The Sign of Jonah

Tuesday:The Sign of Jonah
Story Passages: Jonah 1-3; Matthew 12:38-41
Other Passages: Matthew 27:59-63, Luke 24:5-6, Romans 3:23, 6:23
Objective: Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin.
Memory Verse: Romans 6:23, For the wage of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Christ Jesus our LORD.
Story: Jonah
God told Jonah, "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because it is wicked." But Jonah ran away from God, got on a ship sailing in the other direction. Jonah told the sailors he was running away from God, but God sent a great storm. The sailors were afraid they would sink, and they prayed, but the storm only got worse. They threw things off the ship to make it lighter, but that didn't help, so they asked Jonah what to do. "Pick me up and throw me into the sea, and it will become calm." So they threw him in, and the storm stopped. God didn't leave Jonah in the water: he sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. While he was inside the fish, Jonah prayed, and he repented, and God had the fish spit him out on the land.
First Point: Repentance
What does it mean to repent? (To change your mind and behavior.) Why did Jonah need to repent? (Because he wasn't doing what God said.) What happened when Jonah repented? (God forgave him.)
Now Jonah obeyed, went to Nineveh, and preached that the city would be destroyed if they did not turn to God! The people believed God and repented. The king told everyone to stop sinning and to pray to God for forgiveness. God saw that they repented, and he didn't destroy the city.
Why did the people of Nineveh need to repent? (They were wicked.) Why did they repent? (Because they believed God.) What happened when they repented? (God forgave them.)
Second Point: The Sign of Jonah
Did you know that Jesus talked about Jonah? He did. One time, some Pharisees came to Jesus and asked to see a miracle. He told them they were wicked, and that the only sign he would give them was the sign of Jonah: Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the big fish, so Jesus would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
What does it mean to be in the heart of the earth? (He was underground: buried.) When was Jesus in the heart of the earth? (When he was dead. After he was crucified.) Why did Jesus need to die and be buried? (To pay the penalty for our sins.)
Invitation: Romans 6:23
Your memory verse tonight will be Romans 6:23. [Read the verse once.]
What are wages? (something you earn) How do you earn death? (sin) What is sin? (anything you do that doesn't meet God's standards) How many people sin and earn death? Since we have earned death, what can we do to let Jesus pay our penalty? (Romans 10:9, confess Jesus is Lord, believe God raised him from the dead.) Is there any other way to escape death? (No, John 14:6)
Offer to discuss this further with any children who stay behind after the lesson.

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