Christ’s death on the Cross is the ultimate example of forgiveness. In an adult bible or a children’s bible (our favorite is the Jesus Storybook Bible), read the story of the crucifixion with your child (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, or John 19).
Chances are your child has heard this story more than once, but it is a story that we must revisit often! We all need the constant reminder that Jesus died for our sin so that we may have eternal life!!
After you have read the story, talk about why Jesus died for us. What was the purpose? What did Jesus say in his final breaths? He asked God to forgive us. Jesus knew that His purpose coming to walk among men was to die. Talk about how Jesus knew this, but He came to be with us anyway. He could have stopped it any moment because He is God’s son, but He didn’t. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is our Savior.
“It wasn’t the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.” –Jesus Storybook Bible
He loved us so much that He died, so that our sins could be forgiven.
As a Christian, we are to strive to be more Christ-like. That is, we are to learn from the actions Jesus took. Thankfully, we do not have to die for our sins. Jesus did that for us so that our hearts can be clean and pure. Each time my child makes a bad choice, he prays and asks God to forgive him. I have told him that when he makes a bad choice it makes his heart dark because of sin and when he asks for Christ forgiveness, Jesus makes his heart bright and shiny again. It has been a very effective way to teach him about the forgiveness that Jesus gives us.
Ask your child to tell you about a time they were hurt by a friend or a family member. How did they react? Did they hurt the person back or did they forgive them? Talk about which choice is more Christ-like. Discuss how it is so important for us to try to be more like Jesus and to forgive those that hurt us.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
For this activity, you will need:
- Two sticks from your yard
This is a very simple activity, but a powerful one! Go outside with your child and find 2 sticks that can be used together to form a cross. Tell your children what the sticks will be used for. As you are looking for the sticks, talk to your child about how the “sticks” that were used to make the Cross for Jesus were a TON bigger and that Jesus had to carry His cross. Use the sticks to form a cross and have your child wrap the twine around the sticks to hold them in place. As you are working on binding the sticks together, tell your child that this Cross is a reminder to us that Jesus died on the Cross for us. He died to forgive us of our sins and the bad choices we make. It is also a reminder that we need to be like Jesus and forgive those that hurt us.