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Lesson 1 – The Bible… A Story Mosaic

Preparation
Prior to starting this lesson with your children, make sure you have a physical Bible that contains both the Old and New Testaments.  Even though we live in a digital world, I think it’s important that children know how to actually “handle” the Scriptures.  They should, at some point, feel comfortable “finding their way” through the Bible – knowing how to locate a particular book, chapter and verse.  Additionally, you’ll need a computer with internet access to illustrate a photo mosaic of Christ (http://mosaically.com/PhotoMosaic/2b090639-c376-41e8-bb03-a74841e0573e).

Lesson
The Bible is a large book containing 66 smaller books (sometimes called the “Scriptures”).  These books are grouped together into two volumes – the Old Testament  and the New Testament (sometimes abbreviated as OT and NT).  The Old Testament contains 39 books, and the New Testament contains 27 books.  These books contain the stories of God’s relationship with mankind/humans.  Some of the books are stories of individuals, some are the stories of nations, some tell the story of how the world began and how it will end, some are unique and filled with poetry and wise sayings, some are letters written to an individual or a Church, and some are about the life and teachings of Jesus.

What’s important to understand is that God inspired certain people to write these books/Scriptures, so we could understand His love for us.  All of the books, and all of the stories, were written to perfectly illustrate one Person – Jesus.  Jesus is God’s Son, and the story of His life and death shows us who God is, and how much He loves us.

Maybe you’ve seen a picture mosaic before.  A picture mosaic is one picture made up of many other, carefully arranged, smaller pictures.  The Bible is like a “story mosaic” – all of the books, and all of the stories they contain, help us to clearly see the story of God’s love for us, through His Son, Jesus.

If you click on this link you will see a picture of Jesus.  If you zoom in on the picture, by clicking the “+” button in the bottom right corner of the picture, you will see that the picture of Jesus is made up of many smaller pictures of people and their lives.  When you zoom out (by clicking the “-” button), you will see the picture of Jesus again.  This is a good example of what the Scriptures are like, and why they were written.  Ultimately, all of individual books and stories of the Bible, when properly arranged and understood illustrate Jesus.  God wants us to know His Son, because when we know His Son, we know Him, and His love for us.

Scriptural Readings/Compilations
Note: All of the scriptural compilations I list in this blog are from the New Living Translation (NLT).  I purposely left the verse numbers in the text so that your children would be familiar with the “look” of the Bible.  Please explain to them that chapters and verses are a way of “breaking down” the Bible into smaller reading sections.  Also, the “Notes” are for your understanding – you can choose to share them with your children if you wish.

Day #1 – Luke 24:13-48

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened.15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.16 But God kept them from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces.18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
19 “What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people.20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him.21 We had hoped he was the Messiah [the title for “the One” who saves God’s people] who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report.23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive!24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?”27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on,29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them.30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them.31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them,34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.”40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,43 and he ate it as they watched.
44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.”45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’48 You are witnesses of all these things.

Day #2 – John 5:39-47

39 “You [the Jews] search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me [Jesus]!40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
43 For I have come to you in my Father’s [God’s] name, and you have rejected me… 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

Day #3 – Isaiah 4:2 – 9:7
Note: In this passage, I have underlined all of the metaphors/images and titles that illustrate Jesus.

4:2 But in that day, the branch of the LORD
will be beautiful and glorious;
the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory
of all who survive in Israel.
7:14
… the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
9:1 … there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
2 The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

Day #4 – a Christian song/hymn from Psalm 117
Note: The hymn below is meant to be sung or read antiphonally (i.e., two persons/groups sing or read the text back-and-forth).  Let your children read the bolded text, while you read the verses.  Again, the Psalm verses illustrate Christ – He destroys his enemy (death); He lives (resurrection) to reveal the works of His Father; He is the stone that is rejected (crucified), but Who becomes the cornerstone of the Christian Church; and finally, He is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.

God is the Lord and has revealed himself unto us. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.
Verse 1: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Ps. 117:1)
God is the Lord and has revealed himself unto us. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.
Verse 2: My enemies surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all in the name of the Lord. (Ps. 117:11)
God is the Lord and has revealed himself unto us. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.
Verse 3: I will not die, but I will live to tell what the Lord has done. (Ps. 117:17)
God is the Lord and has revealed himself unto us. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.
Verse 4: The stone rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous to see. (Ps. 117:22)
God is the Lord and has revealed himself unto us. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.
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