I know you are thinking– interactive object lesson? Is that a thing? Well, it is today. This is one of the best lessons that I was able to do with my kids to help them learn about Jesus’ forgiveness in a fun way. It is super simple and very effective. It is easily adjusted depending on students’ age. The only thing I am going to say is that you need really good erasers like these.
1 John 1:9
- Have students draw a large heart on their paper. If you’d prefer, you can print out large hearts instead.
- Ask the students if the heart is pure. Since it is clean, the answer is yes.
- Tell them, sometimes even when you are trying to do a good job, we mess up anyway. What is a way that we may mess up?
- Once a student tells you a sin, tell them that sin clouds up your heart. Write the sin on the heart (big!) and have the students do the same.
- Ask the students what might happen after that. True to connect all of the sins. For example, if the first sin they offer is stealing, then tell them you might lie to cover it up because you don’t want them to know. Then write the next sin on your heart and have students do the same.
- Repeat these steps until the heart is full of bad things.
- Now ask them, do you think that Jesus still loves you even with this? (Yes!) But do you think he can live in your heart with all of that stuff? (No.)
- We need Jesus’ forgiveness sometimes. Can someone tell me what forgiveness is? How do we get it?
- Read 1 John 1:9
- Ask them “So what do we need to do to be forgiven?” Once they say that you need to admit it and ask for it, ask them, “Why do you think that you need to say it out loud?” (Because we don’t want to hide that it happened. We have to admit it so that we are being honest.)
- What else do you think would be a good thing to do? Guide them until they answer that you should talk to the people that you wronged.
- Go through each of the sins on the heart and “make it right” by talking to the person you wronged, making it right, and asking for Jesus’ forgiveness. Each time, erase the sin from the heart. Have the students do this as well. (This is why you need good erasers like these!)
- Once it is clean, ask the students if they will think it will sty like that forever. (No.)
- Tell them: It’s probably not going to stay pure forever. Even if you try hard, you will probably mess up every once and a while. The important thing is that we try to do our best to be like Christ, and that we ask for forgiveness when we mess up—and quickly after! We don’t want to end up filling our heart with sins, because then we will have a lot of stuff to fix.
- Give the students a few minutes (play a quick worship song) and ask them to think about something they may need to ask forgiveness for, and to pray for it. At the end, pray a general prayer over them that they will learn from this lesson and try to keep their hearts pure.