The BIG IDEA
Because Jesus is God, his death can pay for my sins.
We have a broken relationship with God because of our sin that puts us under God’s judgment unless he does something.
Trust in Jesus’ death to pay the penalty for our sin and restore our relationship with God.
Why THIS MATTERS
Without the death of a perfect sacrifice, I would have to pay for my own sins. Because Christ is God and chose to come to Earth, live a perfect life, and die, he made a way for us to have a relationship with God in spite of our sin. Without Christ’s death we would have no hope.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: Jesus is God, and trusting in his death pays the penalty I deserve for my sins.
- EXPERIENCE: Humble gratitude that Jesus gave his own life to save me from a punishment worse than death.
- DO: Trust Christ to forgive our sins and tell others the good news that we can receive forgiveness for our sins by trusting him.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- Are most people in the world good or bad? Why?
- How good is good enough?
- Was Jesus a good person? Why?
- Why did Jesus have to die?
Jesus lived a good life, taught many people about God, did miracles, and healed people. He didn’t do anything wrong, but the religious leaders of the day were jealous of him and were upset that he claimed to be God. They had him arrested and put to death even though he was innocent. (If you want to learn more, check out John 19.)
*WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
Let’s take a look at each of the questions we asked and see what the Bible has to say about them.
1. HOW GOOD IS GOOD ENOUGH?
There are so many people doing so much good in the world. Doctors & nurses saving lives, social workers serving the poor, and you being a good friend. But when we ask how good is good enough, we have to ask, “enough for who?” In the end, God is the one who will determine if we were good enough so we need to ask him what his standard is. Let’s see what God says about this.
2. ARE MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD GOOD OR BAD?
- Read Romans 3:10-11 and Romans 3:23.
- What do these verses say about this?
Everyone is sinful and falls short of God’s standard.
- According to these verses, who is good?
While in some ways we are all good because we are made in the image of God, this verse points out that no one is truly good because everyone has chosen to sin.
Many of us think of ourselves as good people because we are comparing ourselves to others. But when we compare ourselves to the Holy God, we come up short. This doesn’t mean you don’t do good things, but since we are all sinful, there really are no good people compared to God.
3. WAS JESUS A GOOD PERSON?
- Read 1 John 3:5 and Hebrews 4:15.
- What do these verses say about Jesus being a good person?
Both verses say that Jesus never sinned.
- How is Jesus different from the rest of us?
Even though he was tempted, like we are, He never sinned. He is perfect because He is God.
Jesus is God and that is why he can live a perfect life without sinning. Jesus is truly the only “good person” that ever lived.
4. WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?
- Read Romans 6:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT).
- What do these verses say about why Jesus had to die?
Romans 6:23 says that our sins will cause our death (eternal separation from God). If Jesus didn’t die as a sacrifice for us, we would have to pay the price for our sin.
- What do these verses say about you?
We are all sinful but we can be made right with God through Christ. Jesus loves you so much that he is willing to die so that you won’t be separated from God forever. If you have not given your life to Christ, your sins are not paid for and you will have to pay for your own sins.
The word “death” in Romans 6:23 means eternal separation from God – which the Bible calls “Hell.” If Jesus did not die for our sins, we would have to pay for our own sins and face a separation from God forever. Jesus loved us too much to let that happen, so he died to pay the penalty for our sins.
HOW CAN WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
5. What meant the most to you from this lesson?
Allow the students to discuss. If no one mentions the truth that “I am not a good person”, we suggest that you bring that one up as this is an important truth we want them to understand.
6. If someone asked you, “Why did Jesus have to die?” What would you say?
Allow the group to discuss.
7. Jesus died for you, how can you live your life for Him?
Allow students to answer. They may come up with things they can do to please God. Treat all answers as good answers. Then be sure to read the next paragraph that leads them to their need for the Holy Spirit.
Wanting to live our lives for God is an important step, however, you will find that none of us have the power to live completely for him. Our sin keeps getting in the way. That’s why God has given us the Holy Spirit. He lives in us and can help us live our lives for God. Let’s pray and…
- Thank Jesus for dying for our sins.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help us live our lives for God.
Pray together. If you have enough people, divide up and have everyone pray for each other.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.