What’s the big idea?

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As a mother I have struggled with Easter.  Not with it’s meaning, but how best to truly explain to my children what happened on Easter.  Even I can barely comprehend the enormity of what Christ did for us on the cross, so it’s even harder to explain to a two and four year old.  Yet this single moment is so essential to how I view life and the world that it is the most important lesson I will ever teach my kids.  A powerful, righteous, and just God loved me so much that he was willing to send His son to suffer complete separation from God (and thus separation from all that is good) so that we would never have to.  So the teacher in me started to break all this down.  I remind myself, this lesson won’t be taught only once.  As my kids get older and understand more, I can deepen the lessons and expand their knowledge of the more nitty gritty theological aspects of Christ’s resurrection.  Then I start to work out what the most important points I want my kids to learn right now. I came up with:

  • Even if they were the only person on Earth, Christ would still have died on the cross,just for them.
  • Jesus had to die if we were to live. There was no other way.
  • Jesus didn’t stay dead!  He conquered death for us.
  • The path to God is free, but you have to follow it if you wish to live.

So I did some surfing (of the Internet) and found some pretty nifty crafts!  I’ve been using these the past week, saving some for the next week.  I’ve made a list here of what I’ve found.  Feel free to use these ideas or tell me your own!

  • I have to put a plug in for Veggietales here.  When the kids need a moment to unwind, An Easter Carol has, I’m pretty sure, the best scene depicting Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Warning: the songs get stuck in your head for days after.
  • I had the girls make crosses out of bouganvilla branches.  They’re very thorny and gave the girls something to actually touch that showed them what was put on Jesus’ head.
  • Any picture depicting us on one cliff, God on another and a chasm I between. Then have them glue a cross in between as a bridge between the two.
  • Make 3 columns on a paper. (or have 3 pages). Have one show someone a little sad, one crying, and one happy.  It shows three places:  Earth where there is a little crying, Hell where there is nothing but crying, and heaven where there is no more crying.
  • As Easter often represents the start of spring, have them grow flowers. Point out the dead soil that has no life, and then they get to watch as new life springs from the dead ground.
  • This is my favorite, but I haven’t actually tried it.  I’ll add a note to let you know if it works once I try it this week.  Have them roll up marshmallows in crescent rolls to represent Jesus being buried.  Bake them and when they come it, the marshmallows are gone, leaving an “empty tomb”. I’m pretty stoked to try that out out.  
  • Create an empty tomb using paper plates and a cup.  Here’s the URL: http://www.sunday-school-center.com/support-files/lg4-lesson-5-the-empty-tomb-easter-sunday.pdf
  • Make an Easter card with a cross on the front and an empty tomb inside. On the front say “Friday was sad” and in the inside say “but Sunday is glad!”

Hope these ideas help as you teach your kids the true meaning if Easter!

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