Jesus paying for our sins on the cross can be a confusing concept for children. I remember being confused by it when I was a child. How could my sins put Jesus on the cross when I wasn’t born yet?

Once I was older I understood better Jesus sacrifice on the cross and now with six children I have had a lot of practice telling them about Jesus and what He did for them.

Our four older children were saved at early ages. Each one had different areas that they had a hard time understanding. From my discussions with each of them and also with children I’ve taught over the years in Sunday School and at Church Camp, I’ve learned how to talk to children about the Cross.

Today I want to explain what Jesus did on the cross in simple language that even children can understand.

“But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.’” (Luke 18:16-17 NKJV)

First thing we must understand is a little word called “sin”.

What is sin?

Sin is the bad things we do.

hunger-413685_640Have you ever told a lie, stole a cookie, cheated on a game? How about disobeying your parents? When your mom tells you to clean your room have you ever played with your toys instead? That is sin. We all sin (do bad things) some people’s sin looks different from others but we are all born with it.


Where did sin come from?

adam-and-eve-798376_1280-pixabayWhen God made Adam and Eve, He made everything perfect. He gave Adam and Eve one rule. “Don’t eat the fruit of one tree in the middle of the garden.” Satan came to the garden in the form of a snake and lied to Eve telling her she should eat the fruit. After Eve ate some she gave it to Adam and he ate it too.

That was the very first sin. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. After their sin they were punished. When God told them what their punishment was He also gave them a promise that one day a child would be born that would crush the head of the serpent.

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NKJV)

That child was Jesus.

Ever since Adam and Eve that forbidden fruit everyone born after them was also affected. Their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even their great-great-great-great-great….grandchildren all the way to you and me were born sinners (doing bad things.)

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–” (Romans 5:12 NKJV)

God is perfect and He created a perfect heaven to live in. #AskGodToday Click To Tweet

sneakers-140896_640-pixabayDoes your mom like you walking through the house with muddy shoes? God doesn’t want us to bring our sin into His heaven either.

“But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:27 NKJV)

We have a problem.

How do we get rid of our sin?

We can’t be perfect. Even if we tried to be very very good and try to not sin it doesn’t hide the bad things we’ve already done.

“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6 NKJV)

But I have good news. God knew we couldn’t be good enough on our own to be with Him in Heaven. So He provided a way for us. He came to earth in the form of Jesus, His son, in order to take our punishment for us.

God came to earth in the form of Jesus, His son, in order to take the punishment for our sin. Click To Tweet

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10 NIV)

hammer-802298_1280-PixabayHave you ever gotten in trouble at home? What happens when you get in trouble? That is discipline.

What happens when an adult breaks the law? They have to go before a judge. If the judge finds them guilty they are punished by being sent to jail and sometimes they have to pay a lot of money. 

We deserve to be punished for the bad things we do but Jesus came to Earth in order to take our punishment for us. The Bible says,

“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)

We deserve death for our sin but Jesus took that punishment for us so that we no longer have to be separated from God.

All we have to do to be a part of God’s family is realize that we do bad things and can’t do enough good things by ourselves to save us. Then we need to repent. That means we need to tell Jesus we’re sorry for the bad things we do.

Have you ever had to tell someone you’re sorry? Maybe your mom told you to say you’re sorry, but you’re not really sorry? That’s not repenting.

Now can you remember a time that you hurt someone and felt really really bad about it so you told them you’re sorry?

That is true repentance. You really meant it, didn’t you?

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV)

Jesus wants us to tell Him we are sorry for the bad things we do and really mean it. It’s okay to feel bad about doing something wrong, as long as we don’t stay there.

After we tell Jesus we are sorry for our sins, we need to let Him know that we want to follow Him. We want to be a part of His family. Then we should thank Him for dying on the cross for our sins.

Would you like to ask Jesus to save you right now?

Do you want to ask Him to be the Master of your life? Are you sorry for the bad things you have done?

Then right here, right now, tell Him.

If you have a hard time saying the words you might find it easier to write God a letter. He can read letters too. The important thing is that you give your life to Him.

Have you asked Jesus to save you? Would you like me to pray with you?

Please let me know in the comments. I would love to pray with you.

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About Anastacia Maness

Anastacia Maness is a preacher's wife, homeschooling mother of 6 blessings, and writer. When she's not counting her blessings (or patiently waiting for them to find their shoes) she's writing about them at, encouraging and strengthening families.
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