Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story takes us back to Jerusalem where the returning exiles were rebuilding the temple. At this time, Darius was king of Persia. The Persian Empire was vast, so Darius appointed governors over the provinces. A man named Tattenai watched over the province that included the land of Judah. Tattenai noticed the work of God’s people, and he was concerned. He sent a letter to King Darius. “Is this allowed?” he asked. “The people say that King Cyrus said they could rebuild the temple and the city. Please investigate this matter.”
King Darius did investigate, and Cyrus’s decree was located in the Babylonian records. Darius instructed Tattenai to allow the people to rebuild the temple and the city. “In fact,” Darius wrote, “give them whatever they need from the royal treasury. And if anyone gives them any trouble, he will be punished.” God had turned the heart of the king for His people’s favor. (See Prov. 21:1; Ezra 6:22.) The people completed the temple. They dedicated it joyfully and observed the Passover.
God’s people rebuilt the temple so they would have a place to worship God. God declared in Haggai 2:9 that the glory of this second temple would be greater than the first. This prophecy was fulfilled by the presence of the Messiah, the Son of God. Years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be with His people. Now God dwells not in the temple, but directly with His people. Because of Jesus, we don’t need a temple anymore.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story focuses on the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah was a priest who had been born in Babylon and returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. The returning Judeans were struggling to finish rebuilding God’s temple. In fact, several years had passed without progress on the temple when God called Zechariah to prophesy.
Zechariah’s message was twofold: first, look back and remember the past. Second, look forward and prepare for the future. God wanted His people to learn from the mistakes of their parents and grandparents who had ignored the prophets’ warnings. Zechariah set out to encourage the people.
Zechariah emphasized God’s promise: “A king is coming.” God was going to help His people and give them a different kind of king. Jesus is the King who came and rode humbly on a donkey, just as Zechariah said. Because Zechariah's prophecy came true in Jesus, we can have hope and forgiveness of sins when we trust in Jesus.
The Gospel Project for Kids