The Celebration of Easter!
“CELEBRATE, Jesus CELEBRATE! CELEBRATE, Jesus CELEBRATE! He is Risen! He is risen, and He lives forevermore! He is Risen! He is Risen! Come on and CELEBRATE the RESURRECTION of our Lord!”
Easter is a time of celebration. Because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we can take this time to CELEBRATE: Salvation, peace, joy, healing, deliverance, eternal life, and much more!
The celebration of Easter gives you as a children’s minister the opportunity to present the message of salvation to unbelieving children and to remind believing children of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for them.
The celebration of Easter is also an awesome opportunity for you to encourage and enable families to share the message of Eater with their children as they “sit at home, or walk along the road, or when they lie down and get up” (to paraphrase Deuteronomy 6:7.) In other words, the celebration of Easter can be part of everyday life.
IDEAS YOU CAN USE
Sharing the Message of the Gospel during the Easter Season
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
This could be an effective ministry to the children or the children could prepare this as a ministry to the congregation.
Set up twelve stations throughout your church or throughout one large room in your church. Plan to have worshipful background music playing during the entire event. At each station set up a “live” tableau of the event using costumed Bible characters and props. Pre-record a brief Scriptural account of that event or have a live narration that is told as the group visits the station. At some of the stations you might want to have objects the children could experience by touch or smell such as a crown of thorns, a cup of vinegar, a railroad spike, etc.
Station 1: Jesus’ Agony in the Garden
Station 2: Jesus Is Condemned to Death
Station 3: Jesus Is Beaten and Crowned with Thorns
Station 4: Jesus Bears the Cross, Simon Comes to Help Him
Station 5: Jesus’ Clothes Are Taken and Divided Among the Soldiers
Station 6: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross and Offered Vinegar to Drink
Station 7: Jesus Cries Out and Dies
Station 8: Jesus’ Body is Taken from the Cross and Placed in a Tomb
Station 9: Jesus Rises from the Dead
After each station has been visited, you might want to have a station where the plan of salvation is presented and the guests are given an opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. Or, you might want to have a station where the guests can receive communion.
WHAT CAN YOU GIVE HIM?
Bible Lesson: Matthew 26:6-13
Preparation: A week in advance, ask the children to bring something that is valuable to them. (It can be a toy; a picture of their family pet; a picture of their family; it can be a baseball card that they’ve collected, etc…)
*You will need crosses with the word “Christ” written on them. These crosses can be made by gluing two Popsicle sticks together.
*You will need a container that resembles an alabaster box.
*NOTE: Matthew Henry Commentary describes the alabaster box as something resembling a vase, made out of alabaster which is a precious white stone. The alabaster box contained an expensive perfume.
Have each child share the valuable item that he or she brought. As they show the item ask questions like, “What makes this so special to you?” “Would they be willing to give this up?”
After each child has had an opportunity to share his or her item, tell the story found in Matthew 26:6-13. Let two of the children role play anointing Jesus’ head with the precious perfume.
As you tell the Bible story emphasize these points:
- The woman gave up something that was very valuable to her.
- She gave up the precious perfume because she loved Jesus.
- She poured out the precious gift on Jesus even though others—even the disciples—made fun of her.
- Jesus gave her a wonderful promise for giving such a valuable gift to Him. He promised that each time the story was told she would be remembered.
At the conclusion, give each child a small cross. Explain that Jesus Christ, God’s son, willingly gave up His life on the cross. He gave His most valuable possession for us. He did this because he loved us and was willing to take the punishment for our sins. What will we give back to Him? All of the things you have shared today our wonderful possessions and they are very precious to you. But there is only one thing that Jesus wants you to give to Him. (Read Romans 12:1a to the children from an easy-to-understand translation.) Yes, Jesus wants you to give Him your life, to live your life everyday in such a way that it is pleasing to Him.
Enabling Families to Celebrate Easter!
EASTER EGG EXTRAVAGANZA
Several weeks before Easter, send a flyer home with each child explaining participation in the Easter Egg Extravaganza. Encourage the family to work together to create an egg or eggs that reflect the true meaning of Easter.
Rules for participation in the Extravaganza:
1) Egg must be hardboiled.
2) Egg must be decorated to represent something related to the Easter story found in Matthew 26:14-Matthew 28:10.
3) Egg must be decorated by the child but the entire family should be involved in designing the egg.
On Easter Sunday display each Easter egg on a table in the foyer of the church. If possible, place each egg in its own individual basket with Easter grass around it. Have each child write an explanation of the decorations on his egg on an index card placed by the egg.
THE EASTER COOKIE
Visit http://www.cherbearsden.com/cookies.html to find a wonderful Easter cookie recipe. One or two weeks before Easter print it out and give it to the parents of each child in your ministry. Even better—mail it with an Easter card to each family. Challenge the parents to prepare this Easter cookie recipe the night before Easter morning and then share the treat with their children on Easter morning.
If you want to use the recipe on Easter morning, make sure you bake a batch of cookies prior to Easter for the children to eat and experience the wonder of the resurrection.
Easter party kits for use in on site outreaches or in your local church are distributed by Child Evangelism Fellowship Press, PO Box 348, Warrenton, MO 63383; 800- 748-7710; www.cefpress.com
Gospel Illusions distributed by Children’s Ministry Today, 8469 Seton Court, Jacksonville, FL 32244-5937; 904-777-3339; Website address: http://www.childrensministry.org/
Originally printed as the Volume 6, Issue 3 of the CM Newsletter, March 2002, Contributing Editor: Daryl & Janean Francis