, and much more!
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2019, 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.