Have you ever seen a rainbow? Do you know what a rainbow means?
After Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden sinned entered into the world. The book of Genesis tells us that that sin got so bad that God had to send a flood to destroy all the wicked people on earth. Why? Because God can’t let sin keep going or else he would be just as bad as us.
But God is also a very loving and forgiving God. And so he chose Noah to build an ark and save all that would trust in God’s love and mercy. Sadly, only Noah and his family went onto the ark and were saved in the flood.
And when the flood was all over and Noah and his family came off of the ark, we see God’s great love and kindness once again. Again God spoke to Noah. But this time he didn’t talk about judgment or punishment, he talked about his mercy. Do you know what mercy is? Mercy is when we don’t get punished the way we deserve. Have you ever received mercy? Can you hear God’s mercy spoken to Noah in these words:
Genesis 9:8-13. 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature… 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again… shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
What promise did God make to Noah? (God will never destroy the earth with a flood again)
You know what? The flood did not end sin did it? After the flood Noah sinned. And his family sinned. And their kids sinned. And their kids sinned. And so on, and so on, until today when you sin, and I sin, and everyone still sins.
But God promised that he would deal with our sin in a very different way. And the rainbow is the sign. Read verse 13 again.
You may notice it does not say “rainbow.” It just says “bow.” And what is a bow? It is a weapon – like a bow and arrow. Have you ever seen a bow and arrow?
Now which way do you point a bow and arrow?
You point it AWAY from yourself and toward your target.
But look at this picture of a rainbow. Which way is the bow pointed?
God didn’t point his bow DOWN toward us. He pointed it UP toward himself.
God is saying something very remarkable here – he will choose to punish himself for our sins. He will shoot his “arrow” of judgment at himself, not at us.
When did God judge himself and not us? When did God punish himself for our sins? When Jesus died on the cross. When Jesus died on the cross he kept God’s promise to Noah and he kept the promise of the rainbow – God will punish himself in our place for our sins. That’s how much God loves us!
Because of Jesus we don’t have to be punished for our sins.
With Jesus we can know that God is not mad at us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Draw pictures of rainbows together. Maybe place a cloud with the word “God” in it above the rainbow to show that it points at God. Here’s mine:
Thank you for taking my punishment on the cross. Help me to trust that God is not mad at me and that he loves me no matter what.
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