The television host leaned over to make sure the microphone was close to the precocious girl’s mouth. He’d just asked her, along with a panel of other school-aged children, about the real meaning of Easter. Her classmates’ answers ranged from getting candy and trinkets from the Easter Bunny to marking the official beginning of spring.
This youngster seemed to have an answer that was more spiritual and accurate than the others:
“Easter is the time when Jesus died on a cross for our sins and got buried in a tomb.”
“That’s right!” the host responded. “But He didn’t stay in the grave, did He, honey? Tell the audience what happened next.”
“Oh, that’s easy!” she exclaimed. “He rose from the dead and came out of the grave.” The host smiled and started to commend the little girl for her correct answer. But before he could, the no longer camera-shy student heartily added, “And each year, if He sees His shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter!” (Note 1.1)
Growing up, I was always a little nervous about Easter. The story of the crucifixion scared me. I don’t know if it was the fashion of the decade or just my little church, but it seems to me that so much emphasis was placed how Jesus died that the true miracle of resurrection got lost. While it is so important to tell the story of Jesus’ suffering and ultimate death on the cross, I think we get lost in the theatrics and forget to share the details of the real miracle of Easter, the resurrection of Christ.
“He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” Luke 24:6-7
He is not here; He has risen! That is the miracle of Easter!
Eugene Peterson wrote, “When something happens that we can’t explain, we say that’s a miracle. Under that set of definitions, most things that a magician does would be a miracle to me, and I know good and well they aren’t. Miracle, through the biblical tradition, is not what we don’t understand but what is done for us that we can’t do ourselves. Miracle is functional. It’s what God does for us, or does for us through other people, that we can’t do ourselves.”
Jesus did what we could never do for ourselves. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we could not hope for or look forward to our own eternity with Jesus. If he had stayed in that tomb, the story of our faith would be very different.
Ask your own kids to tell you about what Easter is about.
“It means He died on a Friday, Good Friday, and rose on a Sunday. And He is a really good man. It was a miracle. And now He, like, helps people…so they can live with no problems…well not any problems…but like…well it’s complicated.” Alena, age 7
“Easter means that Jesus walked down the street and people held palm leaves.” Cory, age 9
“A miracle is an everyday extraordinary…” Julie, age 11
“A miracle is when something happened that you think might be impossible.” Caleb, age 9
This Friday, let’s teach the story of the crucifixion, and let’s emphasize how important Christ’s death on the cross was. Let’s spend a lot of time so our kids know that by doing that, Jesus took the sins of the world (their sins) on His back to the grave. But then let’s move to the miracle of life and encourage our kids to embrace the risen Lord, for His glorious resurrection is the reason for our celebration.
There are basic truths we want to make sure our kids know this Easter season:
- God loves them.
- Everyone sins, but our sins are forgiven.
- Death is not the end of the story, but the start of the story.
- We have hope for a future with Christ because of His resurrection.
- Because you believe in Jesus, you can live forever with God and Jesus in Heaven!
One cannot speak of Easter without speaking about the miracle of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Each of the four Gospels report different, exciting details about Jesus’ resurrection. Spend time reading the details presented in each of these Gospels. (Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12; John 20:1–18)
Christine Clark is the Ministry Coordinator for Family Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church. She has a passion for supporting parents and helping them gain confidence and tools to be spiritual leaders in their homes. She is blessed to be the mom of a high school freshman and the wife of her college sweetheart for more than 20 years. She is also an avid sports fan who loves all things football, especially in the fall in Texas.