The Object Lesson – A Magic Rubik’s Cub
Rubik’s Cubes are familiar childhood toy. The problem is we are often much better at messing them up than we are at solving them. Most of us take the cube out of the box, twist it and up, and leave it sitting on a shelf unsolved. This serves as a picture of what sin does to God’s creation. When God created the world, it was perfect, but sin has brought corruption, pain, and death into our world. It has ruined the perfection. As you talk, you will twist the cube a couple of times to illustrate the effect of sin, just make sure you are doing it in the practiced patterns.
With a Rubik’s cube, you can learn to solve it. You can either memorize the appropriate patterns to move the colors around the cube until it is put back in the right order, or you can cheat and use technology. Websites like www.grubiks.com allow you to enter the current state of your cube and give you step by step instructions on how to solve the puzzle. Either way, step by step, you can begin to put things back in the right place. As you talk, you can “untwist” the cube, aligning it for the “insta-solve” to come in just a moment.
Part of what Jesus did when he walked on the earth is undo the effects of sin. He healed disease, cast out demons, raised the dead, comforted the mourning, and forgave the ashamed. Ultimately, his death and resurrection defeated sin and stripped death of its power. In other words, Jesus began to “untwist” the cube. As Christians, we long for the day described in Revelation 21 when the “untwisting” will be complete. (This is when will you would dramatically “solve” the cube)
The cube featured in the attached video can be purchased from Penguin Magic Online. It does require some practice to pull off the sleight of hand without being too noticeable, but the effect is pretty good. As you talk, you will twist, and then untwist the cube, before suddenly solving the entire cube illustrating the point that one day God will make everything right again.
Bible Lesson – A New Heaven and a New Earth
Revelation 21:1-7 is one of the most hope-filled passages in the Bible. In these verses, a future is described where all the effects of sin are gone. There is no more death. There is no more disease. There is no more suffering. There is no more separation from God. This is the day when everything will be set right and made new.
While we wait on that day, our task is to live with Jesus as our king here and now. This means we play by different rules and live by different standards because our allegiance is to a different king than the rest of the world. We are surrounded by the brokenness that is the result of sin. Selfishness leads to broken friendships. Sexual immorality leads to broken marriages. The pursuit of pleasure leads to broken lives. One person’s greed leads to another person’s hunger. One person’s slander leads to another person’s shame.
Living with Jesus as our kings means recognizing all the “twisting” that sin has done to our world, and seeking to restore as much of it as we can. With love, compassion, and grace we meet them in their brokenness. We build them up instead of tearing them down. We give generously instead of living selfishly. We listen gently instead of condemning harshly. We help lead people to Jesus so he can “untwist” their lives, and we look forward to the day when everything will be made whole again.
Other Scriptures to Study
Here are some passages that speak about the work Jesus did “untwisting” the effects of sin, and the role we are supposed to play in helping bringing heaven to earth through love and grace.
As Jesus begins his ministry, he is asked to read from the scroll of Isaiah. He chooses a text that highlights the role of the Messiah as the one who “preaches good news to the poor” and “sets free the oppressed.”
When we serve the hungry, lonely, and sick, we serve Jesus himself.
Many people have been broken and torn down by words, we can use our words to build them up instead.
Most people live for their own glory and accomplishment, we are called to put others before ourselves.