What is sin? Have you ever sinned? Why does God hate our sin?
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we learned about a man named Abraham. God chose Abraham and his family to be the ones that he would use to save the world from sin and from Satan. How? By bringing us a hero who will conquer our sin, Satan, and even death. And this hero is our savior. Our substitute. He takes our place by dying for us.
In Genesis God wanted to show Abraham that he needed a savior so he asked him to do something very hard. Do you remember what it was? God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to him. But do you remember what God did next? He gave Abraham and Isaac a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac. He provided a substitute for them.
In Exodus, Abraham’s family, the Hebrews, are slaves in Egypt. God has chosen Moses to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and into freedom so that they can worship God. But the evil Pharaoh (king of Egypt) won’t let them go. So God gives the Pharaoh ten tests. Ten chances to change his mind. We call them the ten plagues.
The ten plagues were terrible. God turned their river into blood. He sent frogs, and flies, and sickness, and storms. Before each plague Moses would say, “Let my people go!” And after each plague Pharaoh would say, “NO!”
Then came the tenth and most terrible plague. God said he would kill the firstborn son in each family. But, just like he did with Abraham, God provided a way to escape this punishment for sin. God told Moses to tell the people that if they were to sacrifice a perfect lamb and then put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their house, then God would not kill the first born son who lived in that house. Here’s how God explained it:
Exodus 12:13. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
Why did God do this very hard thing?
Because he needed to show us that we all need a savior. And he needed to show us that only a perfect substitute would do.
For the next 1500 years the Hebrews would celebrate this day called Passover. The day God saved them not just from the Egyptians but from himself. Because God is perfect he must punish our sin, but because God loves us so much he offers us a hero, a substitute “lamb” to take our place. Do you know who God’s lamb is? That’s right, it’s Jesus.
When we trust in Jesus, God no longer counts our bad sins against us. He doesn’t need to punish our sins anymore, because Jesus was punished for them in our place on the cross. And when we know that God loves us and has forgiven us even though we sin against him, it makes it easier to forgive others when they hurt us.
Because of Jesus all our sins have been both punished and forgiven when we trust in him.
With Jesus I can forgive others and look past their mistakes.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch these scenes from the Prince of Egypt – Ten Plagues and Passover. Talk about how serious sin is. What is sin? Choosing to reject God and his grace and then disobeying his command to love him and others. Sin leads to death.
You are my hero and my lamb. Thank you for taking my place and for being punished for my sins. Help me to know I am forgiven, and help me to forgive others.
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