A CHILD'S LIFE OF JESUS

JESUS, THE LAMB
A sacrifice is something we give up for
something much better.  You might sacrifice
playing outside so you can read to an elderly
person.  You might sacrifice eating sweets
so you can be healthier.

In Bible days, people sacrificed lambs ~ a
normal part of most people's herds ~ so
their sins would be forgiven.  

Sin deserves death.  God allowed people to
offer lambs to die in their place.  But the
forgiveness only lasted a little while until
they sinned again.  Then they'd have to
make another sacrifice.

When Jesus came to earth, he said he was
the Lamb of God, and he would sacrifice
himself so we could have our sins forgiven
forever.

On Jesus' last night before his death, he
gathered his apostles around him to have a
special Passover meal.  The meal had bitter
herbs, diluted wine, unleavened bread
(crackers), and a lamb for meat.

The word "Passover" came from a time when
a death angel passed over or skipped over
people who had put the blood of a lamb on
their door post.

But the meal couldn't start because Jesus'
apostles kept arguing over who would be
most important when Jesus became king.
Jesus knew he had to stop the arguing.

In those days, people's feet got dusty and
muddy because they wore sandals on the
road.  So they always washed their feet
when they arrived at a house.

When Jesus' apostles arrived, no one
washed their feet.  So, to stop the
arguing, Jesus got some water and towels
and washed their feet himself.  He told
them to imitate him ~ their king ~ by
serving others.

Then he told them that one of them would
help his enemies kill him.  It was Judas.  
After Judas left, the Passover meal finally
began.

You know how you can look at a picture of
grass and know it isn't real grass, but it
stands in for grass?  At this meal, there
was no lamb served because Jesus said he
was standing in as the lamb.

When they ate the unleavened bread, Jesus
told them that this bread from now on
would stand in for his body that would die
for them.

When they drank the wine, Jesus told them
that from now on it stood in for his blood
that would fall from his body when he died
for them.

All this really upset his apostles.  They did
not want Jesus to die.  But Jesus said he
had to so he could take everyone's
punishment for their sins.

           ***********
You know how you can play a game, and
someone has to leave early, so someone
stands in for them in the game?  The other
person is a substitute.  That's what Jesus
was for us.

Today grown ups or older children who are
Christians have that same meal ~
unleavened bread and wine ~ while thanking
Jesus for being our substitute and dying for
our sins.  We call it the Lord's Supper or
Holy Communion.  You will be able to do this
too some day.