“And he (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” I John 2:2
Read today’s memory verse with your class. Propitiation is a word most children have never heard before. Help them understand with the following: Propitiation means an abbreviated definition is the means of putting away sin and establishing righteousness – not by man’s ability to appease God with any of his offerings (for man is unable to offer anything to placate God), . . . Jesus is presented as the righteous One; . . . reconciling us to God, allowing us to be acceptable for fellowship with God (see also Romans 3:25.) The propitiation of Christ is very personal “the propitiation for our sins”.
By Jesus’ death, He cleansed us from sin rather than covering it for a time – as in the Old Testament sacrificial system. God provided his son, Jesus, as the righteous One (I John 2:1). So, Jesus is the propitiation, made for the whole world (all who would believe), which supplies the method of deliverance from our sin, reconciling us to God, and making us acceptable for fellowship with God. Our students need to know that we are all sinners and God cannot look on sin. Only Jesus can take that sin away (that propitiation). Today’s lesson will help us somewhat understand the Old Testament sacrificial system. Then we can better understand the sacrifice of Jesus.
Summary: Once the tabernacle was completed, God spoke to Moses from the tabernacle instead of Mount Sinai. Now that they were free from the land of bondage, the people needed to know how to live as a sanctified people. God instituted the Offerings (ch. 1-7), the Priesthood (ch. 8-10, 12-22), and a Clean Lifestyle (ch. 11-20.) They must understand the foundation of a relationship with God on the basis of the propitiation (appeasement from God’s wrath) from a blood sacrifice. Leviticus shows the ability to have fellowship with God when we come to Him as a sanctified people. (Because He is a Holy God and we are a sinful people.) Through these many things, the people were to learn how to live as a people wholly given to God, in every aspect of their lives.
In the book of Leviticus, “sweet savour” is mentioned 16 times in reference to the offerings God requires of them. Compare this to what God says in Ephesians 5:2: “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Notice that Jesus’ death was a “sweetsmelling savour” to God – once and for all.
Emphasis: To understand that the book of Leviticus shows us the importance of the blood sacrifice needed before we could be reconciled to God, enabling us to have a relationship with him. Leviticus helps us understand why in the New Testament; Jesus had to give His life as the one time only, perfect sacrifice.
Encourage your students to bring their Bibles and use them!
Optional Worksheets to be downloaded:
Ideas for children:
Stickers always work well with children. Often times I watch Wal-Mart or Oriental Trading Company for specials or deals on things I can use for crafts for Sunday School (i.e. foam sheets, Bible Story scene stickers, crowns, stick on jewels, construction paper, etc.). I keep a stash and when I need something, I go search in my stash! Pinterest always has great ideas!
You could have a coloring sheet that goes with the lesson.
One idea for today’s lesson: (See picture below). We took a small bag and filled it with potpourri. We then tied the verse Ephesians 5:2 to the bag. This was a “sweet smelling” bag to remind us of the “sweet-smelling savor” we learned about in class. It is to help us remember the importance of living a life pleasing to God after the gift Jesus gave of His life for me.
Refer to the wall in your classroom that has become a mural. Today, help them realize just how real sin is. It is even real in their lives. Have them think of an area they need to recognize as sin in their life that is not pleasing God (they do not have to share, just acknowledge to themselves). Help them commit to work on living a clean life before God. A lot of times, the sin on the inside shows up on the outside (how they dress, hairstyles, makeup, language, etc.). Have each of them draw a cross on the shape of a heart that has their name on it. Encourage them to remember that God knows their heart and it is their job to keep Jesus first there.
Have them each add anything else they may have brought to add to the wall. Encourage everyone to participate.