Jesus’ Triumphal Entry

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This week in Antioch Kids, we are celebrating Jesus as the King of Kings. It was customary for many of God’s people to travel to Jerusalem for Passover, the major Jewish spring festival. Jesus and His disciples traveled to Jerusalem as well. Just before they got there, Jesus sent two disciples ahead into a village to bring Him a donkey. Jesus sat on top of the donkey and rode it into Jerusalem.

When people saw Jesus coming down they street, they recognized him as their promised king. To worship him, they laid their robes on the ground in front of Him. They also waved palm branches high in the air. As Jesus passed by, he could hear them shouting, “Hosanna!” Hosanna means: save us.

All of these people hoped that Jesus would save them, but from what? They believed He would save them from the Romans, the foreign army who had invaded their land. They wanted a new ruler on the throne.

Jesus came to save them in a better way– he left heaven, came to Earth, and died on the cross so He could begin to reconcile his creation. He was inviting all of creation to return to God– this includes you and me!

Jesus is the Son of God who came to overthrow sin and set up an eternal throne. One day, Jesus will return to earth as King over everything.  As you prepare for and celebrate Easter, help your kids understand these truths:

  • God’s promised Messiah was Jesus!
  • Jesus came to reconcile and restore all of creation.
  • Jesus came to Earth because He loves us.
  • People praised Jesus as their King.

God Brought His People Home

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This week, kids at Antioch will learn that God brought His people back home. For 70 years God’s people had been living in Babylon. Some of God’s people were born in Babylon, but they knew that Israel was their home. Everyone was waiting for God to set them free and lead them home.

Finally, the time had come for God’s people to go back home.

Cyrus was the new king. The Lord did something amazing in Cyrus’s heart. God changed his heart and Cyrus declared that everyone from Israel was free to return home. The exile was over! King Cyrus even gave God’s people enough money and supplies to get home and to rebuild their city, their temple, their lives.

When they arrived in Jerusalem, they began working to rebuild the temple. Once the foundations of the temple were completed a great celebration of God’s faithfulness happened. The priests dressed in special robes and the people cheered and cried. God had given them a home.

The temple was the place where God met with His people on earth. God wanted His people to be with Him and the people wanted to be with God. This isn’t the only time God lead His people and then invited them to return to Him. He has done that for you and I, too! When Jesus came, it was God’s way of reminding the world that we are made to be with Him and was His invitation to return to Him. We are made to be with God, and He knows we ought to be with Him. Right now, He is with us in spirit. And when Jesus returns, he will restore a greater home for all of His people, and we will spend eternity with Him.

We encourage you to remind your kids about this Bible story and reinforce these key points:

  • God changed the king’s heart and the king freed the people of Judah.
  • God brought the Israelites back home.
  • Zerubbabel led the people to build the temple.
  • Jesus came to give us a new home with Him forever.

Daniel Was Rescued

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This coming Sunday at Antioch, kids will learn about how God rescued Daniel from hungry lions. The people of Judah had been in captivity for a long time now. A new king, name Darius was on the throne. Daniel was much older now and King Darius trusted Daniel with the important job of being a supervisor over a large part of the kingdom.

Daniel was very good at his job. So good, in fact, that King Darius planned to put him in charge of the entire kingdom. The other supervisors and governors were jealous of Daniel. These jealous leaders wanted Daniel to mess up and get fired. Daniel was good and did the right thing every time.

Since Daniel was not messing up, the other leaders came up with a plan to get Daniel into trouble. They convinced King Darius to make a law saying people could only pray to the king for the next 30 days. If the people prayed to anyone else, they would be fed to the king’s lions. Daniel chose to honor God by only praying to God. Daniel’s jealous co-workers caught Daniel praying to God and turned Daniel in to the king. The king had no choice but to throw Daniel in to the lion’s den, even though the king did not want to.

Daniel was in the lions’ den all night long. When morning came, the king rushed to find out what happened to Daniel and discovered that Daniel was alive and unharmed! God protected Daniel and the king made it ok to pray to Daniel’s God.

Like Daniel, we can choose to trust and honor God. We can know that God alone is able to save us. God showed us His power to save from death when He brought Jesus back to life.

Take time this week to talk with your kids about these points in the story:

  • People were only supposed to pray to King Darius.
  • Daniel would not pray to anyone but God.
  • Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and God rescued Daniel.
  • God rescues us and give us life.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

This week, kids at Antioch will continue to learn about Daniel and his friends. Last week we learned that King Nebuchadnezzar invaded the nation of Judah and took them into exile in the land of Babylon. Daniel and three of his friends were part of the exile and chose to obey God in this new land.

It is while they were still in exile that this next story takes place. As you might imagine, the king felt as if he was on top of the world. He had experienced victory after victory, his riches were unfathomable, and he was feared throughout the land. With this highly inflated ego, he built a tall gold statue and issued a new law: “When you hear music, you are to fall down and worship the statue.” The penalty for defying this law was severe. “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire” (Dan. 3:6).

When music played, all the people bowed down and worshiped the gold statue. Well, almost everyone. Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow down and worship the statue. They would only worship the one true God. They knew that only He was worthy of their worship.

Some locals told on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. But not even the threat of death could convince the three friends to renounce their loyalty to God. The friends’ trust in God enabled them to stand firm no matter what—even as they were tied up and thrown into the fire.

Then something miraculous happened. King Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the fire! They were walking around, unharmed! The Lord not only rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He was with them. God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire. Only He could rescue them.

As you review this story, help you child understand that:

  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved God.
  • When given an option, they chose to worship God.
  • God kept the friends safe from the fire.
  • God wants us to only worship Him.
  • God helps us obey Him.

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