Think About It!
Every broken place in our lives is an opportunity for healing, and no healing is impossible. Broken relationships are some of the most painful places we inhabit in this life. That’s why, when we’re confronted with broken relationships, we can take courage and find great comfort in knowing Jesus is the great Reconciler. He reconciled us to God, and he is more than able to reconcile our relationships with other people too. Check out this weekend’s message for more!
Talk About It!
1. The cross brings reconciliation
- Who is your closest friend? Have you ever had a fight or a disagreement with them? The people who are closest to us shape what our lives look like. But the people who are closest to us also can hurt us easily, and when that happens, it’s hard to know what to do. The Bible talks about this. When we apologize, forgive, and move on in our relationships, it’s called “reconciliation.” That’s the way that Jesus wants us to live.
- Did you know that we need “reconciliation” with God? Because of our sin, our relationship with God was broken. That relationship was not broken because of God, who is perfect, but because we broke covenant with our Maker. When Jesus died for us, he “reconciled” our relationship with God and forgave us of our sins.
2. Jesus reconciles His enemies
- Have you ever broken something that didn’t belong to you? What happened? Who paid for the broken object to get fixed? When things are broken, someone has to pay to fix it. Maybe you paid to fix it, or maybe your parents or another person was generous and paid for you. We talk a lot about how our salvation is a free gift, but it is only free because Jesus already paid for it.
- Have you ever made up with a friend after a fight? Have you ever made up with someone you didn’t like? It’s one thing when we “reconcile” with people we like––it’s unthinkable for us to “make up” with our enemies. That takes the power of Jesus! We can do it because that’s what Jesus did for us. We were enemies of God, and because of God’s love for us, Jesus reconciled us to God. He died for his enemies
- Read Romans 5:8-10. These verses tell us that Christ was willing to die for us while we were still his enemies. There is nothing that can keep us from Jesus if we put our faith in him.
- Have you ever forgiven someone, but stopped being their friend? Sometimes, when we’re still hurt, it’s hard to grow closer to the person. Because to do that, we have to forgive them over and over again. That’s not what Jesus does. He didn’t just forgive us and stop speaking to us. His forgiveness was just the beginning of a relationship that lasts forever!
3. The message is Christ in you, the hope of glory
- Hey Parents! Here’s a fun game to play with your kids to illustrate this lesson: Write down well-known Bible stories on pieces of paper, one for each child. Play charades, letting each child act out their story without words. Then ask them the following questions: How did we guess what story you were acting out? We knew what Bible story you were acting out because we’ve read the stories, and we know them. The more we read about Jesus and the way he lived, the more we can act just like he did.
- What are some ways that we can act like Jesus and tell his story with our lives? First, we need to know his story. The better we know a story, the better we can tell it (or act it out with our lives!). We can also do the things that Jesus did, act with kindness toward others and forgive others.
- Why is forgiveness so important in telling the story of Jesus? Without Jesus, we can’t forgive others or love our enemies. No one is strong enough to forgive without Jesus! When we forgive our enemies, we are doing something only Jesus can do, and it makes the rest of the world ask why. It shows Jesus to them!
- Read Ephesians 5:1-2. These verses talk about being “imitators” of God. Just like the game we played, we are meant to act like Jesus, to do what he did, and to tell his story. When we forgive people who are unkind to us, we are telling his story without even using words!
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?