The Power of Christ's SacrificeI don't know about you, but I am still amazed at the power, sacrifice, and glory displayed on Resurrection Sunday. Christ Jesus, the Son of God, became fully human in order to bear my suffering, grief, and punishment for sin. Each year I like to read Philippians 2:1-18, Isaiah 53, and Psalm 22 around Easter time. They really seem to bring into focus what was happening when Jesus died on the cross that day. Here is just a snippet.
"He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:3-6 (NIV)
Praise God almighty who conquered sin and death so we might turn to Him and live!
In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Revelation 5:12 (NIV)
Teaching TipHere is something very important for Children's VBS and Sunday School leaders, directors, and lead pastors to remember: Kids are very literal-minded, concrete thinkers. NEVER leave Jesus dead or on the cross. If the child does not come back for the rest of the story, they may live for years thinking they killed Jesus with their sin and there is no hope. This actually happens and it is VERY dangerous. A friend of mine counseled a lady who struggled with God and church well into adulthood because a children's Sunday school teacher made this very mistake. The girl never heard the second part of the lesson and she bore the scars for years.
"If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matthew 18:6 (NIV)ALWAYS at least hint that the story is not over yet. Better yet, quickly say Jesus came back to life again three days later. If that is your lesson for another day, simply say you'll learn more about that later. He is risen! (He is risen indeed!)