It is difficult to imagine the pain Christ endured. He paid the penalty for our sin — ours and all of humanity — on the cross because of His love for us.
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Relax and pray about your own feelings about Easter. God knew from the beginning that humanity would sin, and He planned to deal with it on the cross — because of His love for us.
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance.”
We’re coming up on my favorite time of year — Easter! Do you know what Jesus went through during this week? (Pause.)
That’s right, He was betrayed by a friend, beaten with whips, and hung on a cross. Yet He never did a bad thing in His life. But now He lives. And that’s what Easter is all about.
But sometimes I think, if only I could be good, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die like that. Then, for a while, I’ll try to be perfect. But then I mess up. (Smile and cross your eyes.) I might still mess up that very thing again. And God knows that too, even before I do!
But God the Father loves me anyway. So does Jesus. And that’s why they planned Easter. That’s why Jesus chose to die on the cross, even though He knew it would be the hardest day of His life.
So what is my point this Palm Sunday? Christ suffered. He died a horrible death on the cross, even though He was innocent, then He arose on Easter.
And whether you accept the gift of God’s love or not, He already gave it — more than 2000 years ago. God loved us so much that He gave us His son. If we do accept the gift of God’s love, we also receive the wonderful gift of a ticket to Heaven. Let’s pray. (Ask a child to pray or use the following.)
Father, what a gift. On days when I feel gloomy, help me to focus on Your love and share it with someone else. You love me and all those I love. And You want us all to be together with You and Your Son in Heaven. Amen.
Annette Dammer is a columnist, teacher, former children’s minister and author of the book “Ready, Set, Go! A Year of Object Lessons.” This column includes lessons from her book. The e-book is available for free at www.smashwords.com/books/view/1045891. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.