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LESSON PLAN: THE BIG GOD STORY: God Wants Us to Share the Good News! Bible Passage: Matthew 28:16–20; Acts 1—2 The Great Commission & Ascension When you have “good news” to share, what do you do? Do you shout, or scream, or talk really fast? Do you have a happy face or a sad face? Do you jump up and down? Do you spike a football or shake a pom pom? When we have “good news” to share, we usually celebrate in some way. I know I’m going to do a lot of celebrating when the governor says we can all come back to church. Woohoo!! That will be good news for sure!! This past week we celebrated something pretty amazing. Do you remember what? (Invite responses.) Right—Jesus died on the cross and rose again so our sins can be forgiven and we can have a relationship with God! Can you imagine how excited people were when Jesus came back to life? They couldn’t believe it! This was Good News! It was the best news ever! Not everyone thought this was good news. The people who killed Jesus didn’t want to believe it, so they paid the soldiers to lie and say someone had stolen Jesus’ body. (Matthew 28:11-15) But after Jesus rose from the dead, He stayed on earth for about 40 days! During that time Jesus appeared to His disciples. They touched His scarred hands and feet. Jesus ate with the disciples and talked about the kingdom of God. Jesus really was alive! Jesus couldn’t stay on earth with His disciples. He had to go back to heaven to be with His Father. (John 14:1-4) But, before He went back to heaven, Jesus had a job for His disciples, a special “mission” that He wanted each of them to do: (Read Matthew 28:19-20 NIrV) “… go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

What did this mean? What did Jesus want them to do? Jesus wanted His disciples to share the Good News—about His death and resurrection—with people everywhere, so they could be His followers / disciples too! Jesus knew the disciples couldn’t complete their mission to share the Good News with everyone by themselves. He knew they would need help. So Jesus told His disciples He was going to send them a special gift. (Invite kids to read Acts 1:8), “‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ After Jesus said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight’” (vv. 8–9). Was God’s Story over? Absolutely not. A new part was just beginning! The part where Jesus’ disciples/followers complete their mission and share the Good News with people all over the world! Are you a follower of Jesus? Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and came back to life? If you do, then Jesus’ mission to share the Good News is for you, too! So how can we do this? How do we share God’s love and the Good News about Jesus with others—especially now when we need to stay home to be safe? Great question! Talk with your family about ways that you can share God’s Good News with others. I’d love to hear the ideas that you come up with. Come back next week to hear about the special Gift Jesus was sending to help the disciples accomplish their mission. Becci Terrill Children’s Ministry Director