JESUS DIED IN MY PLACE
Globe, pitcher, torn paper from previous lesson
Paper cross made to fit over the torn part of the paper, tape
Small present box (optional)
Last week we talked about why Sin IS such a big deal, and maybe you remember I used 3 things to help us understand it.
The first was this piece of paper that I tore. Who remembers what that helps us understand?
And the globe? - do you remember the verse that taught us that?
And finally, the pitcher of poison? And why is that true? Romans 6:23
At the end of last week, I told you that there is very, very good news alongside this bad news, and tonight we’re going to look at that. It comes at the second half of Romans 6:23. Let’s say it together:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now this gift of God is so very simple to receive – God calls you and me to believe in Jesus. That is called faith. You don’t have to be good to earn God’s gift of eternal life. You don’t have to pray really really hard to get it. You don’t have to promise never to sin every again to get it. It is a free gift. God says – will you take it?
But it is a gift that cost more than we can understand. And that’s what we’re going to think about today.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, he died for all our sins. My sins, your sins, sins of people who lived long ago, people who aren’t even born yet, people who live in China, in India, in France, in Canada (point to globe). Small sins, big sins. Every sin. Every sin that deserves what? (hold up poison) – death.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to pay for my own sins – to drink the poison I’ve earned. I certainly can’t imagine taking another person’s sin or two or three. I have my own poison, and can’t handle any more! What might it be like to take the sins of all of you? How much poison could I handle?
Who could do that? Nobody. Nobody could take my place even if they loved me, because they are sinners too, right?
Maybe people wish God would just say sin doesn’t matter. But God is holy – perfectly good – and He can’t do that. And God knew that. He could have just said – you sinned, you live with the consequences. And we really couldn’t tell God he wasn’t fair, could we?
But thank God, he is fair AND he is also kind, and full of mercy. And God found a way, and only He could have done it.
The only way the sin of the world could be taken away was if there was someone who loved us enough to take on all the punishment we earned, and didn't sin. This person had to be so strong that he could handle the poison from me, and you and thousands and thousands of sinners, and drink that poison. And that person was Jesus. But how could Jesus do it?
Here is God's marvelous plan. Jesus was human, just like you and me, right? But he was also something else – He was God. And that is how he was the only one who could save us. Jesus had to be human – become like us – to die for us. But he couldn’t sin, or he would need to drink the poison for himself, right? The Bible is clear that Jesus was the only human being who never, never sinned. But that wasn’t enough just to not be a sinner.
No human is strong enough to take on the evil of the world. Only God is strong enough to take on all the evil of this world and win! That’s why God’s plan allowed Jesus to be full human and fully God.
When Jesus was nailed to a cross, every sin, ever lie, every murder, every hateful word, every punch, every sin was put on him. Sins from every part of the globe (point to globe) and when God the father saw the horrible, evil sins on His very own Son, God turned away from Jesus. (hold up torn pages). Jesus was separated from God. And Jesus died. He drained every bit of poison out on himself.
And if that was the end of the story, how could we ever know that God’s plan worked?
We KNOW it worked because 3 days after Jesus died, something totally wonderful, totally crazy, totally fantastic happened! (have kids answer)
When Jesus rose from the dead, it was the proclamation that God’s rescue plan worked! Jesus was stronger than all the sins in the world, he was stronger than the poison that he took. He won! And that’s why Christians think Easter is the very best day ever!
But God’s gift doesn’t stop there. This is a 2-part gift! Not only does Jesus take the sins of the world upon that cross, but he gives us back His goodness. All my sins are taken away and in their place, Jesus gives me His goodness. That’s how even though I’m still a sinner, I can be called God’s child! Jesus’ goodness is MINE! And God’s love pours into me. Am I perfect? Not at all! But I’m forgiven!
(take paper pieces and tape together with cross in the middle).
And now the choice is yours. We know SIN is a big deal. And we know it’s a killer. But we know that God made a way for the poison of sin to be taken by another who was stronger than sin. It is a mighty gift – a very, very costly gift. Have you ever received it?