Use this Valley of the Dry Bones Sunday School lesson to teach children about hope, and our ultimate hope, in God.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
Can anyone think of some bad things that have happened to you? Some things that made you sad?
The two kingdoms of Israel and Judah had been conquered. God let the Assyrians and the Babylonians conquer Israel and Judah because the people of Israel and Judah had done so many bad things. They had believed in and worshipped fake gods instead of the real God, and they had done all the wrong things that God didn’t do want them to do. So God let the Assyrians and the Babylonians conquer their kingdoms and carry the Israelite people back to Assyria and Babylon.
But even while the people were in Assyria and Babylon, God gave them prophets to teach them and to tell them the right things God wanted them to do. One of those prophets was a priest named Ezekiel, and one day, he saw something very strange.
(Read Ezekiel 37:1-10 with your students.)
What happened to the bones and the skeletons? (God made them come back to life.)
The Israelites and the people of Judah were very sad to have been conquered and to have to live in Assyria and Babylon, but God told Ezekiel that just like He could bring skeletons back to life, so He could bring the Israelites and the people of Judah back to their own country. Even though God had punished the Israelites, He would forgive them and bring them back. Even though they were sad for now, God would make things better later.
Did you know that God can always make things better for us?
Whatever sad thing happens to us, God can always make it better.
And just like God brought those skeletons back to life, the Bible tells us that one day, Jesus is going to bring everyone who has ever died back to life.
Jesus is going to come back down from Heaven and He’s going to bring with Him the spirits of everyone who has died and gone to Heaven. Then He’s going to make their bodies come back up from the grave and make them live again. They’ll look just like they did when they were alive and they will never die again. They won’t even get hurt or get sick or get old. Their bodies will be perfect.
And if we believe in Jesus, then Jesus will make our bodies perfect too, so that we can live forever and ever with Him.
That’s pretty neat, isn’t it?
So just remember, no matter what happens to us, God can always make things better. God can even bring dead people back to life.
Game: Resurrection Tag – Pick one student to be It. That student is Death. Pick another student to be Jesus. When Death tags someone, they fall down and lie on the ground like they’re dead. Jesus can then come tag them and they can get back up. If Death tags Jesus, Jesus must count to three (because Jesus was dead for three days), but can then get up again. If Jesus tags Death, the round is over. Play until everyone has had a chance to be Death and Jesus or as long as time permits.