Contents - Object Lessons using natural laws. 2. Chemical laws.
Filled with the Holy Spirit.
What happened at the cross - Jesus takes away our sins.
Filled with the Holy Spirit.
Place some Baking soda in a glass - the narrower the better. Add a little food colouring for a more visual effect. Pour in Vinegar, to represent the Holy Spirit. Stir. The solution should froth over the top of the glass. i.e. a picture of us being filled to overflowing with the Spirit.
What happened at the cross? - Jesus takes away our sins.
For this object lesson you will need two chemicals - Potassium Permanganate and Sodium Metabisulphite. ( These are both solids and can be obtained from Chemical suppliers ), a large glass jar, four smaller glasses, and two sticks tied together to form a cross. One of the sticks needs to be hollow at one end ( A bamboo cane is ideal ). The hollow end will form the bottom of your cross.
Wrap 2 or 3 grams of Sodium Metabisulphite in a paper tissue and secure it with a small rubber band. Insert the package into the bottom of your cross. Push it down so that it is out of sight.
Dissolve a few grains of Potassium Permanganate in about 250 mls. water (or, alternatively Iodine solution can be used instead). This will produce a maroon coloured liquid to represent "sin."
Half fill your large jar with water. Fill one glass with your Potassium Permanganate solution. Half fill the other three glasses with water, and mark them "Good works", "Church" and "Money" - or, any suitable alternatives which some people think will solve our "sin" problem.
This can vary depending on your preferences and the children you are ministering to, but I usually proceed ( often after presenting the "What is Easter all about?" puppet play) along the following lines :-
Hold up the large jar. In the beginning God created a perfect world, and the best thing He made was people. He made them rather like this glass of water - clean on the outside (representing our bodies), and clean on the inside (representing our hearts or spirits).
However, the first people disobeyed God, and this act brought sin into the world and spoiled it all. Pour in about half of the "sin" solution. The jar contents should now be a fairly deep maroon colour. So this now is the problem we are all born with - sin or selfishness on the inside (you could give a few examples here).
Down through the years, some people have realised they have a selfishness problem, and have tried many ways to overcome it. Some have thought the answer may be Good Works. Pour in the "Good works" jar. God does want us to be good to each other but, as you see, that doesn't solve our "sin" problem.
Some have thought the answer was going to church. Pour in the "Church" jar. It is an excellent idea to go to church, and by doing so you will probably find the answer to your problem. But, as you see, going to Church in itself is not the answer.
Some have thought "If I gave half my money away to the poor, surely God will be really pleased with me and take away my sin." Pour in the "Money" jar. God does want us to be generous, especially to those who don't have as much as we do but, as you see, that still doesn't change us on the inside.
Actually, no matter what we try, it is impossible to change ourselves. But the good news of Easter is that what we can't do for ourselves, God has already done for us. It was on the cross that Jesus died in our place to take away our sins. Pick up your cross and place it in the jar. If you have got your concentrations right, the maroon solution will become clear within a few seconds. If not, gentle stirring with the cross should produce the desired effect.
Conclude the illustration as you think appropriate, but I usually proceed as follows :- Some of you may be thinking "I once did put my trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross, but then I did something bad (e.g. shouted at my dad, was cheeky to my mum, had a fight with my brother etc. ). Does that mean that I have become dirty on the inside again? Lets see shall we. Remove the cross from your jar, then pick up the remaining Potassium Permanganate solution and pour a little at a time into it - repeating the "sins" just mentioned (e.g. being cheeky to your mum). The maroon colour should vanish on making contact with the solution in the jar. Now please don't misunderstand me. If you do do something wrong, you need to ask God to forgive you. But, as you can see, once you have put your trust in Jesus and He has taken away your sin, you stay clean on the inside. nd that is the Good News we remember at Easter.
There are many ways of explaining the trinity to children, but the one I like the best is very visual, and involves the use of food colouring.
If you ask at a cake shop, they should be able to tell you where to obtain food colouring in powder form. This comes in a variety of colours.
Stick small pieces of double-sided sticky tape to the inside bottoms of three glasses. Choose three suitable colours, and place a little on each tape. These food colourings are very concentrated, so only very small amounts are required, and are consequently unlikely to be noticed by the children. However, you will probably need to determine by trial and error the best way to do this preparation.
