Lesson 1 – Peter Preaches After Denying
Series: The Early Church
Key Point: Jesus makes a difference in people’s lives.
Repeat this phrase throughout the lesson.
Bible Story: Mark 14:66-72
Challenge Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17—“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Each class needs the following:
“Jesus is Alive” Hearts—One heart per student. – These can just be hearts cut out of paper. They don’t have to be large. The hearts don’t have to say, “Jesus is Alive.”
“Jesus is Alive” Cross Sign—one per class—See the end of this lesson for this poster.
1 roll of toilet paper per class
1 six foot length of clothesline (or at least long enough to tie around a child)
Signs for: Peter, Servant Girl, Those Standing Near—You can hole punch these and use yarn to make a sign that will hang around a student’s neck.
Younger only—Have a coloring page ready or have blank pieces of paper ready for kids to draw a way that Jesus can make a difference in people’s lives.
Enough 2-foot lengths 5lb. wire for each child to have one..
A “New Life” Pattern for each student. An example is attached at the end of this lesson.
Enough 9X10 sheets of aluminum foil for each student.
Bible Verse Poster
– Set out the “Jesus is Alive” Hearts with a piece of tape on the back for each student.
– Tape up the sign with the cross on it for the opening activity.
– Set out the craft items for easy access.
– Pray for each student by name.
AS STUDENTS ARRIVE
– Greet each student by name as they enter.
– Give each student an attendance sticker for the attendance chart, and feel free to add guest names to the chart. This will give them a sense of belonging.
– Get to know any guests and help them fill out a guest form.
– Be sure to smile—Your smile and attitude sets the atmosphere as students enter.
OPENING ACTIVITY #1
As students enter, one at a time, give them a “Jesus is Alive” heart with a piece of tape on the back. Blindfold them about five feet away from the sign with the cross that you posted up before class began. Spin them around a few times and then see if they can put the heart on the cross. (This is like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” except using hearts and a cross.)
SAY: Jesus died on the cross for our sins and three days later He rose from the dead. He’s alive today and He’ll make a difference in the lives of everyone who is willing to give their lives to Him.
Ask the students: Who remembers what we talked about last week?
OPENING ACTIVITY #2
Choose one volunteer–Using the toilet paper, wrap your volunteer up from the neck down. (Feel free to let your kids help you with this.)
SAY: On the count of three, I want you to break free. 1-2-3.
Ask the students: Was that hard or easy? (Easy)
Choose a different volunteer–Use a rope or a clothesline and tie it around him. Then ask him to break through the rope in the same way that your first volunteer broke through the toilet paper. He can’t do it.
SAY: Sin is NOT like the toilet paper because no one can set themselves free from the hold sin has on them. Instead, sin is like the rope that ties you up, where you can’t get free on your own.
Ask the students: Is there any other way besides Jesus to have your sins forgiven? (No. He’s the only way.)
Ask the students: Is there anything a person can do that’s so bad that Jesus can’t forgive them? (No, Jesus died for all sins. So He can forgive anything, not matter how terrible it might be.)
SAY: Today we’re going to learn about someone who did something terrible, but Jesus gave him a second chance.
Ask the students: Who knows who Peter is? (One of the twelve disciples; he wrote 1 & 2 Peter in the Bible; etc.)
Rhetorical Question: Did you know that Peter made some big mistakes on the day that Jesus died? Today we’re going to learn about them.
Choose 3 volunteers.—Give them the following signs: Peter, Servant Girl, Those Standing Near.
SAY: After Jesus was arrested, Peter followed from a distance to see what was going to happen. Just a few hours earlier he had told Jesus that he would die for Him and Jesus had replied that before the rooster crowed the second time that night, Peter would deny him three times. Let’s see what happened.
Read the story below but be sure to tell the students that even though you are reading it out of the lesson book, it is from the Bible in Mark 14:66-72.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.
Have the Servant Girl repeat after you: “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.
But he denied it.
Have Peter repeat Peter’s words after you: “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, Have the Servant Girl repeat after you: “This fellow is one of them,”
Again he denied it.
After a little while, those standing near said to Peter,
Have Those Standing Near repeat after you: “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”
He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them,
Have Peter repeat Peter’s words after you: “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”
Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
SAY: Peter denied Jesus. He cursed and lied, but when Jesus rose again, He appeared to Peter before even appearing to the other disciples (1 Corinthians 15:5). Jesus forgave him and before long, listen to what Peter was doing.
Get ready for a Bible Drill.
SAY: Only one week after Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter stood in front of a huge crowd and told them about Christ. Three thousand people became Christians because of the message he gave that day! What a change! He ran from a servant girl one day but a few weeks later he stood in front of thousands to boldly preach about Jesus.
KEY: When people let Jesus forgive them and come into their lives, He always makes a big difference.
Call up a volunteer—to hold your Challenge Verse sign. Have students repeat it after you:
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 from your Bible.
