Guardian of the Soul

A Living Hope

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A

How many ways can we present the 23rd Psalm? Let’s sing it; let’s pray it; let’s read it; let’s recite it together. So many know this psalm and love it; it is a heart song for many of us. Lean into it. Ask the youth to rewrite it; ask the older adults to reinterpret it. Find different ways of living into this psalm.

Week 3: May 3 - By His Wounds

1 Peter 2:19-25 and Isaiah 53:5-9

Note to the Teacher: This passage can be very difficult to understand and hurtful to some, especially anyone who has suffered physical abuse. Please be sensitive to this as you present. Before you read the scripture, share the following:

  • Abuse is not sanctioned by God and neither is injustice.
  • Endurance equals faithfulness; Peter was offering hope as he was speaking to those who had to endure their tough situation.
  • Peter’s letter is to those who were suffering in a fallen world to offer solidarity to those who feel helpless and without a voice

Learning Outcomes: Students will understand that God notices when we are punished for things we have not done. They will also see that Jesus was punished for things he never did, but Jesus took it all in for us. They will also understand that our trust continues to be in God, who judges.

The key phrase in this scripture comes from verses 21 (“Christ suffered for you”) and 23 (“He trusted in God”).

The ice breaker gives students a physical example of how Jesus’ sacrifice has cleansed us of our sin.

The discussion encourages students to explore the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin and how that connects us with God. They will also see how through this connection, we experience a deep sense of love for God and one another.

The activity allows youth to experience the difficulty of putting our trust in others and/or the importance for us to love one another deeply (depending on which activity you choose).

Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but can be adjusted.

1. Opening Question/Ice Breaker (10 minutes)

Can you think of a time when you were punished for something that you didn’t do?

  • How did it make you feel?
  • What was your reaction to the situation? How did you handle it?
  • Has the opposite ever been true?

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

***Don’t forget to talk about the disclaimer in Notes to Teacher***

Our scripture reading today comes from 1 Peter 2:19-25 and Isaiah 53:5-9. Please read from the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) and The Message.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Who is the audience that Peter is speaking to in these verses?
  • Why do you think it was important to him to send this message to them?
  • How could this bring a message of hope?
  • How can we relate to the message today? We are not slaves, but what situations are you in where you are not the person in charge?
  • Why didn’t Jesus respond to those who shouted at him and made fun of him?
  • What lesson can we learn from his actions?
  • Look at the Isaiah verses.
  • Why do you think Peter referred to the Isaiah verses here?
  • How do they help him get his message across?
  • What comfort do these verses bring us today?

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

“Partner draw”: This can be done if you are doing a face-to-face meeting or virtual meeting.

  • Have students pair up and sit back to back, looking in two different directions.
  • One person will have a writing utensil and a piece of paper.
  • The other person will have a drawing in front of him or her. It is fun for everyone to have the same drawing. (The drawing could be a simple picture, or it could be just shapes drawn on the paper.)
  • Give students a set amount of time to describe the picture to their partner.
  • When time is up, everyone can share, then trade places so everyone gets to draw
  • This activity can be done virtually. The person who has a drawing can describe the picture without anyone else seeing it.


  • What was it like to be the person “in charge” (describing the picture)?
  • What about those who had to do the drawing or take the orders?
  • What emotions did everyone experience? Did you get mad at each other? Frustrated?
  • Do you prefer to be the one who is the leader in a situation or the follower?
  • Give examples in your life when you get to be the leader? What about when you are a follower?
  • What can we learn from these verses in Peter if we are leaders or followers? How should we, as Christians, behave in these situations?
  • End your time together in whatever way is natural for your group.

50 minutes


  • Paper
  • Markers, pencils, crayons
  • 2 sets of drawings for each set of pairs

In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


  • Gold
  • White

In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes