When the Israelites were ruled by judges, they fell into cycles of sin. Each time, their enemies overtook them and they cried out to God. So God raised up a deliverer to save the Israelites. (See Judges 3:9,15.) But when the judge died, they fell into sin again.
Samson was the last judge God raised up to deliver His people. At that time, the Israelites were under the control of the Philistines. Samson’s life was full of bad decisions, but God did not abandon him. Samson ultimately defeated the Philistines, but the victory cost him his life.
Samson is remembered as a tragic hero, not the admirable man one might strive to emulate. But the story of Samson in Judges 13–16 reminds us of a greater Deliverer—Jesus Christ. Jesus never sinned, but the Lord turned away from Him as He hung on the cross. Jesus gave up His life to secure the victory over our greatest enemies, sin and death.
As you teach kids about Samson, encourage them to think about Jesus, our Deliverer. Use the following verses to talk about the ways Jesus was victorious in His death:
- Galatians 1:4—Jesus gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age.
- 2 Corinthians 1:10—He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us. We have put our hope in Him that He will deliver us again.
- Colossians 1:13—He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.
- 1 Thessalonians 1:10—Jesus … delivers us from the wrath to come.
- 1 Corinthians 15:54—Death has been swallowed up by victory.
As Jesus hung on the cross, it seemed as though His enemies had won. But God was in control, and Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection was His plan for the salvation of sinners. We can repent and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and He will rescue us from sin and death.