Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of six devotions intended to help children prepare for Easter. It’s slightly adapted from CTA’s theme for spring, Jesus Lives! Let’s Celebrate!
Familiarize yourself with the devotion. Place a bookmark in your Bible at John 11:25.
Place all of the magnet pieces of your Jesus Lives! Let’s Celebrate activity magnet individually on one side of a metal cookie sheet or pizza pan. Plan to assemble them on the other side of the pan during the introduction. Place the metal pan and your Bible inside a bag.
Have extra Jesus Lives! Let’s Celebrate magnet pieces on hand and plan to distribute them to children who didn’t receive one to take home last time.
Warmly greet the children and invite everyone to sit down around you. Nearby, place the bag of items you prepared ahead of time. Remind your listeners that you have been counting down the weeks until Resurrection Sunday—the day when Jesus defeated death by rising from the dead.
It’s time! Today is the great day on which Christians from all around the world celebrate Jesus, our risen Savior-King, and his Resurrection victory. We will talk more about that in a moment, but first let’s review our countdown so far.
(Briefly review as you show each corresponding puzzle piece, assembling the pieces as you go.)
• (Red piece: hearts) Jesus is the friend of sinful people. We talked about six friends of Jesus—including us! Jesus is our friend, just as he befriended so many people when he lived here on earth. Jesus loves us so much that he took our punishment, dying for us on the cross. Just think! Jesus loved us so much, that he even died for us!
• (Orange piece: lightning bolt) Jesus is powerful. We talked about five of the many miracles Jesus did—powerful miracles. Jesus calmed terrible storms, fed many people, healed a blind man, and much, much more. This same, powerful Jesus loves us. He wants to help us when we have troubles and problems. He can help us with our troubles and problems. No problem is too big or too hard for Jesus!
• (White piece: no sin) Jesus died on the cross for us. He died in our place, taking the punishment we had deserved. Now we are forgiven! Jesus crossed out all of our sins. And he helps us live as God’s loving, obedient children. Jesus is our wonderful friend and Savior.
• (Green piece: three crosses) The cross on which Jesus died didn’t belong to him. He never did anything wrong. He never sinned. That cross really belonged to us. But Jesus hung on that cross, dying in our place. Jesus loves us that much! Amazing!
• (Blue piece: Jesus’ hand) Jesus blessed, healed, and helped the people who came to him for help when he lived here on earth. Jesus still blesses, heals, and helps us today. Jesus knows when we feel hopeless, lonely, and sad. Jesus is always ready to comfort us, to hold us close to help us feel better.
Getting to the Heart
There is one last piece for our puzzle. I told you last time that it has a special shape.
(Show listeners the crown on the yellow puzzle piece and the words “Jesus, the King!” Invite the children to listen as you retell the story of Christ’s resurrection. Each time your listeners hear the word “one,” they should raise one index finger and point upward.)
One very large stone stood in front of Jesus’ tomb. Jesus’ friends had buried him in that tomb when they took his lifeless body down from the cross. Jesus was dead, and all his friends felt very sad and very, very lonely. Meanwhile, Jesus’ enemies insisted that Governor Pilate secure the tomb, so Pilate sent one group of soldiers to guard Jesus’ tomb. They stood there, guarding Jesus tomb for three days.
Early on Sunday morning—Resurrection Sunday morning—one great earthquake shook the ground. The soldiers fell over, then ran away in fear. They had seen an angel came down from heaven! That one angel had rolled the one huge stone away from the door of Jesus’ tomb.
But there were zero dead bodies inside! Jesus’ body was no longer there. Jesus was no longer in his tomb. Jesus was no longer dead! Our one and only Savior Jesus was alive! Jesus had defeated our greatest enemy—death! Jesus is the one, true king. Jesus rules! He is our one, living, forgiving, loving Savior!
Each year, God’s people remember and celebrate Resurrection Day. It is the one greatest day of all—the day of the one greatest victory of all. Jesus, our Savior, lives! Jesus’ victory over death is also our victory! Listen to what Jesus promises us. (Read John 11:25 from your Bible.) Cheer together: Jesus lives! Let’s celebrate!
Taking It Home
Have the children listen and watch as you sing the words of the following song, using the tune for Frère Jacques. As you sing, point to each of the six pieces of the now complete Jesus Lives! Let’s Celebrate! magnet puzzle to cue the group. Then ask them to sing along with you. Practice several times.
Jesus loves me! (red piece: hearts)
He has power (orange piece: lightning bolt)
Over sin, (white piece: no sin)
Over death. (green piece: crosses)
Jesus is my Savior! (blue piece: Jesus’ hands)
Jesus is my Savior!
Jesus lives! (yellow piece: crown)
Pray together: Thank you, King Jesus, for everything you have done for us. Thank you for making us your forgiven children. Help us praise and honor you every day until we live with you forever. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.