This Easter lesson is based on John 20:10-21:25. It was prepared for older students but can be adapted to your ministry’s needs. The lesson focuses on how Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope as we face any difficulty. It includes several additional learning activities that are optional, depending on the time you have for your class. This is only a suggested guide to help you as you prepare for your students.
Bible Story: Wipe Away Your Tears – Jesus is Alive
Scripture: John 20:10-21:25
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, pictures or flannels of Easter story, dress up clothes, props for reenactment, plastic colored eggs, baskets, slips of paper with names of New Testament books.
Learning Goal: Students will learn that they can have hope in all circumstances because Jesus is alive.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their comprehension by answering review questions and participating in learning activities.
Learning Activity #1: Resurrection Eggs: Have students talk about the items in each egg to review what they know about the Easter story.
Learning Activity #2: Have students reenact the story from John 20:10-21:25
Learning Activity #3: Easter egg hunt: (An activity for students while they wait for others to arrive). Have two sets of colored eggs (if you are using 2 sets of eggs differentiate between the two sets (example: pastel eggs/bright color) with baskets. Depending on the size of your class you may be able to just have one set. Place slips of paper with the books of the New Testament in each egg. Have student hide eggs and then let the others find them. Once all the eggs are found the students race to order the books of the New Testament. If just one set of eggs are used the students work together to put the books in order.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Bible Lesson: Wipe away your tears He’s Alive!
Leaning against the cold tomb Mary Magdalene sobbed uncontrollably. The One who had set her free from the control of seven demons (Luke 8:2) was dead. Not only was He dead but His body was missing from the sealed tomb that was guarded by soldiers.
Three days ago Mary stood near the cross where Jesus the Son of God hung. He had been beaten, mocked and spit upon. As His blood poured from His wounds the crowd was pleased that their shouts for Him to be crucified were answered. How could this be happening? Mary believed that Jesus was God’s promised Savior. She had experienced God’s power when the demonic spirits who once controlled her were sent away by Jesus’ very words. Why would God allow His Son, the Promised Savior to die? Wasn’t He supposed to come and set up His kingdom and rule forever and ever?
As Mary wept at the tomb another group of people were grieving and in disbelief. Jesus’ remaining eleven disciples did not understand why the One they had believed in as the Savior of the world was dead and sealed in a stone cold tomb. On the third day His body disappeared from the tomb. Wasn’t it bad enough that He was dead? Why would someone disturb His burial place and steal His body?
Have you ever felt the sadness and the confusion that Mary and the disciples felt after Jesus was crucified? Sometimes we don’t understand the painful circumstances we are going through but this morning we have hope. Let’s turn in our Bibles to John 20:10. Choose volunteers to read 10-12.
Mary loved Jesus very much. After Peter and John left seeing the empty tomb for themselves Mary stayed behind and wept. As she wept she bent over and wanted to take one more look at her Savior’s empty tomb. This time the tomb was not empty. Where Jesus’ body lay were two angels. They were seated one at the head and the other at the foot of the place where Jesus’ body had been.
The angels spoke to Mary asking her why she was weeping. Mary was devastated and told them that her Lord had been taken away and she didn’t know where He had been taken. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a person nearby. She turned and thought he was the gardener who cared for the tombs. As the tears streamed down her face the Man spoke to Mary and said, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Mary thought maybe this man took Jesus’ body and wanted to know where he placed His body so she could go and care for him.
In Mary’s deep sadness she didn’t recognize the Lord Jesus before her eyes. Oftentimes sadness blinds our eyes. When the man she thought was the gardener spoke her name, her ears heard that familiar voice that she spent hours listening to. (John 10:27)
Imagine the joy that Mary felt as the Lord Jesus appeared to her on that morning! She could wipe her tears because her Savior was alive!
John 20:19-21 As Mary rejoiced in knowing that Jesus was alive ten of His disciples were still fearful and dismayed. Read verses 19-20. Only a resurrected Savior could appear in the room without opening a door. The disciples’ discouragement and dismay was turned to joy because their Savior was alive!
John 20:22-31 Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared to the other ten. He must have been walking around with a mind clouded with doubts about the promises he believed about Jesus. He was not convinced when the other disciples excitedly told him about the resurrected Jesus.
Read John 20:25. Thomas was so clouded with disappointment over the death and burial of Jesus he stubbornly refused to believe this good news.
Jesus knew the disappointment and unbelief of Thomas and once again when all the disciples including Thomas were gathered in the locked room He appeared before their eyes. Let’s read His words to Thomas in verses 26-27.
Thomas proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” His doubts and unbelief evaporated because he knew that Jesus was alive!
John 21:1-9 Peter had seen the Risen Lord Jesus with his very own eyes. I wonder if he was haunted by his own words of saying he didn’t know Jesus. It is possible he couldn’t shake the nagging feelings of guilt and disappointment over denying that he knew Jesus.
The resurrected Jesus appeared again to a group of seven disciples who went fishing with Peter. Even though they knew that Jesus was alive they didn’t know what they were supposed to do with their lives since they no longer could travel with Jesus and be a part of His ministry on the earth. To fill their time they returned to the familiar work of catching fish.
After an unsuccessful night of not catching any fish they heard a friendly voice call out from the shore. Let’s read John 21:5-6
After this miraculous catch of fish, John turned to Peter and said, “It is the Lord.” Peter didn’t stay one second longer in the fishing boat and swam quickly back to the shore where the Lord Jesus had prepared breakfast for His disciples.
John 21:15-25 Peter was glad to see Jesus again but still deep in his heart he couldn’t shake his failure of disowning Him. Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him. Each time Jesus asked Peter He encouraged Peter that he was still useful for the work Jesus was calling him to do. (John 21:15-17)
Peter did not have to carry a burden of guilt and failure. Jesus was alive and had a purpose for Peter’s life. He could lift his head confidently and serve him with all his heart.
Which person from our lesson this morning do you relate to most? Have you experienced a loss so great that your eyes are filled with tears? Have you been going through such a difficult time that you doubt that God really cares about you? Have you sinned against God and feel like you have failed and cannot be used by Him? Lift up your face and look to Jesus the Risen Savior who gives you hope, comfort and forgiveness. Because He lives you can live!
This may be the first time you have ever heard the story about Jesus rising from the dead and you don’t fully understand what that means for you. It is Good News for every man, woman, boy and girl that Jesus is alive! Why? Jesus died on the cross for your sins. Sin is doing anything that doesn’t please God. (Lying, stealing, disobeying etc) We all have sinned against God. Sin keeps us from having a right relationship with God because He is holy (without sin). The punishment for sin is death. This death isn’t just dying and being buried but also means being separated from God forever. God loves you so very much that He sent Jesus to pay for your sins and mine. He didn’t sin and He allowed wicked men to nail Him to a cross. He took our punishment upon Himself. He died on the cross, was buried and three days later God raised Him from the dead. Every person who believes in Jesus receives the gift of eternal life. His/her sins are forgiven and they can live forever in a right relationship with God.
If you would like to discuss this more please talk to us after we pray.
Close in prayer.
- Where was Mary crying? (Outside Jesus’ tomb)
- What did she see when she looked inside the tomb? (2 angels one where Jesus’ head and one where His feet were)
- Who did Mary think Jesus was? (The gardener)
- What did Jesus say that made her realize it was Him? (Her name)
- Who was missing when Jesus appeared to the disciples? (Thomas)
- What did Thomas say he needed to believe? (To see Jesus for himself)
- How did Jesus show Peter that he was still useful to serve God? (He told him to feed His Sheep)