Jesus is the One Mediator (Exodus 32 & Numbers 20) Lesson #36 in What is God Like?
AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 36 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 36: Jesus is the One Mediator
- Key Verse: “For there is One God and One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
- Teaching Passage: Exodus 32 and Numbers 20
- Supporting Texts: 1 Timothy 2:5, Job 9:33-34 & Hebrews 7:25
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words Jesus is the One Mediator written on it, key verse (1 Timothy 2:5) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group.
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. Do a couple of the motions and have the kids tell you what motion you are acting out and what it means.
- 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
- God provides the PERFECT SACRIFICE for sin = Jesus is the gift or payment that paid for our sin
- God Saves = to rescue from danger
- God Shepherds His people = He tends, guards and watches over His people
- God is a Shield= He hides, conceals & protects His people (through Jesus’ blood)
- God is Sovereign = He rules over all
Introduce attribute for the week by saying that because of our sin we need a mediator to stand between us and God, but we need a mediator who doesn’t fail and sin Himself. So, Jesus came to earth and lived the perfect life that we could not live and died the death that we deserve for our sin. He took His place between us and God. He paid the price for our sin and serves as the perfect mediator who enables us to stand in God’s presence.
Tell taken from Exodus 32:1-21 and Numbers 20 in your own words stopping to read straight from the text when indicated.
Introduce the story by going through a quick Bible timeline to show the kids where we are in the story. Remind them that God created a perfect world and created people to be in perfect relationship with Him, but that these first people (Adam & Eve) broke God’s law and disobeyed Him and sin came into the world. Because they had sinned, God had to punish His people and the punishment was sending them out of His presence.Ever since then, all people have continued just like Adam & Eve and have disobeyed God and sinned. Time went by and God chose Abraham to be the beginning of His family. Abraham had a son named Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Jacob & Esau. Jacob had 12 sons, one of them was Joseph who was sold as a slave to Egypt, then was able to protect his family and bring them to Egypt. God’s people grew in Egypt and became slaves and then about God raised up Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt and into the promised land. Today’s story takes place while God’s people are on their way to the promised land.
Explain that God gave Moses a special job when it came to leading the people. Moses was the one person who would talk to God on behalf of the people. God would tell Moses what He wanted the people to do and Moses would tell the people. God had called Moses up onto the mountain to meet with Him. While on the mountain, God gave Moses the law for the people, He told Moses how to build the tabernacle and explained how His people were to be holy and set apart from the people in the lands around them. Moses was up on the mountain for a long time and God’s people got restless.
READ Exodus 32:1-6
God told Moses to go down the mountain and see what His people were doing. He told Moses that the people had made an idol and were worshipping it. God told Moses that He was going to destroy the people because of their sinfulness and that He would start over with Moses. BUT, Moses remembered that His job was to speak for the people when they were in trouble, so he spoke to God and asked Him not to destroy the people. Moses reminded God how He had rescued the people from Egypt and the promises He had made to them. He told God that if He destroyed the people that the Egyptians would say that the only reason He rescued them was to kill them. Moses pleaded with God not to destroy the people and God heard his cry and did not destroy them.
Moses came down the mountain, destroyed their idol and made the people drink water with the ashes of the golden calf in it for their punishment.
Some time went by and Moses continued to lead the people and speak to God on their behalf.
READ Numbers 20:1-11
What we see in these two stories in that in both story, Moses serves as a mediator between God and His people. Moses speaks to God on behalf of the people and God speaks to Moses on behalf of the people. Moses represents the people in God’s presence. In the first story, when Moses asked God to forgive the people, God did. But, as we saw in the second story, because Moses was a man just like the rest of the people he was also a sinner and therefore wasn’t the perfect mediator between God and His people and had to be punishment for his sin by not entering the promised land. Another mediator was necessary to stand between Holy God and sinful man.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
MEDIATOR = ONE WHO STANDS BETWEEN AND BRINGS AGREEMENT
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for MEDIATOR. A good motion might be to put your arms straight up on either side of your head and move your hand in between your arms (standing between).
Play a game to help make sense of the attribute. Have kids divide into groups of 3 and stand with 2 facing each other and the 3rd in between the 2. One of the kids on one of the ends will tell the kid on the other end to do something, but they’ll have to speak through the one in the middle (the mediator). The one giving the instructions will whisper in the ear of the mediator who will say “_______ says to ________.” Let kids have a turn being on the end and being the mediator.
SAY: “This morning we’re talking about the truth that Jesus is the One Mediator between God and man. A ‘mediator’ is someone who stands between two people or groups of people who are in disagreement and helps them to come to an agreement that they can both live with.
In the case of Jesus, the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:5, which is our key verse for the week that Jesus is the mediator between God and man. Why did we need a mediator? What was the disagreement between God and man that we could never work out on our own?
The reason we need a mediator is because we are sinful and God is holy. A Holy God cannot be in the presence of sinful people and there is nothing we, as sinful people, can do on our own to get rid of our sin. So, Jesus came as the mediator- the One who would stand between us and God and take the punishment that we deserve.”
Ask kids to explain what separates us from God and what Jesus did as the mediator.
Read the memory verse (1 Timothy 2:5) a few times together and do the motion for saves.
As we saw in the stories we looked at today, we all need a mediator to stand between us and God. Because of our sin, none of us can stand in front of a Holy God without being destroyed the way that God told Moses He would destroy the people in Exodus 32. And, because of our sin, we deserve to be destroyed. We need someone to mediate between us and God and to remove the wrath of God from us (Job 9:33-34). The amazing news of the Bible is that Jesus is that true mediator. He is the only one who could every stand between us and God because He is the only one who was able to take the punishment we deserve and died in our place as the perfect sacrifice for our sin. On the left side of a piece of paper write sin and have kid name sins that are common to them. On the right side of the page write God. In the middle, draw a large cross. Talk through the drawing showing the kids how sinful man and holy God are completely separated and how there is nothing we can do on our own to bridge the gap, but that Jesus- God’s Only Son- came to earth and took our place and died the death that we deserve.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word mediator somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for mediator or the memory verse or they could illustrate the 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 turn to this good God for salvation. Thank God for sending Jesus to stand in our place and die our death on the cross.