Easter Day is a wonderful day of celebration! Christians everywhere shout “Alleluia,” as we celebrate the truth that our Savior has risen from the dead. Because he defeated death, we will live forever – forever with him!
I love Easter Day, especially after the quiet, reflective time that leads up to it – in my faith tradition, the Lenten season and Holy Week. I also love this time of year as an awesome time to teach the faith to children. Here are a few ideas you can use as you teach the story of God’s amazing love for us in Christ and as you celebrate these special days with the children in your classes and family.
1. Develop activities that encourage young children to notice the contrasts of this season.
- Experience darkness and light by drawing pictures or collecting items with dark colors. Then repeat this process with light colors. Have children stand in a dark room. Talk about what they cannot see. Turn on the lights or a flashlight. Talk about how the light changes what we see. With each of these examples talk about the contrasts and how they remind us of Jesus who turned the darkness of sin into the light of joy and forgiveness. While the children will not fully grasp the meaning of your words intellectually, they will experience the contrasts on a spiritual level.
- Collect items that are old and new (e.g., shoes, tools). Compare the items and talk about how Jesus’ Easter victory makes everything new and special.
- Finally, talk about death and life. Look at insects that have died. Ask what they look like. Then observe insects that are alive. Even though Jesus died, he came fully back to life on Resurrection Day. He will never die again. He is our Friend forever!
2. Without the events of Good Friday, the joy of Easter makes no sense. Tell both parts of the story as you teach, but keep your description of Good Friday simple. I usually use words something like these:
“This is kind of a scary, sad story, but when we learn about it, we remember that Jesus knew this was what he was supposed to do. He was really in charge. So this is what happened.
“The Bible tells us there were many people who did not like Jesus. They were angry and wanted to hurt him. They even said Jesus should die on a cross. On Good Friday we remember these people were able to do this. We remember that Jesus died, but we also remember that he knew he needed to do this for you and for me. He knew he would come alive again! He knew that because he died and came alive again, we would live with him forever. That is what happened. Even though Jesus died on a cross, he came alive again.”
3. On Easter Day celebrate the glorious truth that Jesus lives forever! The one who died for us rose again! Sing and shout alleluia! Worship with praise and thanksgiving because of all that Jesus has done for us!
Blessings to you as you help children know why we are celebrating that Jesus is alive!
Editor’s note: As you help the children in your classes understand and apply the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection, CTA is here to help! Lots of resources are available, many free. Explore all of them online.