Show a jar of clear water. State "There is one God, represented by the water in this jar, who is made up of three different Persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit." As you are talking, pour some water into your three glasses to produce the three different colours.
Depending on your group, you could then go on to discuss the different aspects of the three Persons of the trinity in more detail.
A similar illustration could be used if you are teaching about the "water into wine."
Story - "Hank".
This is a story that also incorporates an object lesson. I have used it myself many times, and the response has always been good.
You will need a white cloth handkerchief, folded to one sixteenth its full size - i.e. about 10 cm. square, a bottle of iodine, and two drinking glasses, marked "Good deeds" and "Jesus" respectively. In the "Good deeds" glass, add water, in the "Jesus" glass, add either a solution of sodium metabisulphite, or a colourless bleach.
I want to tell you a story about a boy named "Hank". (Show the folded handkerchief). Hank was a typical boy, and liked doing things that other boys like going to school. "Who likes going to school?", doing his homework. "Who likes doing their homework?", and playing games. "Who likes playing games?"
But, just like a lot of boys (and girls), Hank sometimes did some naughty things. "Have you ever done any naughty things?"
One afternoon, Hank came home from school to find that his mother had made a big pile of his favourite cakes. His mum said "Hank, don't you dare touch those cakes. We are all going to share them together for tea. I am going out to the shops now, but don't you eat any of those cakes while I am away."
Hank was left alone in the kitchen with his favourite cakes. And that is when he made his first mistake. Instead of going to a different room where he wouldn't be tempted, he remained in the kitchen - looking at, and thinking about those delicious cakes. Eventually the temptation was too great for Hank, and he ate a cake - - - - and then another, and another, and another - - - until they were all gone!
When we do wrong things, like stealing, it spoils our relationship with God, and makes us dirty on the inside. (Put the handkerchief over the top of your iodine bottle, and invert it - leaving a brown stain).
When Hank's mum came home, and found that the cakes had been eaten, she said to Hank. "Hank, I told you not to eat those cakes." But hank replied, "It wasn't me mummy, I didn't eat the cakes." Hank lied (Make a second stain on your handkerchief). Then Hank continued "It was my brother that ate the cakes." Hank tried to put the blame on someone else (Make your third stain). When Hank's brother found out what he had been saying about him, they ended up having a fight. (Make your fourth stain).
Eventually, Hank realised all the wrong things he had been doing, and that this was making him dirty on the inside. So this is how Hank now saw himself. (Hold up the handkerchief with the four stains). "But how did God see Hank? Because this is what is really important. This is how God saw Hank. (Completely unfold the handkerchief to show all the stains - 64 of them, all equally intense). God not only saw the wrong things that Hank had just done, He also saw all the wrong things Hank had ever done - because Hank had never been forgiven, and these stains (what the Bible calls sin) were still spoiling Hank's life.
Hank had a friend who told him that to be forgiven and get cleaned up on the inside, he had to do lots of Good deeds. So hank did. (Put the handkerchief in the "Good deeds" glass, and mix it around). Firstly, Hank said sorry to his mum for stealing the cakes, and then lying about it. And to prove he really was sorry, he washed the dinner dishes for her - without being asked. Then Hank apologised to his brother, and tidied up his room for him, to show he really meant it. Afterwards, Hank cat the lawn for his Dad, and even began to share his sweets with his friends. Did all these good deeds clean Hank up on the inside? (Remove the handkerchief from the glass). No. They were still there. In fact, the stains now seem to have all run together.
Fortunately, Hank had another friend who told him how he really could be forgiven and cleansed. He said "Hank, Jesus is the only one who can forgive you, and make you clean." So Hank told Jesus what he had done, and asked for His forgiveness and cleansing. (Put the handkerchief in the "Jesus" glass). Did this clean up Hank? (Remove the handkerchief, showing that all the stains had been removed). Yes. Jesus is the only one who can forgive our wrongs, and clean us up on the inside.
Hank said "This is good news. It is too good to keep to myself. I have some friends who also do wrong things. I will have to tell them about Jesus." So he did. (Put the handkerchief in the now brown coloured "Good deeds" glass, and give it a mix. Remove the handkerchief, showing that both it, and the solution are completely clean.)
What a good end to our story. Not only did Jesus clean up Hank, He did the same for his friends as well. And Jesus can do the same for you.