Loosening the Bonds

A Living Hope

Third Sunday of Easter, Year A

Today is a day for testimony. We need to remind ourselves and one another that we have indeed been set free. Maybe we can talk about what we’ve been set free from. Maybe we talk about obstacles overcome. But the simple fact of freedom is what we focus on today.

Week 2: April 26 - Setting Our Faith and Hope

1 Peter 1:17-23

Note to the Teacher: Learning Outcomes: Students will understand that their sins have been cleaned by the blood of Jesus. They will also see the correlation between Jesus’ sacrifice for us and our faith in God.

The key phrase in this scripture comes from verses 19-20.

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, not only do we experience a deep sense of love for God, but also a deep sense of love for 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.

Opening Question: What is something you put your faith in each day? (Examples to help them think: Your alarm will wake you up; a chair will hold you up; your car will start, etc.)

1. Ice Breaker: Water Illustration (10 minutes)

Option 1: High Tech (If not in the same room, have students look up on their devices as well.) Use this illustration of how Jesus has taken our sin away from us:

Option 2: Low Tech (If you cannot show a video or want to do it in front of your group.) How To Video (Black light option):

Ice Breaker Debrief:

  • Why did Jesus need to take on all of our “dirt”?
  • How is Jesus still clean, even after taking on all of our “dirt”?
  • How does this illustration help you understand your relationship with God?

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Our scripture reading today comes from 1 Peter 1:17-23. Please read from the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) and The Message.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Verse 17 is a direct command. What is the author (Peter) saying we should do?
  • Verses 18-19 refer to our icebreaker illustration. How was Jesus the perfect lamb? What is this in reference to? (Exodus 12)
  • Why does God allow God’s Son to be sacrificed on our behalf? Why is this necessary?
  • Verse 21 talks about faith and hope in God. What are things in our lives that we give over to God? (Refer back to opening question to compare.)
  • Explain how faith, hope, and love correlate with one another and in our human relationships and in our relationship with God.
  • How can we show deep love to one another? How can we show deep love to those we don’t know well or those we don’t like to be around?
  • Why do we need to do this?
  • How does verse 23 bring you hope?

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

If you are face to face: “Trust Walk”

Have students pair up, maybe first with someone they are close with; and another time, with someone they don’t normally talk to. One person puts a bandana over his/her eyes, the other will take that person on a trust walk.

(This could also be done if you are gathering virtually with a parent or a sibling.)

If you are gathering virtually (or not):

As an illustration for loving deeply, collect a list of shut-ins or first responders in your church. Have students make cards to take or mail to shuts-in, military personnel, first responders, and others.


  • Ask students to discuss the difference in their trust levels, depending on who was leading them.
  • Is there a human that you feel you can put your total trust in?
  • Have you ever been disappointed by someone you thought you could trust?
  • What do acts of kindness illustrate for others?

50 minutes


  • YouTube of Water Illustration (high-tech option)
  • Computer with speakers or TV
  • Water Illustration (low-tech option on your own)
  • 3 clear vases
  • Bleach
  • Iodine
  • Empty water bottles
  • Tonic water
  • Black light (optional)
  • Bandanas for Trust Walk
  • Supplies for Cards

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