Children’s Sermon: The Meaning of Ash Wednesday

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Use this Ash Wednesday children’s sermon to teach kids about the hope we have in the resurrection.

Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11

Needed: nothing

Children’s Sermon

Read or summarize Matthew 4:1-11.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike Your foot against a stone.”

“Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’

“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give You,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’

“Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”’

“Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.”

Tell students, In a few moments, the pastor is going put ashes on our head in the shape of a cross. Does anyone know why he’s going to put ashes on our head? What do the ashes mean?

The ashes remind us that we are all going to die someday. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He never sinned. Jesus never did anything wrong in His whole life. But we do sin, and we do things that are wrong. The Bible tells us that God’s punishment for the wrong things we do is for us to die someday. So, we put ashes on our head to remind us that death is the punishment for our sin.

The reason that we put the ashes on our head in the shape of a cross, though, is to remind us that even though we’re all going to die someday, Jesus has saved us. We’re still going to die as a punishment for our sin, but because Jesus died on the cross to forgive us for all of our sins, we won’t stay dead. We’ll live forever with God and Jesus in Heaven, and when Jesus comes back to Earth at the end of the world, He will bring our bodies back to life, and we will live forever with Him.

So, the ashes remind us that death is our punishment, but the cross reminds us that death isn’t the end because of what Jesus did for us.

Closing Prayer

Father God, You are right to punish us for the things that we do wrong. We are sorry for our sins. And we thank You for sending Jesus to forgive us for our sins and give us a chance to live with You forever in Heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

You can also find this children’s sermon for Kindle or in print in my book, Holy Days: Children’s Sermons for the Holidays.

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