Kathy Creasy | Cleveland, Tennessee
Too often, when children think about Easter, they focus on bunnies, eggs, and other secular symbols and traditions of the holiday. Do our children understand the significant truths that came to life as Christ was crucified and then resurrected from the dead? Here are a few biblical truths our children can experience that will impact their lives not just during the Easter celebration but eternally.
Easter is evidence of God’s love for us. Our love for others is always reflected not just in our words but also in our actions. Romans 5:8 reminds us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Idea: Let children share ways we show love to one another i.e. encouraging words, deeds of service, good touches, etc. Form small groups. Let each group choose a way they show love then together create a symbol that illustrates it. For example, a drawing of lips might symbolize kind words. Let each group share the symbol they have created. After the children share their symbols, show the symbol of the cross. Read Romans 5:8 with the children to discover the amazing way that God showed His love to us. He allowed His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross even when we did not know Him and love Him.
Easter confirms God’s promise of eternal life. Yes, Jesus died on the cross but that isn’t the end of the story. He came back to life. The resurrection is a foundational truth of Christianity. No other spiritual leader of any world religion has been resurrected and lives forever—only Jesus. Jesus’ resurrection seals the authenticity of Christianity. For our children, it personally assures them of life now and forever. John 11:25, 26 says, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’”
Idea:(First, show children a variety of Easter eggs. Then show them a white egg.) I found this egg in the refrigerator this morning. It was the only one that wasn’t used for our breakfast. It’s not quite as exciting as the other eggs but you can have some good fun with it. I’m going to throw it up in the air and try to catch it in this bowl. (Build up the expectation that there will be quite a big mess. Of course, the egg has been hard-boiled.) The egg was hard-boiled so what we expected did not happen. Mary and the others who came to the tomb expected to anoint Jesus’ body with spices. But that’s not what happened. Jesus’ body was not in the tomb. Why? Jesus was alive. Through God’s power He came back to life and lives forever. Because Jesus overcame death we too can live NOW and FOREVER.
Easter assures us of God’s forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Jesus’ death and resurrection assure us that when we believe on Jesus and repent of sin we are forgiven.
Idea: Give each child a page of the newspaper. Have the children wipe their hands on the paper until everyone’s hands are stained with ink. Then give each child a “wet wipe” to wipe away the ink stains. Ask every child to come put the dirty wipe in the garbage bag. Seal the garbage bag and throw it in the trash. Relate this activity to the truth that every person who lives in this world does things that are not pleasing to God. (Romans 3:23) That is sin. But God provided a way that we could be forgiven and cleansed of those sins that “dirty” our lives. His son Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. When we believe that He did this and admit our sins, He forgives and cleanses us (1 John 1:9). And…our sins are truly gone. The dirty wipes we placed in the bag were put in the trash and will be picked up by the trash man. We will never see them again. When we confess our sins, they are gone; we are forgiven and made clean.
Easter guarantees that we will live in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” What is victory? Victory is overcoming a problem or obstacle. Victory is winning a contest or a fight. Our greatest enemy is sin but Jesus’ death and resurrection guarantees that we can win against sin in our own lives and the evil that is in the world. Why? Because Jesus is present with us. If we turn to Him when we are tempted with sin or when we face a problem, he will help us experience the same victory he experienced when he died on the cross and then rose from the dead.
Idea: Ask an adult or teen helper to assist you with the following demonstration. Have him put his wrists together while you wrap string around them until he cannot break free. Share with the children how the sins we have committed cause us to be tied up with guilt, fear, shame, and more. The wrongs committed by others and the evils in this world cause us sadness, anger, and fear. However, if we believe that God’s power gave Jesus victory over death and sin, we can call on Him to help us. (Using a pair of scissors, cut the string to free your volunteer.) Pray with the children concerning the sin and evil that impacts their lives. Encourage them to bring these to Jesus in prayer and obedience so that they can experience the victory Jesus has for them.