Easter. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it jelly beans? The chocolate bunnies? Coordinating outfits and lace gloves from your childhood?
It is hard to get into the celebration of the true meaning of Easter, especially when there’s a ham to glaze, dress to buy, eggs to hide.
Sure, Good Friday service and Sunday morning help us reflect on the holiday that surrounds Jesus’ death and resurrection. But, a few years ago, I wondered if there was something we could do as a family that would help visualize the events of passion week and be a fun and memorable way to anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
Supplies: Easter Basket, Bible, Paper Slips, and Towel.
Printable Version: click here!
When you aren’t rushed and the kids are attentive, gather in a specific place like the kitchen table, circle on the living room floor, or a couch. Get the family ready by saying, “It’s time to do an activity for Good Friday. We’re going to learn about what sin is and what God thinks about it.”
If your children have a difficult time sitting still listening, you could have them color while you continue. Here’s a few links to some coloring pages.
Then, you can share that:
When we do wrong things, when we disobey God’s law, it is called sin.
Our sin deserves God’s punishment. God says that if we sin, we deserve death. That sounds pretty strong-but that is God’s perfect rule. So, Jesus, God’s son wanted to take our punishment away so that we wouldn’t have to die! That is amazing! Jesus died for our sin, not us.
Then, continue with a simple scripture reading from Mark 15 about Jesus dying on a cross. Your older children could read Mark 15:1-39, but younger children will do better with Mark 15:24-37.
Transition to your activity by saying:
Today we are going to think of some of our sins that Jesus died for and write them down and put them in the basket, we will remember that Jesus took our sin away.
Then, on the pieces of paper think of 1-3 sins/person and write each sin on a different piece of paper, then, put it in the basket.
Examples of sin: hate, disobeying mommy or daddy, lying.
Then, read the following scripture. Romans 8:2. Cover the basket up with a towel and say, “Jesus covered our sins with his blood while he was on the cross, he took them all away, and then he died.”
Take the basket out of the room telling the children, “Jesus died, and his body that carried our sin was taken away to be buried”. Hide it until Sunday.
Say a closing prayer thanking Jesus for taking our sin and our punishment away.
On Sunday, the basket can be filled with pieces of paper that tell what Jesus gives to those who love him (joy, peace, the Holy Spirit…), Easter eggs with treats, etc. Anything celebratory of His resurrection! You could hide the basket, or have them uncover it to reveal replacements inside!
Explain that “even though Jesus died as punishment for being with sin, he did not stay dead. He had power over death.” Read Mark 16:1-6.
Close by praying, or singing a fun song to celebrate!
Angela and I hope you have a wonderful Easter with your families!