This is a bit of an unconventional lesson that I decided would be ripe for an object lesson. As much as I tried to think of ways to make this interesting for kids to hear I couldn’t get past the obvious object lesson of having two types of dough, leavened and unleavened.
I realize that might sound like a lot of work = making bread dough, but in reality with ingredients in hand it takes all of 20 minutes. Once you commit to make the dough you will be thrilled you did when your kids are fascinated by it during your lesson.
All that said – this lesson is about the leaven… so with 3 different ‘objects’ to show the kids (leavened dough, unleavened dough, and yeast) let the the fun begin!
How many of you enjoy cleaning your room? What about cleaning the WHOLE house? Not that much fun, right? Today we are going to talk about cleaning, but its a different kind of cleaning.
To start, let’s rewind and go back in history a little bit.
The children of Israel were a group of more than a million people living as slaves in Egypt. After being slaves for 430 years God used his power to free them from Egypt and the rule of Pharaoh. This was a fantastic day for them, they were finally free! After knowing nothing but the life of a slave, they were now free to live however they wanted.
[pullquote cite=”BetterBibleTeachers.com” type=”left, right”]they do something kind of funny…[/pullquote]
Once they had left Egypt, God wanted to them to remember how He rescued them from slavery. So he told them to remember the day they left Egypt every year with a 7 day feast – The feast of unleavened bread.
Fast forward a couple thousand years and there are Jews all over the world who every year who still celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
But they do something kind of funny…
Hide and Seek
Before the feast starts the parents will take some bread, regular bread like you and I think of, and they will hide pieces of it all over the house. Then, once all the bread is hidden all the kids go on a mission to find the bread.
They basically play hide-and-seek with bread. Sounds kinda odd, right?
Well imagine this…
What do you think they do once all the bread has been found?
Eating it would make sense, right?
Well they don’t eat the bread they find. They go outside and burn it. That’s right, they play hide and seek with bread, then, once all of it is found they go burn it.
Sounds a little strange, huh?
Here is why they do all of this…
When they find the hidden bread, they are finding all of the leavened bread in the house.
They are on a mission to remove all of the leaven from the house.
Leaven, for the Jews, is a symbol of something else. Leaven is a symbol of sin.
So when the Jews go on a search for all the leavened bread in their house, they are showing how sin needs to be removed from their life, and from our life.
Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, talks about leaven as a symbol of sin as well. He doesn’t say leaven itself is bad, but if we understand how leaven works, we can understand a little how sin works.
Here’s what I mean:
(Bring out unleavened bread dough)
This is what unleavened bread dough looks like. If you were to put this into an oven for 30 minutes, you’d get thin pieces of bread that look like crackers.
And this is what God wants our lives to look like. In fact, the only way we can have a relationship with God is by having an unleavned life…a life that is sin-free.
Now, if you add leaven to this bread dough, it changes dramatically.
You want to see dough with leaven looks like?
(Bring out bowl of leavened dough)
This is leavened bread. This is just like the unleavened dough…the only difference is that this has a leavening agent added to it. If you were to put this into an oven for 30 minutes you’d get the regular bread you and I eat all the time.
The only difference between these two pieces of dough is a leavening agent called yeast.
This is yeast.
(hold up a bag of yeast)
Isn’t that amazing…something as small as these little tiny grains of yeast, makes such a dramatic difference in the dough.
You see, when you add a leavening agent to dough, it changes everything.
The leavener starts to make its way through the entire lump of dough and adds little air pockets and bubbles in it. When this happens the dough rises and gets a lot bigger, and more puffy. A leavener is important to use if you don’t want bread that looks like flat crackers.
With this understanding we can see how sin works.
When we do what is wrong, we sin. And when sin gets added to our life, it changes us. In fact it even puffs us up like the leaven did to this bread dough.
Here’s what I mean…
Sin Puffs Us Up
How many of you have ever told a lie?
I know I have.
What happens when you tell a lie and you don’t get caught? You wait, and wait, and then you think to yourself “I didn’t get caught…I got away with it!” At that moment you ‘puff yourself up’. You think of yourself a little differently. You feel like you got away with something.
[pullquote cite=”BetterBibleTeachers.com” type=”left, right”]You walk around a little cocky – knowing you got away with something. You are ‘puffed up’.[/pullquote]
You walk around a little cocky – knowing you got away with something. You are ‘puffed up’.
And soon enough you tell another lie…and if you don’t get caught, you tell another one. It becomes easier and easier to sin. Like the leaven in the dough, your sin puffs you up and changes you.
Now the problem is, you are no longer able to have a relationship with God. The leaven, or sin, in your life prevents you from being connected to God.
What we need to do is take the leaven out. We need to take the leaven, or the sin, out of our lives.
But do you see the problem?
(hold up the leavened dough ball)
Can we pick out all the pieces of yeast out of here?
No way! It’s impossible. It would be impossible to try to remove the yeast from this dough.
And the same is true of your life.
As hard as you try, you still sin. As much as you want to, you can’t stop doing what is wrong.
It is literally impossible for you to get the ‘leaven’ or the sin out of your life.
So what do we do?
We look to the only person who can help us.
We look to our Redeemer. The man who has the ability to take away sin because of His great power and because of what He did for us on the cross.
Jesus – our Redeemer has the power to remove the ‘leaven’ from our lives.
What is impossible for us, is possible for Him.
What we can’t ever do…He can do!
And all we have to do is ask Him.
So let’s practice right now. Let’s talk to the one who rescued us, and saves us, our Redeemer, Jesus. Let’s talk to Him and ask Him to remove the sin from our lives.
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