This message uses a familiar idea of trading items to illustrate the Gospel principles of salvation. Children will consider what it means to give one thing up to get another, and how that concept relates to the life and death of Christ. When we accept His free gift of life, Jesus takes on our sin and “bad stuff” and in return makes us children of God. He has paid the ultimate price to give us a new beginning.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus gave up everything in order to give us life. He took on our sin and shame and “swapped” us for eternal life with Him. Jesus humbled Himself and came to Earth from Heaven in order to know us and provide us with salvation. This message reminds us of the beauty and wonder that come from knowing Christ and accepting the free gift He gives us, with no strings attached.
Optional Materials: Things that could be traded (cards, collectibles, toys, etc.); money.
Bible Passage: Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
Message Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video of this children’s sermon and related Bible crafts
- Compare the full Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12 Sunday School Lesson and Bible crafts from this passage
- See all our children’s ministry ideas for the book of Hebrews
Let’s Trade (Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12) Children’s Sermon
Greet children, carrying (in hand or bagged) some things that could be used for trading.
Hello, children of God!
Have you ever traded something? There are a lot of items that can potentially be traded…(hold up examples as you describe) Some people like to trade things like baseball cards or collectible items. Other people trade pins or small trinkets, or toys. I remember a time in grade school when trading was very popular. My mom would always warn me to be careful, though. She didn’t want me losing something valuable and only receiving junk in return. She told me to make sure I was getting a fair even trade.
In the old days, people would do a lot of trading for goods. They might even trade something like food or animals for a service like teaching or building. Now, we normally use money to purchase things (hold up money). We give people coins or dollars, and they give us things in exchange. With money, we hope to get a good price on things and not have to pay more than what they’re worth.
Did you know that Jesus has done a lot of trading? In fact, Jesus trades with us, and it’s far from an even swap! You see, first, Jesus traded Heaven for Earth. He left His position as God and His Heavenly home, and He came to Earth to live as a human! That’s actually a pretty rough trade, if you ask me. Heaven is a whole lot better than Earth, and being God is much better than being a human! But He loves us enough to do that, taking on human weakness instead of endless power.
And then an even more remarkable trade took place! Jesus took on all of our yucky sins when He died on the cross. See, we all sin, and because of that, we are supposed to die as punishment. Jesus never sinned, but He chose to die instead of us. He traded places with us and took the punishment! Can you imagine if someone else took a punishment for you, even though they didn’t do anything? That’s what Jesus did! He traded His life for us!
It gets even better…Jesus traded those sins, and in their place He gives us life! He made it so that God sees us as clean and new creations, instead of sinners. We make mistakes, but He gives us grace and life. Because of Jesus, we get to go to Heaven and be with God. We get to be part of God’s family, in fact! That doesn’t sound like a very even trade, but we sure do get the better part of the deal! What an amazing and fantastic swap! Sometimes life isn’t fair, and in this case that’s a great thing. Thank the Lord!
Why don’t we say a prayer to thank God for what Jesus has done for us?
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us Jesus to die in our place
Thank you for trading our sins for His righteousness
Help us to remember and appreciate His sacrifice
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? 7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” -Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12