A True Story
There was a little boy who had given his life to Christ but he knew that his uncle never had. His uncle was the meanest man in town and the boy didn’t know what to say to him. Every day, this boy would go in the barn during his chores, get down on his knees and pray that God would save his uncle. One day the uncle noticed that the boy’s overalls had holes in the knees, so he asked, “Boy, what’ve you been doing to wear out the knees of your pants?” The boy replied, “I’ve been praying for you uncle, that God will save you and change your life.” Just a few minutes later because of the witness of that boy, that uncle, the “meanest man in town” was on his knees giving his life to Christ. God saved him and made him a “new creation.”
Ask the students: What do you think the Bible means by “a new creation?” (That God gives the person a new life regardless of what he’s done in the past.)
Ask the students: What are the “old” things that are gone? (The sins and bad things a person did before he accepted Jesus into his life.)
Ask the students: Is there any sin so great that if a person asks for forgiveness that God can’t forgive him/her? (No.)
Ask the students: Is anyone so bad that God can’t save them? (No.)
Activity: God Can
SAY: If you think God can save the meanest man in town, go and stand against the wall on my left. If you don’t think God can save him, stand against the wall to my right.
SAY: If you think God can save a liar, go and stand against the wall on my right. If you don’t think God can save him, stand against the wall to my left.
SAY: If you think God can save a bully who hurts people for the fun of it, go and stand against the wall on my left. If you don’t think God can save him and change his life, stand against the wall to my left.
SAY: If you think God can save and change someone who gets drunk and does drugs, go and stand against the wall on my right. If you don’t think God can save him, stand against the wall to my left.
KEY: God will save anyone who wants to give Him their life—no matter what they’ve done in the past.
(3rd-5th Grade only)
(On each of the following questions, choose a one or two volunteers to answer. Then have everyone share their answers with the person next to them. This is something we want everyone to participate in. Be aware, though, that some of your students may not have a testimony. Be sensitive to this because you don’t want to embarrass them. Just let them know that it is okay and that there will be time in their life where they’ll realize that they need to give their life to Jesus. Also, don’t use this as an opportunity to single out a student to “witness” to in front of the class. If you perceive a need in one of your kids, pull them aside and talk to them in private.)
Ask the students: What was your life like before you gave your life to Jesus?
Ask the students: How did you realize that you needed Jesus?
Ask the students: What did you do when you gave your life to Jesus?
Ask the students: What difference did Jesus make? (I know for sure that I’m going to heaven, etc.)
Use the craft on the following pages to make a “Man” who demonstrates the “filthy rags” of sin but is given a new life.
Copy the “New Life” pattern at the end of this lesson for each of your students and have them bend light-weight wire to the shape of the man in the pattern. Tape the ends of the wire together to hold it in place. (If you teach younger students, you might want to do this part for them, or you might make one “man” as a class instead of letting each child make one.) Tell the students to wrap the figure and “stuff” him using the left-over toilet paper from the previous activity.
SAY: The toilet paper represents our sins, our “filthy rags”.
Take time while your students do this part to have them name some sins. Talk about why God doesn’t want us to do bad things and how bad things make a mess of our lives.
Next, give each student a piece of 9×10 sized (or close to this size) sheet of aluminum foil. Many times these can be purchases as pre-cut sheets. The students will then use these to wrap the man and make a moveable figure.
SAY: The foil represents the new life that only Jesus can give. Nobody else can forgive our sins.
Take time while your students do this part to have them name some characteristics of this new life—i.e., peace, love, joy, a relationship with God, the assurance of going to heaven, etc..
Once everyone is finished, SAY: Now all you can see is the new man…the new life that Jesus gives. You can’t see the toilet paper anymore. Of course, we all know that it’s still there. It’s not gone—It’s just hidden. But when Jesus takes our sins away and gives us a new life, our sins are COMPLETELY gone.
Everybody SAY: “COMPLETELY.”
SAY: Jesus doesn’t just cover up the bad stuff we’ve done. He removes it and gives us a brand new life, and this happens only when a person gives their life to Christ. That is the greatest decision that you’ll ever make and that’s what Peter was preaching about. That day about 3,000 people accepted Jesus as the Lord and Savior of their life. You can too…and if you ever have any questions about how or when to give your life to Jesus, you can always come and talk with me.
Get ready for some Bible Drills
Explain that today they are going to be looking for New Testament books of the Bible. You may want to do these drills in front of your Bible Book Chart.
Ready…The book of Acts…Go!
Ready…The book of Titus…Go!
Ready…The book of Romans…Go!
(If you have more time, feel free to look up other books as well.)
PRAYER TIME & WRAP-UP
List Prayer Requests
Be sure to pray specifically for each request.
Use any extra time to help your students memorize the verse for today.
*Craft Activity—Kid’s Quest Literature, Fall 2004, Lesson 6.
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