It’s been a blessing these last several days to read through the gospel accounts of the week leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus as I’ve used this little book “Why Easter?” with my daughter. I’ve also found several different blog posts edifying as well in encouraging deeper thought through the implications of the resurrection, such as Desiring God’s resources, as well as some links I’ll share below on making it real for your kids. The more I dwell on these realities, the more my heart is filled with gratitude to my Redeemer. Let’s purpose to use this week before Easter to prepare our hearts to truly ponder who Christ is and what He has done, praise Him for His greatness, and love Him more!
Intentional Devotionals & Activities
I purchased a set of Resurrection Eggs from Lifeway Christian Stores, but you can make your own too. This plastic carton contains 12 colored plastic eggs and a devotional booklet to work through. For the 11 days preceding Easter Sunday, read the corresponding devotional and open the appropriate egg to reveal the hidden item inside. We encounter a donkey, symbolizing the colt Jesus rode on into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; silver coins, reminiscent of the silver for which Judas agreed to betray Jesus; a cup, representing the Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples as He gave thanks, passed around the cup and said, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
On Easter Sunday we open the final white egg to reveal… it is empty! It alone has nothing inside, symbolizing the empty tomb. “He is not here, for He is risen!” You could also use them for an egg hunt and do all the devotionals together on Easter Sunday or however works best for your family; maybe have neighborhood kids over and do it with them too. Although I chose to purchase mine, I did a quick search to find instructions for making your own (http://faithfulprovisions.com/2012/03/08/easter-egg-ideas-resurrection-eggs/) to save some money.
Why Easter? (book) I wrote a blog post last week about this book. We are loving working through it this year! I can see the wheels turning in my daughter’s head as she is pondering the truths it presents, prompting lots of questions from her and discussions about Jesus’ work. I love that it includes so much biblical background & context, including some of the prophecies fulfilled by Christ.
Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones is my favorite Bible storybook. The chapters surrounding Jesus’ death, burial & resurrection are great fodder for conversations with your kids concerning what Jesus came to do. Not to mention it’s just a great all around summary of the greatest story ever told!
Salt & Flour Tomb – This is an activity my mom used to do with me and my siblings when were young, which my sister just did today with my daughter. Find instructions and photos of this project on my mom’s blog.
Others have addressed similar themes better than I can. I encourage you to read this post by Noel Piper. My friend Heather shares a great idea on her blog as well as she shares her thoughts on creating a meaningful Easter. I also enjoyed this post on the Girltalk blog.
I have several more ideas to share but chose not to include them all in this post for the sake of space… look for them Thursday on the blog! In the meantime, the greatest thing you can do to help prepare your children’s hearts for Easter is to prepare your own. Purpose to read through the gospel accounts of the Holy Week and take time to reflect on the work of Christ on our behalf. Follow Christ’s steps to the cross, mourn with His followers at the great cost of sin, and rejoice that on Sunday, they found the tomb empty for He is not there — He is risen, as He said!