Jesus Takes Away Our Sins
by Maurice Sweetsur


WARNING: The chemicals are not corrosive, but should be treated with caution, keep away from children, mouths, eyes, and skin. 

For this object lesson you will need two chemicals: Potassium Permanganate and Sodium Metabisulphite. (These are both solids and can be obtained from Chemical suppliers), a large glass jar, four smaller glasses, and two sticks tied together to form a cross. One of the sticks needs to be hollow at one end (A bamboo cane is ideal). The hollow end will form the bottom of your cross.


Preparation: Wrap 2 or 3 grams of Sodium Metabisulphite in a paper tissue and secure it with a small rubber band. Insert the package into the bottom of your cross. Push it in so can't be seen.

Dissolve a few grains of Potassium Permanganate in about 250 mls. water (or, alternatively Iodine solution can be used instead). This will produce a maroon colored liquid to represent "sin."

Half fill your large jar with water. Fill one glass with your Potassium Permanganate solution. Half fill the other three glasses with water, and mark them Good works, Church and Money - or, any suitable alternatives that some people think will solve our "sin" problem.

Presentation: This can vary depending on your preferences and the children you are ministering to, but I usually proceed (often after presenting the What is Easter all about? puppet play) along the following lines:

Hold up the large jar. In the beginning God created a perfect world, and the best thing He made was people. He made them rather like this glass of water - clean on the outside (representing our bodies), and clean on the inside (representing our hearts or spirits).

However, the first people disobeyed God, and this act brought sin into the world and spoiled it all. Pour in about half of the "sin" solution. The jar contents should now be a fairly deep maroon color. So this now is the problem we are all born with - sin or selfishness on the inside (you could give a few examples here).

Down through the years, some people have realized they have a selfishness problem, and have tried many ways to overcome it. Some have thought the answer may be Good Works. Pour in the "Good works" jar. God does want us to be good to each other but, as you see, that doesn't solve our "sin" problem. Some have thought the answer was going to church. Pour in the "Church" jar. It is an excellent idea to go to church, and by doing so you will probably find the answer to your problem. But, as you see, going to Church in itself is not the answer. Some have thought "If I gave half my money away to the poor, surely God will be really pleased with me and take away my sin." Pour in the "Money" jar. God does want us to be generous, especially to those who don't have as much as we do but, as you see, that still doesn't change us on the inside.

Actually, no matter what we try, it is impossible to change ourselves. But the good news of Easter is that what we can't do for ourselves, God has already done for us. It was on the cross that Jesus died in our place to take away our sins. Pick up your cross and place it in the jar. If you have got your concentrations right, the maroon solution will become clear within a few seconds. If not, gentle stirring with the cross should produce the desired effect.

Conclude the illustration as you think appropriate, but I usually proceed as follows :- Some of you may be thinking "I once did put my trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross, but then I did something bad (e.g. shouted at my dad, was rude to my mom, had a fight with my brother, etc.). Does that mean that I have become dirty on the inside again? Lets see shall we. Remove the cross from your jar, then pick up the remaining Potassium Permanganate solution and pour a little at a time into it - repeating the "sins" just mentioned (e.g. being rude to your mom). The maroon color should vanish on making contact with the solution in the jar. Now please don't misunderstand me. If you do something wrong, you need to ask God to forgive you. But, as you can see, once you have put your trust in Jesus and He has taken away your sin, you stay clean on the inside. And that is the Good News we remember at Easter.

Copyright 2002 Maurice Sweetsur

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