When I was in high school back in the 1980s, video games were all the rage. I was particularly fond of a game called Galaga. A game was so exciting – spaceships flying, alien ships swirling, bombs falling, non-stop action noises, and me having the time of my teenage life. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere…BAM. Then nothing. Just a black screen that said “Game Over”.
I often think this is what death feels like.
But in video game land, it was just the end of that game. Drop in another quarter and you can do it all over again. Not so with real life. BUT death is not “game over” because Jesus did not stay in the grave. The biblical narrative did NOT end there. Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death so that we have the hope of eternal life. The Easter story is the pivotal moment in God’s big rescue plan.
There is no greater message we can share with our children. Easter IS the gospel message. Easter IS the GOOD NEWS!
So how do we teach this to our young children, especially when the significance of Resurrection Sunday hinges on the fact that Jesus died? Death is scary. Much of the story is really, really sad. And it all happened because Jesus had to pay the price for OUR sin.
We wrestle with this tension every year as we make plans for how to teach the lesson at Blackhawk on Easter Sunday. And as the primary influencer of shaping your child’s faith, you probably do, too. It may feel like an immense task, but remember that it’s a process of ongoing conversations and tangible experiences over many years that build on one another. The story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is applicable on more than just one Sunday a year. It applies to our lives every. single. day. But celebrating on this special Sunday gives us an incredible opportunity to tell, retell, illuminate, and reinforce the very foundations of our faith!
Easter. The gospel. It’s a “game changer”!
Here are some resources that may be helpful as you navigate how to talk about the Easter story in your home.
Do one, some, or all! Adjust activities based on the developmental needs of your children and their level of understanding. And have fun! Easter is a celebration. He is Risen…Indeed!
Resources from Blackhawk Children’s Ministries:
- Share the Easter story with kids using an Easter Story Egg: This simple resource helps families walk through the last week of Jesus’ life with with short daily readings that help you tell the story of Easter to kids in an age-appropriate way. Depending on your comfort level, you can use this booklet to tell the story or, using the passages we’ve provided, you can jump right into the Bible and let Scripture do the talking.
- Bibles For Sale – Easter is a great time to present a child with a new Bible. Copies of the Bibles we use in Children’s Ministries will be available for sale on March 25 and April 1 (Easter) at all three sites.
- Preschool Ministry: Jesus Storybook Bible $6
More Fun Ideas:
- Additional Bible passages and item suggestions for your own DIY Easter Story Eggs (link).
- Help your kids create colorful “Jesus is Alive” Easter cards to share with others.
- How sweet it is! Enjoy this fun recipe for Resurrection Buns to create an edible object lesson to help celebrate Easter.
- There are many great Easter books available to read as you prepare for Easter. My suggestion is head to Barnes & Noble, order your favorite beverage from the Starbucks located inside, then head to the Children’s Section and find the Easter book display. Sit on the floor and start perusing to find your favorites. Here’s an example of one we like.
- Verses galore! Click here for more Bible verses about Jesus’ Resurrection.
- Looking for more? Head online for endless inspiration of activity sheets and object lessons. You can find videos, too. Here are a few options (view prior to showing your children):
May you enjoy rich and meaningful conversations with your child as you prepare your hearts for the joyous celebration of Easter Sunday. He is Risen!