Have you ever read the Bible like a “real” book? You know, one of those page-turners where you read for several hours in a row because you are enjoying the book so much and want to see what happens next. If you have, I would imagine you discovered what I did. When the Bible is read like that, you get an overwhelming sense of the big picture of God’s Plan.
You see the Bible is like a giant crossword puzzle. Everything that happens, every prophecy, every command and principle are designed to fit together. They all are pointing towards our need for God, our Creator. They help us understand how our sins separate us from God, but God doesn’t want that separation to exist. He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so we can have the hope for eternal life. The puzzle is a picture of grace and love, but also of obedience, worship, service and faith sharing so others can join us in Heaven one day.
As you look at the various Bible stories you teach your students, think about how this story fits into the puzzle. Does it directly prophesy about Jesus? Does it illustrate how our sins separate us from God? Does it show God’s desire to be in a close relationship with us? Does it foreshadow something about the life of Jesus? Does it give us examples of how to follow God’s plan for our lives? Does it tell us specifics of how our life should be when we are following God?
Helping your students understand the big picture of the Bible and how everything in the Bible fits into that picture perfectly will give them a new appreciation for it. Encourage older students to read the Bible in a few days like they would a “regular” book. Ask your students why they think God may have included the story you are teaching in the Bible. Have them consider how they too are a piece of God’s puzzle and what they need to do to make their lives fit into the puzzle in the ways God would want them to do. Adding the big picture to your class will add a new level of understanding and appreciation your students have for the Bible and God’s Plan.