The Best Sacrifice
Items Needed: Two T-shirts (one white T-shirt in clean, new condition, but kept out of sight until needed); Black marker
To illustrate that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice who took our place, do the following object lesson.
After Adam and Eve sinned, everyone born since then is born with a desire to sin.
What are some sins—wrong things we think, say, or do? (Tell lies; steal; disobey; fight; hate; etc.)
Let the kids write these sins in a messy, haphazard way on the T-shirt. Make big ugly marks as you talk about how sin breaks God’s rules and how sad it makes God. (Put the ugly T-shirt on one of the kids.)
God said that sin must be punished. God knew man would sin, so He made a plan before the world was ever created. Not only would sin have to be punished, but God would provide the sacrifice. He would send His only Son to take the punishment. (Pull out the clean, white T-shirt.) Jesus, who was perfect and had never sinned, was willing to suffer the punishment we should have received.
Jesus took our ugly sin (Take the ugly, “sin” shirt off your child.) and made us clean. (Have him put on the clean shirt.)
Why do you think He did this? (Because He loves us.)
Say a prayer of thanks that Jesus sacrificed His own life so we could have our sins taken away and be clean before God.
Really, Really Hard Things
Read the story aloud from Genesis 22:1-19.
What are some hard things God has asked us to do? (Forgive others; love certain people; obey the first time; etc.)
God asked Abraham to do something very hard, but God knew all along that He would provide the ram for the sacrifice. God provided the ultimate sacrifice in Jesus, so we know that God is good and will do what is right. When God asks us to do hard things, we can obey Him knowing that He is wise and will do what is best.
Note to parents: It feels a little bit weird to teach your children that God asked a man to sacrifice his only son on an altar to Himself, doesn’t it? The foreshadowing to Jesus is beautiful, but that doesn’t mean it can’t make you feel a bit strange; almost like it’s a joke gone too far. But God’s request to Abraham wouldn’t have hit his ears the same way it does ours. Though it would have filled Abraham with dread, sacrificing a first born to the gods was a common thing in the pagan religions during that time. When God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, He showed that He is a God of grace, always providing what we need.
Let Me Count the Ways
Items Needed: Piece of paper or cardstock; marker
Make a running list of things God provides for us. Stick it on the fridge and add to it all week. Remember not to just think of physical provisions (food, clothing, house, car, etc.), but add spiritual provisions. (See list below from Ephesians 1.)
Good things God provides for us through Jesus in Ephesians 1:3-14:
- Holiness—(Ephesians 1:4)
- Family/Adoption—(Ephesians 1:5)
- Grace—God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense—(Ephesians 1:6)
- Forgiveness of sins—(Ephesians 1:7)
- Wisdom—(Ephesians 1:8)
- Inheritance—(Ephesians 1:11)
- Holy Spirit—(Ephesians 1:13)