“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Easter is just around the corner.
As February dawns in children’s ministry, we begin to prepare for Easter and Holy Week. Whether you have an Easter egg hunt for the community, your kids sing special Easter songs, they wave palm branches on Palm Sunday to the singing of Hosanna, or you have a special series of lessons on the resurrection, this is the greatest celebration in the life of the believer.
“He is risen! He is risen indeed!” will be proclaimed throughout Christendom on Easter Sunday morning. But what do we teach our children about this redemptive story? I thought I would share with you one of my favorite teacher devotionals as you begin preparations for Easter with your children.
It was hard for Mary Magdalene and the disciples. Their beloved Lord had died on the cross and his body had been placed in Joseph’s tomb. In spite of what Jesus had told them before his death, they didn’t really believe that he would rise again. Their hearts were heavy with grief and a profound sense of disbelief and loss.
But the hope of the resurrection began to dawn on them slowly in the morning that first day of the week. When John saw the linen cloths and the neatly folded head square in the empty tomb, faith began to take hold of him—the hope of seeing the risen Christ began to fill his heart. And when Jesus called Mary by name, she recognized that dearly loved voice and finally saw that it was Jesus the risen Savior, her Lord and Master who stood before her. Thankful trust quickly replaced her bleak sorrow and confusion, and she was able to tell his disciples what she knew to be true—the good news of his resurrection.
During his life, Jesus had shown God’s miraculous power by calming the sea, healing the sick, and raising the dead. Now the greatest miracle of all was revealed when Jesus rose from the dead. On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for his people’s sins by dying in their place. His resurrection proved that he had defeated sin and death for all those who would put their trust in him.…
Today, your love for Jesus and your joy in his saving work will tell the resurrection story just as clearly as the words you use. Pray that God will open the hearts of the children who hear the good news, so that John’s faith, Mary’s joy, and the gladness of the disciples will be theirs as well. (Preschool, “Jesus Is God,” Lesson 13 devotional, p. 89 © GCP 2017)
Do you see how this begins with sorrow, confusion, disbelief, and loss but ends with faith, joy, and gladness? This is exactly the story we need our children to know, the gospel of Jesus that brings life and life abundantly. May the joy of the Lord abound in your life and mine during this Easter season and all year long so that our children may know Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.
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