“The Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.”1 John 4:14. (NIrV)
“She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That is because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 (NIrV)
“Here is a saying that you can trust. It should be accepted completely. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1st Timothy 1:15 (NIrV)
“Christ died for sins once and for all time. The One who did what is right died for those who don’t do right. He died to bring you to God. His body was put to death. But the Holy Spirit brought Him back to life.” 1 Peter 3:18 (NIrV)
Jesus is our Savior! Jesus saved us! A Savior is someone who rescues. So the Son was sent to rescue the world. Rescue them from what? Sin & death. Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
How did Jesus save us?
Jesus saved us by taking the punishment for our sin when He died on the cross.
1. Jesus never sinned – He is perfect
“But you know that Christ came to take our sins away. And there is no sin in Him.” 1 John 3:5
Jesus is the only one who has never done anything wrong, so He is the only one who can rescue us who have done wrong.
Because Jesus never sinned He was the perfect person to save everyone. He was like us, but He was able to do something that no one else ever has. He never sinned! Jesus obeyed all of God’s rules perfectly.
Think about it: Jesus as a boy your age. He never disobeyed His parents; He never stole; He never lied; He never lost His temper; He never called someone a bad name; He never had a bad attitude. He never disobeyed God, not once. It’s hard for us to imagine, because we do those things. It’s hard to imagine someone not doing those things, but Jesus didn’t. Not once. Jesus was born and grew up and lived a perfect life. He didn’t sin.
Illustration: Use a white board or large poster board. Ask the kids to help you make a huge list of sins. One by one ask the question, “Did Jesus do this?” Answer: No. As you answer “no,” cross out that sin until all the sins are crossed out.
2. Jesus took our sin when He died on the cross
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8
“He gave His life to pay for our sins. But He not only paid for our sins. He also paid for the sins of the entire world.” 1 John 2:2 (NIrV)
God’s plan was to have Jesus who has no sin take the punishment for all of us who have sinned. When Jesus died on the cross He took the punishment for the sins of the entire world.
In God’s plan, our debt was paid not by us, but by Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, God, the Father, put all our sin on Him, and Jesus took care of the debt we owed to God. Because Jesus died on the cross, sin is punished, the debt is paid and God is able to forgive us.
Because Jesus never sinned, he was the perfect substitute for sinners. What is a substitute? A sub is someone who takes the place of someone else. (like a sub teacher at school; they teach in place of your usual teacher.) God put the punishment of sinners on Jesus. Jesus took the place of sinners. Jesus took the punishment for all the sins of all the people. That is why Jesus died on the cross. So that God, the Father could punish Jesus instead of having to punish His people.
Have a child come to front. Have them stand on large piece of poster. Tell them this is their place. Then call another child up. Give them a sign that says “substitute.” Have them stand in the first child’s place. Say, “This child is being a substitute. Jesus acted as a substitute for sinners by taking the place of sinners. How? Jesus was willing to take the punishment for all the sins of His people.”
Illustration: Have the first child sit back down. Take away the substitute sign and give the child a sin that says ‘sinner.’ Then have them leave the spot and put a cross there instead. Say, “The punishment for sin is death. Jesus took our punishment when He died on the cross. Sin is paid for and sinners are saved all because of what Jesus did. Jesus is our Savior!”
Where is Jesus now?
Jesus died on the cross. But Jesus didn’t stay dead. Three days later he came back to life and now Jesus is in heaven with God. Jesus is a living Savior!
The next post in the series will be about salvation. See you soon!
Check out the other blogposts in this series!
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Introduction
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about God
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Sin
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Jesus Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Jesus Part 2
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Salvation Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Salvation Part 2
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Following Jesus Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Following Jesus Part 2
- 7 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Kids
- Recommended Resources for Helping Kids Understand the Gospel