God Provided the Perfect Sacrifice for His People (Mark 15) Lesson #31 in What is God Like?
AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 31 of 42 in our study on the Attributes of God called “Can you tell me what God is like?” Visit the series index to view all the lessons and get more ideas for using this curriculum in your children’s ministry.
LESSON 31: GOD PROVIDED THE PERFECT SACRIFICE
- Key Verse: “God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.” Romans 3:25
- Teaching Passage: The Crucifixion- Mark 15:21-40
- Supporting Texts: Proverbs 1:29, John 10:18, Hebrews 9:28, 1 John 2:2 & 1 John 4:10
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD PROVIDED THE PERFECT SACRIFICE written on it, key verse (Romans 3:25) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group, a large piece of art paper or poster board.
REVIEW PREVIOUS LESSONS:
Ask one of the kids in the group to remind you what you’re learning this year. Remind them that each week we’ll be looking into the Bible to answer the question… “Can you tell me what God is like?” and will be learning one of the many truths about God that we see in His Word.
Take a few minutes to review the attributes you’ve previously learned. Call out an attribute of God and have someone tell you what it means and/ or do the motion for that attribute.
- God is Almighty= He has absolute power or is all powerful
- God is the Alpha and Omega= He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last
- God is Awesome = He inspires awe and amazement
- God is Compassionate = He shows a deep concern for His people & a desire to meet their needs
- God is the Deliverer = He is the rescuer or savior
- God is Exalted = He is noble, elevated and lifted up
- God is Faithful = He is reliable, trustworthy, true to His Word & keeps His promises
- God Forgives = He grants pardon and cancels the debt of sin
- God is Glorious = He is full of glory (praise, honor & distinction)
- God is Good = morally excellent, virtuous or righteous
- God is Gracious = merciful, benevolent, kind & compassionate
- God Guides His People= He leads, accompanies, assists and gives direction/ guidance
- God Heals = make healthy & whole & free from ailments
- God is Holy = He is sinless, perfect and set apart
- God is our Hope = He is the One in whom our expectations are centered
- Jesus is Immanuel = God with Us
- God is Judge = He is the One who rules over and passes judgement on others
- God is Just = He is the One who is fair and does what is right
- God is King of kings & Lord of lords = He is The One who rules the rulers
- Jesus is the Lamb without blemish = He is the perfect sacrifice for sin
- God is Love = God has tender and caring affection for His people
- God is Majestic = God is stately, kingly, grand & raised up
- God is Merciful = God is full of compassion, pity, and undeserved grace & love for another
- God is Omnipotent = He is almighty or infinite in power
- God is Omnipresent = He is everywhere all the time
- God is Omniscient = He knows everything
- God is One = the Only God
- God Protects His People = He defends, guards, covers & shields His people
- God is Righteous = He is always right & He always does what is right
- God is the Rock = solid, strong and offering protection
TEACH- GOD PROVIDED THE PERFECT SACRIFICE FOR HIS PEOPLE:
Introduce the attribute for the morning by asking the kids what the word sacrifice means or what they think of when they hear the word. Some kids will probably say something about the Old Testament sacrificial system.Tell them that we’ll get to that in a minute, but first to imagine that they didn’t know anything about the Bible and then define the word. Talk about how in it’s own sacrifice means to give something that’s hard to give. Give a personal example such as- it would be a sacrifice for me to stop eating chocolate because I love chocolate so much. Explain that the word sacrifice has an element of giving something that’s important to you.
Then, BRIEFLY, talk about the Old Testament sacrificial system. Say something like,
“Ever since the first sin in the garden of Eden, sin had to be paid for. When Adam and Eve first sinned, God killed animals to make clothes for them and then punished them by sending them out of the garden. For a while in the Bible, we hear of sacrifices to God randomly as someone like Noah builds and altar and offers a sacrifice to God. But, once God established His people in Abraham and began the process of redeeming and rescuing His people in the time of the Exodus, suddenly we see God requiring sacrifices to pay for (cover up) sin. While the people were in the desert, God gave them laws that included lots of sacrifices. Every day, animals would be killed and burned as a sacrifice. None of these sacrifices got rid of sin. All they did was cover up sin so that God could dwell among His sinful people.
For God’s people to truly live in God’s presence a final sacrifice had to be made. But this time instead of people giving up their best sheep, God would be the one to make the sacrifice….”
Introduce the story from Mark 15:21-40. Tell the kids that you know this is a familiar story, but that you want them to listen as if they are hearing the story for the first time.
Use the following points to tell the story in your own words. Or, read directly from the Bible and them discuss these points.
- The soldiers led Jesus out to be crucified and they had a man named Simon carry Jesus‘ cross.
- The soldiers crucified Jesus at the place called Golgatha and they divided up his clothes between them.
- It was 9 am when Jesus was crucified. There was a sign above His head that said “The King of the Jews.”
- Two criminals were crucified on either side of Jesus.
- People who walked by insulted Him and teased Him. They told Him to come down from the cross and save Himself.
- It got dark at noon and stayed dark until 3 pm.
- Then, Jesus cried out, “my God, My God, why have you forsaken me? The people thought He was calling Elijah.
- Then Jesus took His last breath and died.
- At that moment the curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom.
- The final sacrifice had been made. There was no longer any need for shedding of blood. Sin was paid for. Jesus opened the way to the Father.
- When the soldiers and those standing around Jesus saw Him die, one of the centurions said, “surely this was the Son of God.”
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
Talk about how God was the One who offered this final sacrifice and how because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that His death was the last sacrifice needed for sin to be paid for.
PERFECT SACRIFICE = THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE PAYMENT FOR SIN
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for SACRIFICE. A good motion might be to put your arms out to your sides like Jesus on the cross.
SAY: “Today we’re talking about the truth that God provided the perfect sacrifice for our sin. The Bible tells us that there is nothing we can on our own to pay for our sin. Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross. To help you remember the verse, we’re going to make a poster.”
Pull out the poster board or large piece of art paper and markers. Draw a large cross in the middle of the paper. Either you or one of the kids should write the verse inside the cross. Then, have the kids work together to draw the story around the cross. They can each draw what they remember, or you can assign different kids to draw different parts of the story – the soldiers walking with Jesus, Simon carrying the cross, Jesus on the cross, the sky becoming dark, the temple curtain tearing, the sign above Jesus’ head, etc.
Read the memory verse (Romans 3:25) a few times together while drawing.
The connection has really been made throughout the lesson, but by way of review, talk kids through the gospel reminding them of the following points that show the necessity of this one final sacrifice.
(1) God made people to be in perfect relationship with Him
(2) Sin came into the world through Adam and Eve and destroyed the relationship between God and man. Sinful man could not be in the presence of a Holy and Perfect God. And, not only did Adam & Eve sin, but the Bible tells us that every person since them have sinned and are born as sinners.
(3) The sacrifices in the Old Testament only covered up sin, they never got rid of sin or paid the price for sin.
(4) The price that had to be paid for sin was death….but if you or I paid that price we would die and not be united with God.
(5) Jesus came to earth as the perfect sacrifice. He did what none of us would ever be capable of doing and He lived a holy and sinless life. Then, as the perfect sacrifice He died to pay the price for sin and rose again so that we could be united with God in life.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word perfect sacrifice somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for perfect sacrifice or the memory verse or they could illustrate the story. After a few minutes, bring the group back together and give kids time to share what they have drawn or written.
Pray that the kids in the group would come to know God more and more each week through this study and that they would remember that all of us are sinners who need to be saved and that they would thank God for the gift of Jesus and the gift of salvation for all who believe in Jesus.