“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
- Share this story with your family… There was once a man who didn’t believe in Jesus. He thought the whole idea of God sending His Son as a man was foolish. Even though his wife and children tried to make him understand, this man refused to believe in Jesus. One night a huge snowstorm blew in and as the man looked out his window, he saw a group of sparrows huddling on the branches outside. “Those birds will freeze to death in this blizzard!” the man thought, so he put on his coat, ran outside, and opened the barn door. This will be a place they can be safe and warm, he thought to himself. But there was one problem. The birds didn’t know that the barn would keep them safe. The man tried shooing them into the open door, but they only fluttered around and settled again on the barren tree branches. Again and again the man tried to get the birds into the safety of the barn. But it was useless. Finally, in frustration, the man said to himself, “If only I could become a bird for a few minutes. Then I could tell them the danger of the storm and how to get to safety.” Suddenly the man realized what he’d just said. He finally understood what his wife and children had been telling him about Jesus. The best way for God to tell us about the danger of sin and live a life of obedience and die in our place was to become a man!
- Ask: How does this story help you to better understand why Jesus became a man? How are we like the sparrows? (We wouldn’t know the way to heaven without Jesus telling us in words we can understand.)
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:21 aloud together.
- Ask: What exchange did Jesus make with us? (He takes our sin and we get His righteousness.)
- Optional illustration: Have two kids each put on a big coat or robe. Point to one coat and say, “This represents us and our sin that keeps us from God.” Then point to the other child and say, “This represents Jesus and His perfect righteousness.” Then have the kids swap coats. This is how God rescues us… we get Jesus’ righteousness and He takes our sin.
- Explain how only a perfect Man could satisfy the requirement to pardon us from the penalty for our sinful choices and provide perfect righteousness. Instead of being separated from Him by our sin, Jesus came to provide a way for us to have a relationship with God.
TABLE TALK (QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS AND WRAP UP)
- Who knows how we accept His free gift of forgiveness? (Make sure your family understands it’s not based on our being good but rather on His goodness and provision.)
- Who do we know that isn’t a Christian? (Take time to pray for them together.)
- Close in prayer (you can either close yourself, call on a child to pray, or have each person pray).
KEEP IT UP (WAYS TO CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION)
- Memorize today’s verse together, 2 Corinthians 5:21.
- Sing “Lord I Lift Your Name On High” together.
- Share your testimony with your family.
- It’s never too early to teach your kids that God wants a decision from them: Will they accept His offer of forgiveness and eternal life, or reject it? They must see that being raised in a Christian home doesn’t automatically make them a Christian. They must choose for themselves.