By Gail Marsh
Can you think of something that just keeps on getting better and better? Perhaps the Easter story qualifies. Every time you hear the story of Christ’s resurrection, a little more of the wonder of God’s grace sinks in; a bit more of Christ’s power fills your soul; and you marvel at the thought that Jesus chose you to share in his victory. Satan is defeated. Completely. Defeated. Forever. Death has no power over you. Absolutely. No. Power. Ever. Christ won the victory and so, we believers share in his victory!
How can you help the students you serve grasp a bit of the wonder that is Easter? How might you present this very familiar Bible story and make it new and meaningful? Here are a couple of unique ideas to try:
Treasure Box: Find or make a treasure box from a shoe box or other container. Also cut strips of paper. Put the paper strips and a pencil into the treasure box. Lock or tape the box securely closed.
Introduce the Resurrection story by presenting the closed treasure box. Ask students to name some “treasures” they’d hope to see inside a treasure box they discovered. Then say, Christ’s followers hoped Jesus would be their earthly king. They, too, hoped for many of the same treasures we’ve mentioned. Then came Good Friday. Read parts of Christ’s crucifixion from your Bible. This wasn’t the plan at all! Hopes and dreams were shattered. Jesus was dead. But this is not where the story—God’s story of redemption—ends. Read the Easter account. Could the followers of Jesus dare to hope, once again, for a treasure? Yes! Only Jesus could unlock the treasures God, our heavenly Father, has prepared for us. Open the treasure box. Empty the paper and pencil from inside. Treasures that Christ has won for us include forgiveness. Print “forgiveness” on one of the slips of paper and put it inside the treasure box. Invite students to take a slip of paper and note another invisible blessing Jesus won for us through his life, death, and resurrection. Some examples are: victory over the devil, everlasting hope, eternal life, power over temptation, confidence, peace, wisdom, and more. How are these treasures better than earthly ones? Discuss. Pray, thanking God for his plan of salvation and the amazing, eternal treasures Jesus won for us through his resurrection.
Tissues: You’ll use facial tissues to tell the Resurrection story to young children. Practice ahead of time so the lesson will progress smoothly. Place a box of white tissues on the floor or desk in front of you.
Pull a tissue from the box and wipe your “tears.” Jesus’ friends were sad. Really, really sad. They watched as soldiers put their Friend on a cross. And that’s where Jesus’ friends saw him die. It was very, very sad.
Pull another tissue from the box. Pretend to place spices into the center of the tissue and pull the corners together to form a “pouch” as you say, On the third day after Jesus died, Mary and her friends gathered spices. They wanted to go to the grave and put perfumes Jesus’ body. As they traveled to Jesus’ tomb, the women began to worry. “Who will roll the big stone away from the grave? It’s too large of a stone for us to move! And what about the soldiers guarding Jesus’ grave. Will they allow us to go in?”
Pull two tissues from the box. When the women arrived at Jesus’ grave, they were surprised! The soldiers were gone! The large stone at the opening of Jesus’ grave had been rolled away! The women ran inside the grave and saw (flutter the two tissues to represent angels) two angels. Jesus’ body was gone! The women fell to the ground and the angels said, “Why are you looking for Jesus here? He is not here. Jesus is alive!”
Pull another tissue from the box and begin to quickly tear it up into pieces. Take another tissue from the box and tear it as well. Continue pulling tissue and tearing it as you say, Alive? Jesus is alive? Jesus. Is alive? Jesus is alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! We must go and tell Jesus’ friends. He lives! Jesus is alive! Toss the torn tissue into the air! Invite children to take a tissue, tear it up and toss it, too. Celebrate the resurrection with joy!
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