The Salvation Story- in Children’s Lingo
Salvation- in children's lingo
When I started a career in children’s ministry, I found every way possible to explain the salvation story in ways elementary-aged minds would understand.
This was important to me since I grew up going to church and Sunday school but never fully understood the sacrifice Jesus made for us—the death He took on our behalf. So, I knew firsthand, the gravity of being able to explain the stain of sin in ways kids could understand. It meant life or death.
So, I started thinking… if I had this problem, there may be other adults who’ve never fully understood salvation, and parents who don’t know how to explain it to their children. So, here’s a mock script…a story… of how I’ve explained the stain of sin and the Savior who fixed sin’s problem to young minds in the past.
Maybe it’ll help you and yours as we approach this glorious Easter Sunday…
“We’ve all sinned, which is an action that hurts God. Have any of you lied to your parents so that you wouldn’t get in trouble?
(Side note: most kids are very honest, so almost always they all raise their hands.)
It’s true. We’ve all sinned at some point. Romans 3:23 says, “Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory.” It means we’ve all messed up.
Let’s imagine we’re all wearing white, and that every time we mess up, a dark spot appears on us. So, since you all admitted to lying to your parents at least once, you all now have a dark mark on you. It means the white isn’t completely white anymore.
And you see, God in heaven, is so holy and perfect, so completely white you could say, that He can’t ever have any dark marks even near Him. Ever. So, this means we could never enter into heaven to live with Him forever.
This broke God’s heart! He couldn’t let this happen because He loves us so much, so He sent His Son, Jesus, to fix it. John 3:16 says, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.”
So, Jesus, who was fully God, took the form of a man, and lived His whole earthly life without ever sinning. Jesus never lied to His parents or didn’t do as He was told. He was perfect, which no one else but Him could have ever done. So, when He was put to death on the cross, having done nothing wrong, He was able to take our punishment for our dark marks.
Let me ask you, what kind of punishments do you get when you mess up? No TV? No video games? No going outside? Well, let’s think back to when we raised our hands about lying to our parents. If you got caught, I’m thinking you’d get in trouble, right? You’d get some kind of punishment. What if someone stepped in, who didn’t do anything wrong, and took your punishment so you didn’t have to? That’d be crazy!
What if someone stepped in to take the punishment for not just that one time you lied, but all the times you’ve messed up your whole life? That’s what Jesus did! He came to our rescue! He came to earth 2,000 years ago, lived a perfect life and died to take the punishment for all the things we’ve ever done wrong, even though He never messed up. Ever.
He took the punishment for the whole world’s mess ups. He allowed His white clothes to get covered with our dark marks, then He died for us.
But guess what else? He rose again! Jesus came back to life! Death couldn’t stop Him. That’s what Easter is about- Jesus dying on that cross, but also that He rose again. The Bible tells us the whole story!
So, when you think about Easter, I want you remember that only our perfect Jesus could take the punishment for our dark marks. When you believe in Him and what He did for you, for everyone, you ask Him to come into your life. When He does, it’s like He’s wrapping a clean, new white robe around you, covering all your dark marks once and for all. It’s a perfect white robe you can never take off, because He’s made you His. And guess what else? When you ask Him to come into your life, His Spirit will help you to live like Him. He will help you make good choices and be a better person so you can spread His love to everyone you meet.
And, the best of all, you get to live in heaven with Him one day. He takes your punishment and you get to go to heaven to be with Him. Doesn’t that sound like a good trade off? I think so. And guess what? Believing and asking Him to come into your heart is a free gift! All you have to do is pray and ask Him for it- let’s do that now.
Jesus, we believe in You. We believe You came to earth, lived a sinless, perfect life, and then died a terrible death on the cross, as the punishment for our sins—for all the ways we’ve messed up. Please forgive us of all of our sins and send Your Spirit into our heart to be with us, helping us to become more and more like You and spreading Your love to everyone. Thank You for loving us so much. We love You, too. Amen.”
I hope this helps you truly understand what Jesus did for you. Let’s talk about this! How have you explained salvation to someone who didn’t understand it, or had never heard of Jesus before?
(Bible verses are taken from the NIRV translation.)
About Kristen Terrette
Kristen is on fire for Christ and loves to serve Him when she has the opportunity. Whenever she’s not blogging or writing books, she spends time with her husband and two children. She also serves on the Ladies Leadership team at her church.