Unit 26, Session 5: Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection are the center of the gospel. Jesus accomplished the plan God had been working out throughout the Old Testament to bring salvation to sinners, and it happened in such an unlikely way.
In the Book of Acts, Peter testified to the Israelites about Jesus’ death: “Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him” (Acts 2:23). Crucifixion was a horrific way to die. As you teach kids, rather than focus on the graphic details of how Jesus died, emphasize why He died. Two primary reasons stand out: God is loving, and God is just.
First, God is loving. He sent His Son to be the Savior of the world because He loves us. (See John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10.) Jesus submitted to the Father’s will; He humbled Himself and came to earth as a man, and He laid down His life because He loves us. (Eph. 5:2)
Jesus lived the perfect life we failed to live and died the guilty death we don’t want to die. Those who trust in Him receive forgiveness and eternal life.
Second, God is just. God’s law for the people was plain. (See Deuteronomy 6:5.) But God’s people, and all people, broke the law. We have loved other things more than we love God. That is sin. So why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t He just say, “You are forgiven”? Because God is just, He requires due payment for sin. To simply forgive sin without requiring a payment would be unjust.
Jesus was our substitute, taking our place on the cross and absorbing God’s wrath on our behalf so we can be forgiven and declared righteous. (See Rom. 3:25-26; Col. 2:13-15.) Jesus died to rescue sinners from slavery to sin, and when we trust in Him, we are free indeed.
We deserve to die because of our sins, but God loves us and kept His promise to send a Savior. Jesus never sinned, but He died in our place. He was the blood sacrifice made once and for all for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, and those who trust in Him have forgiveness and eternal life.
(Matthew 26–27; John 18–19)
Jesus showed His glory to Peter, James, and John. Jesus said He would die, rise from the dead, and return to heaven. One day, Jesus will come back to earth in His glory to make all things new.
Family Discussion Questions
- Why was it important that Jesus had no sin?
• Why did Jesus have to die?
• How does knowing Jesus’ sacrifice make you feel toward Him?
- How was Jesus’ death part of God’s plan to save sinners?
• Did Jesus deserve to die? Do we deserve to die? Why?
• How do you feel knowing Jesus died for all your sins—past, present, and future?
As a family, think of something that you have that you may take for granted. (fresh water, electricity, food, bed, a house, etc.) Take a moment to thank God for the things you are blessed with. Then, think of someone who may not have one of these things and research organizations or ways you can bless someone who may be without.