Are you ready for Vacation Bible School? VBS is a wonderful time where we have the blessing of sharing the love of Jesus Christ with children in our community. There will be delicious food, wonderful music, exciting crafts, great recreation, and most importantly Christ-filled Bible lessons. This year the kids will learn about five encounters with Jesus and learn that He is the Messiah, the Son of God and that when we trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord, He forgives our sin and gives us eternal life.
Encounter in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
When Jesus was 12 years old, His parents left Jerusalem after observing the Passover Festival and were unaware that He had stayed behind. After a frantic search, they finally found Jesus “in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” Those who heard Him were “astounded at His understanding and His answers.” When His mother Mary said they had been anxiously searching for Him, He replied, “Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in My Father’s house?” Jesus understood His purpose and who He is. He knew why He had come into this world. His business was the mission “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Encounter at the River (Matthew 3:1-17)
Roughly 18 years later, John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan river. Jesus came to him to be baptized. Initially, John resisted but Jesus insisted, “allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” When Jesus came out of the water, “the heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming down on Him. And a voice from heaven said: ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” John was baptizing “with water for repentance and was surprised to see Jesus coming to him. Even though Jesus did not need to be baptized (because He has no need to repent), He was baptized to reveal Himself as the Messiah. Jesus is the Son of God who became like us to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Encounter on the Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
Jesus told the people about the Kingdom of Heaven and performed many signs in order to prove that He is the Son of God. One of these important signs was walking on water. The disciples got into a boat and were terrified when a powerful storm arose. In their distress they saw Jesus walking on the water towards them and they cried out in distress. Jesus proved He is God’s Son with His power over creation. Jesus walked on the water because He commanded the water to uphold Him. The man who commands the wind and the waves and they obey Him (Mark 4:35-41) is the Lord of all creation.
Encounter at the Tomb (John 20:1-18)
On the first day of the week after Jesus’ crucifixion, a group of women–who followed Jesus–came to the tomb and found it empty. They told the Disciples and Peter and John, and they ran to the tomb finding it empty as the women had said. They were astonished. One of the women, Mary Magdalene, saw Jesus outside the tomb alive and told the disciples all that He said to her. Jesus rose from the dead and thereby defeating death. Jesus was raised from the dead by God to demonstrate that His sacrifice for sin was accepted. When we become Christians, Jesus’ death takes away our sin and His resurrection is the promise that we too will be resurrected to be with Him when we die.
Encounter on the Road (Luke 24:13-35)
Soon after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, two of His disciples were walking to a village called Emmaus and discussing everything that took place. Jesus appeared to them, but they did not recognize Him at first. Jesus “interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the scriptures”, saying “Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” Jesus makes Himself known to us. As John 20:31 says, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
These encounters with Jesus are all opportunities to respond in faith and receive God’s grace. Are you a Christian? Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ? Are you living your life in obedience to His commands? Are you placing your trust in Jesus in your everyday life? Eternal life begins today. Be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.