Have you ever heard of “lent”? Lent is the time of getting ourselves ready for the most stupendous event of all time: Jesus and His resurrection! To build anticipation for that very first Lent season, leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, the Bible takes us on a scavenger hunt—dropping clue for mankind to piece together about the coming Messiah for centuries until He arrived.
The only thing is, they didn’t know what mystery they were trying to uncover.
Have you ever tried to solve a mystery?
Some of the most fascinating detective stories are full of twists and turns that leave you surprised and hungry for more. Did you know that God’s story in the Bible is actually a series of clues? It’s true! And the clues reveal one of the most mind-boggling mysteries of all time.
You see, with God nothing is random. Every detail is ordered with purpose. So His clues aren’t haphazard or left behind accidentally. They are purposeful and perfectly orchestrated.
As individuals we need to continually be influenced toward truth, to connect with God in meaningful ways.
Here are some clues to help you bring the reality of the eternal into your home in preparation for Lenten season.
You’ll need to use your imagination. Put yourself in the story, walk around with the characters, let no detail escape you.
Ask these questions to your children to help you get started:
-What do you think the Garden of Eden was like?
-What did Adam and Eve see and hear? What did they taste? Smell? Touch?
-How would it be different than what we experience today?
-Why were these two people in the Garden? Why did God make them in the first place?
The experience of the garden must have been nothing short of spectacular. But far better than any smell, taste, or sight was being in the presence of God, their creator. You see, one of the reasons God created Adam and Eve was to have a friendship with them. He tells us He made them in His image, like God.
This friendship with God is only true for mankind. God didn’t have a friend relationship with the animals, only with Adam and Eve. This is how life was meant to be. The garden was perfect because He was there. His presence and nearness is what made it good.
But Adam and Eve disobeyed. They believed the lie of the serpent, that God was withholding something good from them, that God didn’t love them. Have you ever believed this lie? Yes, you have. I have. We all have.
And that is what sin looks like in our world: believing that God doesn’t love us, that we know better, that we would choose better for our lives than our loving Heavenly Father.
Ask your children to name a time when they believed or acted like they knew better than God.
Because God is both perfect love and perfect justice, He must correct His children’s disobedience. And like any honorable king, God must also respond to evil. His discipline to Adam and Eve is the gift of pain so that they won’t forget what they did wrong.
At the same time, He shows His deep love by giving them a promise. Genesis 3:15 prophesies, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
This is God’s very first clue. “He shall bruise your head” means the Messiah will someday defeat Satan and win His children back! Believe it or not—in the very moment when paradise has been lost—God offers you and me comfort, hope, and a promise of Jesus.
As you ready your heart for Easter, thank God for how loving He is. In the midst of the very first sin, the very first time that people didn’t trust Him and His character—He was already planning to die so that we could be with Him again. He was already planning His merciful rescue of a hurting world.
That is Love.
Offer this prayer of praise:
Father, Thank You that you were not caught off guard by Adam and Eve’s disobedience. You had a plan in place from the very beginning, before the world even began. Because you loved them and you love us, You prepared a way for us to come back to You, to know You, and to live with You forever. We stand in awe of You.
Be sure to subscribe to our blog to get the upcoming Lent Lessons in your inbox! Find Lent Lesson 2 here. If you’d like to go deeper with activities and Bible study, check out The Messiah Mystery, an interactive curriculum to teach your family about Lent.