My husband and I joke that we’ve taught our 5-year-old son, Gideon, the essentials: Love Jesus, watch Star Wars. Often when we do our nighttime Bible story in the Gospel of Matthew, Gideon confuses Satan’s deeds with the Empire. (According to Gideon, Adam and Eve destroyed the planet. I was kinda proud of him, until I realized G was talking about the Deathstar.) Our conversation while we were studying the parable of the vineyard workers (Matt. 20:1-16) went like this:
Me: Jesus was saying the workers who hurt the servants and the son were like the people who hurt God’s prophets and put Jesus on the cross.
Gideon: They hurt Jesus and put Him in a hole with a rock on it. His friends were so sad.
Me: That’s right. But God made Jesus alive again, and His friends were so happy to see Jesus again. Not only that, but because of Jesus, we get to be with Him forever when we trust in Him.
Then Gideon rolled over in bed and hit me right in the gut. He asked, “Does that make sense, Mommy?”
“No, the gospel does not make sense. But it’s true,” I explained. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—who had existed beyond time in perfect love and fellowship with each other—created the earth and mankind to bring glory to Himself. God created us, and the Bible says He planned to send Jesus to die on the cross and rise again to rescue people from sin before He ever laid the foundations of the earth. (Eph. 1:4) Adam and Eve’s planet-destroying sin in the garden didn’t catch God by surprise. God had already planned to send His perfectly sinless Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to take the punishment we deserve for our sins. If that wasn’t amazing enough, the Bible says, “God made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Even better than that: God raised Jesus from the dead so we can know that His death was enough to satisfy the righteous requirement for sin. (Rom. 8:3-5; 1 Cor. 15:16-19) The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within us forever, giving us eternal life with Jesus forever! (Rom. 8:11)
To quote my curious 5-year-old, “But why?!”
Because of His great love for us! God’s undeserved, often unrequited love. The Bible says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 8:5) Not when we had knuckled-down on our sinful habits and did enough good deeds. When we were God-haters, God loved us enough to send His Son to give us life with Him forever. (Rom. 5:10)
What are some ways you help kids understand God’s amazing plan to rescue us from sin?
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