What does Easter look like in your children’s program?
Do you do anything special?
Do you have any events to help kids better grasp the meaning of Easter?
At my church, we host an annual 1 day VBS event called “CrossPoint.” This is a 3 hour event where children age 4-11 move in groups from station to station experiencing different parts of the Easter Story. One year we walked through the Bible seeing how the whole Bible points to the cross, one year we did a program called ‘witnesses’ where we thought about what the disciples were sent out to tell the world. This year, our program is called ‘A Week with Jesus’ and we’ll walk through the last week of Jesus’ life from triumphant entry to resurrection.
If you don’t have anything planned yet, it’s not too late to pull together an event like this. Or, if you don’t have time to get a full program together this lesson and activity station lessons that follow can be used in your Sunday School classes in the weeks leading up to Easter.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The day starts with a 30 minute opening ceremony with teaching on the triumphant entry. Then groups work through 6 stations for 15 minutes each. At each station the Scripture passage for the station is read and kids are led through one activity and some discussion on that portion of the week.
- The day ends with a closing ceremony where parents are invited to attend and see what the kids learned. Each group will present something about the final station they participated in and a few songs will be sung.
- You need one volunteer to lead each station and one volunteer for each group of kids (8-12 depending on ages). I generally have about 100 kids and have 15- 18 volunteers total. With a smaller group of kids you could go through the stations all together to cut down on leaders needed or with more kids you could have multiple groups together at each station.
- If you want, the rooms (stations) can be decorated like Jerusalem in Bible times and volunteers can wear Bible times costumes
Here is a sample schedule for the morning:
9:30- -Opening Ceremony
10:00- –Temple Court– – Jesus cleansing the temple
10:15- – Dinner Table– – Passover
10:30- – Upper Room– – Jesus washing disciples’ feet
10:45- – Large Group Activity
11:00- – Garden of Gethsemane– – Jesus’ Arrest
11:15- – Golgatha- – Jesus died on the cross
11:30- – Tomb– – Jesus rose from the dead- – (extra time to prepare to present in closing ceremony)
12:00- -Closing Ceremony (parents back at this time)
Let’s get on with the program…
“Welcome to Jerusalem! Wait, you knew that’s where you were, right? If you didn’t know where you were, maybe you don’t know why you’re here. Does anyone have a clue why we’re all in Jerusalem this morning? You all look very confused – so maybe I better explain what’s going on.
We’ve all come here for a celebration. We’ve come to celebrate Passover and remember that night so many years ago when God passed over the homes of His people and rescued His people from slavery in Egypt. WOW! That would have been an amazing thing to be a part of. I wish I could have lived then and marched out of Egypt with my family and walked through the dry land when God opened the sea to make a way for His people. That would have been so cool.
I’m sure nothing that exciting will happen here in Jerusalem this week. I heard that Jesus might come and it would be cool to see Him and maybe get to see a miracle or two, but I also heard that the pharisees were going to arrest Him if He came….so I guess He won’t be here.
Oh well, no matter what happens I’m glad that we’re all hear to celebrate and remember how God saved His people. Since we’re here to remember how God saved His people, maybe we should start out by singing a song to remind us of a truth about this God we’re here to celebrate.
This song tells us that God is Good and that He has always been good and that He will be forever God. Let’s stand up and sing
God is G-O-O-D (Village Church Kid’s CD)
Do you hear that? It sounds like a crowd down the hill, outside of the city. It sounds like they’re shouting. I wonder what’s going on. Does anybody else hear that? I hear singing and it looks like the crowd is surrounding a man on a donkey. I wonder who it could be. But, whoever it is, it looks like the crowd is getting closer. Maybe they’ll come close enough for us to see.
That’s weird. The people in the crowd along the street are taking off their coats and laying them down on the street for the donkey to walk on. It seems like the people in the crowd are worshipping the man on the donkey.
(squint and act like you’re really looking)…
Not only are the putting their coats on the ground, but their waving palm branches in the air. Something about this scene makes me think of Psalm 118 where we read about people marching toward the altar to give a sacrifice to God with branches in their hands. Whoever this is must be coming to celebrate Passover and I’m sure he’s coming to offering a sacrifice to God. (squint again).
Wait a second. I might be wrong, but I think that’s Jesus. Could it be? Has He really come? Would He risk being arrested to come to Jerusalem. It is. It’s Jesus. He’s riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and people are waving palm branches and singing praises to Him.
They’re close enough now. I can hear what they’re shouting in praise of Jesus. They’re shouting, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!”
Do you know what Hosanna means? It means “Save” or “Rescue” or “God saves.”
Let’s stand up and join in their song and sing…. “Hosanna. The Lamb of God has come. He is the promised One.”
HOSANNA (chorus of “Glory Be to God” – Sovereign Grace Music)
It seems that as Jesus rides into Jerusalem that the people are shouting out for Him to save them. Just like God rescued His people from Egypt so many years ago, the people are crying out again for God to rescue them. Could Jesus be the Messiah? Could He be the Rescuer? Could He be the One we’ve been waiting for to save us form our sin?
Let’s sing a song that reminds us that we all need to be rescued.
Mighty Mighty Savior (Sovereign Grace)
PRAY & Dismiss groups to their first station
Station activities will be found in future posts.