December 7

Read: Isaiah 53:7–8; Acts 8:32–33
Thoughts for Parents

Have you ever felt humiliated? I know that I have … and on more occasions than I would like to remember. We all militate against humiliation … and, yet, the Lord Jesus came to earth for that specific reason: to be humiliated. Of course, He was humiliated on the cross (and we’ll get to that), but His entire life was one humiliation after another. Think of it: He was God; He had always existed in the form of God, enjoying all the blessings and privileges of God, and yet here He was learning table manners and language, submitting to flawed parents, putting up with His little brothers and sisters pulling His hair and wrongly accusing Him to His parents. His entire childhood was a childhood of humiliation: His family was poor; they lived under the tyranny of Rome, His dad worked with his hands. No speaking worlds into existence for Him here. No … carving and sawing and hammering were His lot.

He was humiliated in His very existence—but He was most shockingly humiliated in His crucifixion—at the very moment when He should have been exonerated, when He should have been rescued, “justice was denied him.” Why? For you and me … so that we could have mercy.
Thoughts for Children

Have you every gotten in trouble for something you didn’t do? It is the worst feeling to have to take the blame for a bad thing that someone else did. I know when that happens to me I do everything I can to let everyone know that I didn’t do it and I should not get in trouble for it. It’s just not right or fair to get punished when I did nothing wrong. But you see this is exactly what Jesus did for us. Our sin, all the bad things we do, must be punished. Even though our parents or grandparents or teachers may not see all the bad things we do, God does. God the Father and His Son, Jesus, decided that every single bad thing you and I have ever done, Jesus would take the blame for. That is what He did on the cross. He took the blame for all of our sins.

He didn’t complain one time about being blamed for our sin, His love for us stopped Him from saying, “This isn’t fair!” He did acted this way so that we could know mercy. Mercy means: we don’t get what we deserve. He also took our blame so that we could know grace. Grace means: we get good stuff instead of bad.

And, get this! All of the good things that Jesus deserved for always doing the right things are now ours. They belong to us. We are in God’s family. All of the punishment that we deserved for all of the bad things we have done, Jesus took the punishment for. We get all the good things Jesus deserved for living perfectly. He loves us that much and He is that good.
Activity Time
Week one: Prophecy

This week, we focused on the prophecy of Christ’s birth. We have hope because God always keeps His promises. He said He would come, and Christmas reminds us that He did show up just like He said He would. He came in human flesh as a tiny baby.

For this week’s activity, we’ll be doing a scavenger hunt, which will remind us that God keeps His promises. He told us that something would happen and sure enough, it happened!

After you read your devotionals, hand your children a piece of paper that tells them where to find the next clue. For instance, look in daddy’s shoe, look under the table, look in the kitchen where the Tupperware is, and, when you walk by the trash can, consider emptying it? I’m kidding. Sort of.

At the end of the scavenger hunt leave them with a small gift, a piece of candy, or an outing like going to get ice cream together. If you have older children, consider making the hunt difficult by using riddles. Although you will be tempted to make it so difficult that they can’t actually find the prize, remember: although funny, this defeats the purpose.

If your kids are teenagers, you could take the scavenger hunt outside the home. For example, go to the neighbor’s house and get your next clue, go to your friend Sara’s house and do five jumping jacks to get your clue, etc.

Take a moment at the end to ask simple questions, if you have time:
- How did you know where to find the next piece of paper?
- Why did you believe that the paper was telling the truth?

Link this activity to trust in God: You trusted that mom put the papers where she said they would be … you believe me because i am trustworthy. How much more trustworthy is God! He never lies and never fails. He always keeps His promises.