Let’s talk about ice cream! Who likes ice cream? (Allow children time to raise their hands.) What if I gave you a scoop of ice cream right now—that’d be pretty good, right? What if I gave you two scoops of ice cream? (Allow time for children to get a bit excited.) Well, now think—what if I gave you two scoops of ice cream with fudge sauce? (Allow time for children to get a bit more excited.) And, what if I added sprinkles and chocolate chips and a cherry on top? Would that be the very best ice cream sundae ever?! (Give children a moment to share their excitement.)
I wish I could share a sundae like that right now. I can’t, but I do have something else to share. It’s some sweet, sweet news. In fact, it’s the very best news ever about the very best morning ever.
The Bible doesn’t talk about ice cream, but it does share a sweet message. Throughout the Bible, God tells his people how much he loves them. Often, though, we see sin getting in the way and people forgetting to love God back. But, God never, ever stops loving.
Remember the story of Noah’s ark? God saw everyone doing terrible things! Everyone had forgotten about God except one man—Noah. God told Noah he was going destroy the Earth with a great flood. He told Noah how to build a humongous boat. God would use that boat to save Noah, Noah’s family, and a pair of every kind of animal. When the ark was finished, they all got on board. It rained for forty days and forty nights, but then it finally stopped. Noah and his family and all the animals were safe. They left the ark to live in a new, clean world. It was a great morning—but not the very best morning.
Maybe you remember the story of God’s chosen people—the Israelites. They were slaves for a long time, but God promised to set them free. At times, they grumbled and complained. They didn’t always believe God loved them. But God set them free. As they escaped from their slave masters, they came to a big sea. They thought the enemy soldiers would capture them, but God loved them and kept them safe. God made a dry path through the sea and his people walked safely to the other side. Then, he used the water to sweep away their enemies. God’s people were free! It was a great morning—but not the very best morning.
Many, many years later, there was another wonderful morning. From the very beginning, God told his people that a Savior was coming and on the first Christmas, it happened! Mary gave birth to God’s own Son, Jesus. It was a great morning—but even the first Christmas morning was not the very best morning.
Jesus grew up and did a lot of awesome things! He made sick people well and sad people happy. Jesus performed many miracles. He told everyone about how much God loved them. But, Jesus saved the best for last.
Jesus came from heaven to earth in order to solve our problem with sin. Sin is the problem we see messing up people’s lives all the way through the Bible. We see it messing up our own lives, too. Sin is the problem that creates every other problem. Sin makes us enemies of God. Jesus came to earth to make us friends of God again!
That’s why, one dark Friday, Jesus died on the cross. Jesus died for all of our sins. He suffered so that we wouldn’t have to. When it was all over, two friends placed Jesus’ body in a tomb and sealed it shut. Everybody thought that was the end.
But, three days later it happened—the very best morning! There was an angel at Jesus’ tomb that morning. Listen to what he said: Jesus “is not here: for he is risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:6 KJV). Jesus didn’t stay dead. He didn’t stay in the tomb—he is alive! Our sin is gone! We can be friends with God forever! It was truly the very best morning ever!
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose victorious, we can live forgiven and free. Sin has no power over us! We are children of our heavenly Father! And now, every morning you wake up, you know it’s still the very best morning because Jesus is your Savior—today and always!
Editor’s note: There’s still time to order Easter gifts and resources for your children’s ministry program! Today’s devotion comes from the Easter theme The Very Best Morning, and you can find several other Easter themes at www.CTAinc.com.
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