RELATED VERSE: OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME
A Letter to Read/Use As A Guide With Your Children
I want to tell you a little story:
There once was a little boy who was a little bit naughty. He told little lies now and then, and he also liked to be destructive. He would even steal small things occasionally. Well, as he grew, his naughtiness grew too. His lies became bigger and his destructive behavior grew from tearing up his own things to tearing up and vandalizing other people’s things. His stealing, as well, became a very serious problem.
Well, one day he got caught one day. He was arrested by the police and taken to jail. During the time he was waiting for his trial to see the Judge, he became very sorry for all the things he had done. He wished he could have a second chance, but he knew it was too late. However, during the night, a Stranger with a strong, yet gentle voice came to him and asked, “Are you sorry for what you have done?”
“Oh, yes,” said the boy.
“And if you were to be free from jail, what would you do?”
The boy quickly replied, “Oh, I would turn from my evil ways and do good. I have learned that the road to wickedness leads nowhere, and I don’t want to walk on this road anymore.”
The gentle Stranger sat quietly and listened to the outpouring of the young boy’s heart.
Well, the next day at the trial, the boy was standing sadly before the Judge with his head hanging low. He waited for what he knew would be a long-term prison sentence. But, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the kind Stranger walking into the courtroom. With a determined look on his face and compassion in his eyes, he stood directly in front of the boy! He then looked steadfastly at the Judge and said, “I will take his place. Let the boy go free!” In amazement to the boy, the Judge agreed with this offer. The Judge then turned and looked the boy in the eyes. And to his surprise, he had the same caring gaze as the Stranger. The Judge said to him, “You may go. But go with a changed heart, determined to pursue good things, not evil.”
The boy wept with both gratitude and sorrow, as he saw the gentle Stranger led silently away. This innocent Man was choosing to bear the punishment for the boy’s own wrongdoing. He said earnestly to himself, “I will live my life for that Man, since He has given His life for me. I will strive to be like Him—gentle and kind, caring and good, and most of all self-sacrificing.” The young boy turned and walked out of the courtroom, now… a free man.
Children, do you know the message behind this story? Do you know who the gentle Stranger represents? Yes, He is Jesus. And who is the gracious Judge? Yes, He is God, our Father. Do you see who you are, and who I am? We are that boy. There is no good in us, dear children, none at all. We were born in sin, and should die because of our sin! Yet, Jesus Christ comes in and stands in front of us, all glorious and pure. He covers us with His prefect love, so that God, the Judge, can see only the redemptive blood of His Son, which is worthy of life forever and ever! He is your Redeemer, dear ones. Believe in Him. He is the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice. Please believe He did die for you, and that He conquered death by rising again! He truly was led away silently, in all his gentleness, mercy, and love. He was crucified, taking the punishment we deserve. Do you believe this truth? Know that when you confess your sin and repent of your ways, you are washed completely clean by His blood!
Now, let me ask you another question. What are you going to do for the One who gave His life for you? If you choose to live for Him, then He will come and help you. He will provide His Holy Spirit to live in you. You will not be left alone to “do good” by your own effort. (Remember, we can’t even do that!) Your Redeemer lives, dear ones. Let Him live through you!
Teaching Tools/Activities For Your Children
- Gather three pieces of construction paper: one purple, one black, one white.
- Inform your child the purple paper represents God, the Royal Judge; the white paper represents Jesus, the Great Redeemer; and the black paper represents all sinners.
- Illustrate the story above by placing the white paper over the black one. Discuss with your child how Jesus covers our sin from a Holy and Righteous Judge, when we believe and confess His name.
A Prayer To Pray Over Your Children
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for sending us a Redeemer, strong and pure, gentle and kind, full of mercy and grace. Sometimes my soul cannot grasp the awesome LOVE that was lavished on me by Your living and holy sacrifice, Jesus Christ. Thank You, dear sweet Jesus, for offering Yourself, a Lamb without blemish, and for enduring the cross for me, a human heart spattered full of stains. Although One with God, You chose to deny Yourself and take my punishment, my afflictions, my iniquities, and my death. What amazing and unconditional love of both God, the Holy Father, and Jesus, His obedient Son.
Dear sweet Jesus, may my children fully understand this mighty act of love from You, their perfect Redeemer. May Your love prompt them to give You every beat of their heart, which was purchased by Your blood. May they realize it is only because of the cross that they can now have the comfort, the power, and the guidance of Your Holy Spirit. I pray You will give them a continual sense of reverence and gratitude towards You, the One who is mighty to save. May they pledge to lovingly live for the One who lovingly died, giving His life as a ransom, in order to set them FREE!
Scripture references in letter:
Is. 30:1, II Cor. 7:10; John 8:1-11; Gal. 2:20; Rom. 3:10-11; Matt. 27:27-31; Rom. 6:23, John 14:26; I Cor. 10:13; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 6:4
Scripture references in prayer:
Eph. 1:7-8; I Peter 1:18-19; II Cor. 5:21; Is. 53:4-10; Rom. 5: 8-9; I Cor. 6:20; Gal. 3:13-14; Matt. 20:28.