Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from a family devotion packet that accompanies the A Love That Never Dies family activity kit. CTA offers many other FREE children’s devotions in the Resource & Idea Center. Send them home for families to use in their personal devotions, use them in your Sunday school, or make them part of your outreach events!
Before you begin, fill several colorful Easter eggs with small candy treats. Have enough treats to give each child one. Leave one egg empty.
I’m so glad to see you! The week ahead is a very special week for Christians. Do you know what it is called? (Let volunteers guess.) Yes, it is called “Holy Week.” The word holy means “one of a kind, unique” or “set aside for God’s purposes.”
We call this week “holy” because during the days of Holy Week, we remember what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.
Many one-of-a-kind events happened during the first Holy Week. The week begins with Palm Sunday. Who remembers what happened that day? (Let volunteers retell the story; add in any details that they miss.) Later in the week, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. There he was arrested. The disciples ran away, and Peter even said, “I don’t know this man!” Peter denied Jesus three times.
Then on the day we call “Good Friday,” Jesus died for us. Now, those who trust in Jesus know that our sins are forgiven. Jesus is our King, the King of Love!
Finally, Jesus rose from the dead. What do we call that day? Yes, it’s Easter or Resurrection Sunday. Let’s talk a little bit about what happened on that day.
Maybe on Resurrection Sunday you will receive some things like these. What are they? (Show the Easter eggs. Open them one by one and share the treats inside. Leave the empty egg until last.)
(Open the last egg—the empty one.) Whoops! There’s nothing in this egg! Whoever gets this one will be disappointed!
Hmmm. Do you think the empty egg surprises me? No, it doesn’t. I knew it was going to be empty. I brought it to remind you that on Resurrection Sunday, Jesus’ tomb was empty—just like this egg. Jesus told his friends that would happen. But they didn’t understand him. His empty tomb surprised them.
Listen as I read what the Bible says about that. (Read John 20:1–18.)
The empty egg is like the empty grave on Easter morning. Sin, death, and the devil had no power at all to keep Jesus inside the tomb. Jesus was alive, and he will never die again!
Early that morning, this good news started to spread. But no one really understood it or believed it yet. Some of Jesus’ friends came to the tomb and looked inside, but it was empty. How do you suppose they felt? (Accept reasonable suggestions.) Yes, I imagine they were frightened and worried. They were probably confused and uncertain, too.
A little later, Mary came. She was so sad that she cried. While she was crying, she heard someone behind her. She thought it was the person who took care of the graves in the garden there. Listen again to what Mary said. (Read John 20:15.)
Then Jesus said something to Mary. Just one word. Jesus said her name: Mary. Then Mary knew it was Jesus. He was alive again!
That’s how it will be when Jesus comes to take us to live with him forever. He will say our name and we will know his voice. We will know the greatest thing ever is about to happen! All this is true because Jesus died for us on the cross and came to life again on Resurrection Sunday. What a great holy day that is! What a great holy week we get to observe!
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, you are so strong. You are so good. You are so wonderful. Nothing can stop your love. You defeated sin. You destroyed death. You have won eternal life for us. You have given us faith to believe this. Keep us strong in that faith here on earth. Remind us that someday we will hear you call our names. We will know that the greatest thing ever is about to begin—life with you in heaven! We look forward to that day, Lord Jesus! We love you! Amen.
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