Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from a family devotion packet that accompanies the A Love That Never Dies family activity kit. CTA has written six FREE, reproducible Easter devotions just like this one. You can send them home for families to use in their personal devotions, use them in your Sunday school, or make them part of your Easter outreach event.
I’m so glad you came today! I need your help to measure something. We won’t need a yardstick, weight scale, or measuring cup. We will use our hands. We are going to measure something that is very difficult to measure. It can’t be poured into a measuring cup. It cannot be weighed on a scale. But by using our hands, we will try to measure it—love!
Here’s how we’ll do it: If the measure of love is small, we will put our hands close together. As the measure of love gets bigger, we can move our hands farther apart to show more love. (Demonstrate a small measure of love as you hold your own hands close together; then show a large measure of love as you hold your hands farther apart.)
Show me how much love it takes to smile at a friend. (Probably a small measure; hold your hands about an inch apart.)
Show me how much love it takes to let a friend stand in front of you in line. (Probably a bit more; move your hands farther apart.)
Show me how much love it takes to share a cookie when you are very hungry. (Probably quite a bit more; move your hands farther apart.)
Show me how much love it takes to buy a gift for a friend using your own money. (Probably more yet; move your hands farther apart.)
Show me how much love it would take to stay up all night to take care of your sick brother or mom or grandma. (Much more; move your hands farther apart.)
Now, how much love would it take for you to take a friend’s punishment, when you are innocent? (A lot; hold your hands quite far apart.)
I want to tell you about an even greater measure of love. Listen closely as I read John 15:13 to you. See if you can tell what Jesus calls the biggest measure of love. (Read the verse.)
In this verse, Jesus tells his friends about something that takes the most love of all. Nothing takes more love than to die for someone else. How much love would that take? (Let children try to demonstrate.)
No matter how far you stretch and stretch your arms apart, you cannot show the huge amount of love it would take to die for someone else. Giving up your own life for someone else is extreme love. We can’t stretch far enough!
Instead, let’s make an X for extreme! Can you make an X by crossing your arms in front of your chest like this? (Demonstrate.)
Did you know that Jesus loves you that much? It’s true! Jesus let himself be punished for our sin, even though he was innocent. He had done nothing wrong at all, but he died on the cross for us! That’s extreme love! Where did Jesus take our punishment? (Make an X by crossing your arms and then tilt them so that listeners see a cross instead of an X.)
Jesus loves us and calls us friends. He died for our sins so that we can live as his friends now and forever. He took our punishment on his cross, but he didn’t stay dead. On the first Easter—the first Resurrection Sunday—Jesus came back to life. He will never, ever die again.
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, you showed your love for us by living and dying for us. Your love is so big, no one can measure it! Teach us to show our love for you every day in what we say and by what we do. We pray in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.
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