By Alison Zeller
You’ll need a backpack, several small rocks, and a Bible. Before you begin, ask for a volunteer. Choose an older student, one that likes to talk. Ask that participant to come to the front and stand by you.
Today, I’m going to give (name of volunteer) this backpack. (Help the volunteer put on the backpack.)
How’s that feel? Pretty good?
Well, I have more to give you. I’m going to put a few of these rocks in your backpack. (Start putting rocks in the backpack while it’s on the participant’s back—just a few, at first.) How’s that feel? Is it getting kind of heavy?
What happens if I put in more and more rocks? (Put in enough rocks so the bag feels heavy and a bit uncomfortable for the participant.) Wow—that is really heavy, isn’t it! How does it feel to carry all of that weight? (Allow the child to respond.)
Now, think about this: what if I told you to go jump into the ocean, right now? Backpack and all. Would you do it? (Wait for the child to respond.) What would happen if you did? (Help the children think of answers like the participant wouldn’t be able to swim, the participant would sink, and the participant wouldn’t be able to come up out of the water unless he or she took off the backpack.) That sounds terrible! (Take off the backpack and have the participant sit down with the group.)
Those rocks were just an example of something that holds us down. But in the Bible, God tells us about something very real that can hold us down—sin. All of the times you disobey your mom and dad, all of the times you refuse to share your toys, all of the times you say mean things—those are sins. Just like the backpack full of rocks, sin is hard to carry all by ourselves. Sin makes life pretty miserable! And what’s more—it separates us from our heavenly Father. If we jumped into the ocean carrying all of our sins, we would surely sink!
But God loves us so much that he wouldn’t allow us to sink. He sent us a Savior, Jesus! Jesus took the load of sin off our backs. He carried all of our sin to the cross and he died there. But Jesus didn’t stay dead—he rose again! He did all of this to save us from our sins! Listen to what the Bible tells us about our sins. (Read Micah 7:19.) Because of Jesus, our sins have been thrown out! They don’t hold us down anymore! We can live joyfully for the Lord and share Jesus’ love with everyone we meet!
Are you wondering how I know about all of this? I learned it in the Bible, God’s Word! (Hold up a Bible.) Reading the Bible is like a great adventure. It tells us all about God’s work, his people, and the Savior he sent to redeem us. You can go to God’s Word any time—when you’re happy or when you’re sad or when you’re in trouble. In fact, God wants us always to be in his Word. Listen! (Read Colossians 3:16.)
Thank you for sending Jesus to take my sins away./
You have thrown them away!/
Thank you for giving me the Bible so I can learn about you./
I love you, God!/
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from CTA’s Children’s Event Guide for the Dive into God’s Word line.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.
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