Easter is just around the corner. It’s not just about the Easter egg hunt or the Easter bunny. Also, young children should not equate Easter with their Savior being tortured. Instead, young children need to understand that death is not the end of the Easter story. The point of Easter is that Jesus is alive in heaven. Because Jesus has risen, we have hope that we will be with Him forever in paradise!
When you tell your children the story of Jesus’ resurrection, paraphrase it in a way that highlights the important details. Here is an example:
“One Sunday morning, a special Sunday we call Easter morning, Mary Magdalene and her two friends were sad because Jesus had died on a cross. They went to the tomb where Jesus’ body was so that they could show Jesus they loved and missed Him. When they came to Jesus’ tomb, they went inside and saw that Jesus was not there. They were afraid because they did not know who took Jesus away. But a beautiful angel dressed in a bright robe came to them and said: ‘Do not be afraid, Jesus is not here. Go and tell Jesus’ helpers that He is alive.’ What wonderful news! Jesus was alive! Jesus is called our Savior because He saved us from our sins. When we don’t behave that is a sin. Jesus died for all the sins of the world. But after Jesus died on the cross, His followers buried Him in a tomb, and the angel came to announce that He is alive and is now in heaven. One day, we will be in heaven with Jesus forever! Easter is about Jesus’ death, but more importantly, it is about His rising to live again. At Easter, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. We can learn about resurrection from the seasons. During winter, all the plants die, but then in springtime, they all come back to life. Resurrection means dying and coming back to life. Because Jesus died and came back to life, we never have to be afraid of death or dying. In fact, right now, Jesus is in heaven building a beautiful place for us to live with Him forever and ever!”
What glorious, good news! Watch as your children’s faces reflect the joy of hearing the story of salvation. For those who participate in Easter festivities, explain to your children that opening up an Easter egg and finding a surprise is like Mary and her friends going to the tomb and finding out the wonderful surprise that Jesus was alive. In addition, tell your children that every little bunny that is born in the spring reminds us that we need to celebrate new life.
We can help our children understand the real meaning of Easter without forcing them to give up their fun childhood fantasies. After all, we don’t give up our Christmas trees at Christmas. With that in mind, here are some fun activities for the Easter season that can help you explain Jesus’ death and resurrection to your young children:
- Teach your children the jellybean prayer.
- Bake resurrection cookies.
- Make resurrection rolls.
- Dye resurrection eggs.
- Have an Easter egg hunt. Leave a few plastic eggs empty as an opportunity to remind your children about the empty tomb.
- Put chocolate crosses in your children’s Easter basket. Many candy manufacturers sell religious-themed Easter candy.
- A very fun activity is Egglo’s Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt, which helps children “see the light of Jesus.” It includes a storybook and DVD.
My newest book release, “God’s Easter Miracles,” is a unique Easter story that will help your children learn the true meaning of Easter while teaching them to have love and compassion for others!