This week, we remember the saddest day history has known and the greatest, most joyous day since the dawn of creation. We remember how Christ’s love for humanity took Him to the Cross, where He laid down His life to redeem each of us. We celebrate that death itself could not hold Him, and that, three days later, He rose again, forever tearing down the barrier between us and life eternal with God.
So how can you help your children understand these two important days? Here are some ideas for you and your family to try:
• Go for a walk as a family. Point out how the winter cold caused many of the trees and plants to lose their leaves and even die, and then send your kids on a hunt for new life as grasses, plants, and trees are beginning to sprout and bud amidst it all. Explain how Jesus chose to die on Good Friday because He loves us and wanted to make a way for us to be with God forever, and because He rose again and came back to life through God’s power, He is always with us, which means we are never alone. He is always there to help us follow God and know His love.
• Put small treats in plastic Easter eggs and hide them around your house or yard without your kids knowing. On Easter morning, let your kids hunt for the eggs but tell them not to open their eggs just yet. Once all the eggs have been found, sit down as a family and, taking one egg, open it up to reveal the treats inside. Tell the kids how Jesus’ friends were very sad and afraid after He died, but when one of them named Mary went to where His body had been laid, she found an amazing surprise, too – Jesus had risen! The tomb had been opened up, and angels were there to say He was alive again.
• If you have Preschool or Elementary-aged children, read together through the stories of Good Friday and Easter using an appropriate version of the Bible (such as The Jesus Storybook Bible for young readers or an NIrV Bible for older readers). After each section/story, stop and talk about what it would have been like to have been there, how people might have felt, and why Jesus did what He did in each situation. Save the story of the Resurrection for Easter morning.
• Grab a large piece (or multiple pieces) of paper and, reading through a children’s Bible, draw out the story together as a family, talking about each event as you draw it. Place the pictures somewhere they can be seen, and on Easter morning, retell the story found on your Easter mural.
This Easter, we encourage you to take the time to really think about and celebrate as a family what Jesus did for us all over 2,000 years ago. After all, it is the greatest story ever told, and it’s one we celebrate every day of our lives with Christ.