The Hope of Easter: Children’s Sermon Lesson on The Resurrection of Jesus from John 20:1-18

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Children’s Message for Kids Church on the Resurrection Hope of Easter Sunday. Download this children’s sermon to use in your Sunday School or Kids Church this Easter Sunday!

Lesson Objective: Throughout history, we have seen stories of underdogs pulling through. Sometimes this means sports teams winning against all odds. In other cases, it might be an outnumbered army overpowering a foe. This message reminds children that Easter is a time to rejoice in the greatest “surprise” victory of all time: the defeat of death and darkness! Jesus rose from the grave and promises us eternal life. Good Friday may have appeared bleak, but the Easter sunrise brought a risen Son! Celebrate this tremendous “reversal”!

Law/Gospel Theme: Easter is a time of great hope, joy, and triumph! Jesus was victorious over the grave. He conquered sin, death, and the devil for our sake. However, it may have seemed as though evil had won. Things probably looked pretty hopeless when Jesus was laid to rest. The disciples didn’t imagine what was coming on the third day, but we rejoice in the glory of the empty tomb!

Optional Materials: Pictures of sports teams or historical battles with unexpected victories.

Bible Passage: John 20:1-18

NOTE: This message uses a few examples of “underdog reversal” stories from historical battles and sports, relating these to the remarkable death reversal of the resurrection. Feel free to adapt based on timing and audience, focusing on whichever elements work best to describe.  

More Easter Lesson Ideas for Children’s Ministry

Easter Children’s Sermon for Kids (John 20:1-8)

Greet students and talk about sporting favorites…

Hello, children of God! Who likes watching sporting events? What kinds of teams or sports do you enjoy watching? (Take a few answers) Well, I often like to watch sports games. But something that can be extra special to see is when there’s a team that isn’t “supposed” to win, but comes from behind to have an incredible upset success! Everyone loves to see an “underdog hero”, when the winner is unexpected. For instance… Describe a few stories of unexpected wins in sports over the years. Show pictures or perhaps sporting equipment that accompany each event. Specific descriptions may vary, but emphasize how the outcome surprises the viewers. Sometimes a game might seem like it’s certainly going to go one way, and it might seem bleak for team fans, only to surprisingly turn around and reverse directions!

This happens in history at times, as well… (Optional extra) Use more pictures to discuss and describe two or three stories of famous historical battles that also had a theme of surprise reversal or “upset win.” A few to consider include the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Winter War, or the Battle of Agincourt. These fights should not have had the outcome that they did, but unexpected results happened! It’s interesting to learn about these times and consider how the “underdog” could possibly pull through.

But do you know what the greatest “upset victory” in history really was? It didn’t involve sports or guns or cannons. The most incredible reversal took place at an empty tomb. When you think about it, the Resurrection was, to those observing, an unexpected triumph over the ultimate enemies, sin, death, and the devil. Jesus had been crucified and buried. It might have seemed like Satan won the day. The disciples felt distraught and hopeless. It looked like there was no way to make a comeback. But come back is exactly what Jesus did! On the third day, He rose again, forever defeating death! He fulfilled God’s promises and returned to life so that we can live forever. The devil did not have the last word, and never will!

Now, we know the whole story. When we talk about Good Friday, we might feel sad, but not quite destitute, since we understand Jesus will be alive come Easter. But there are other times in our lives that might feel full of sorrow and dismay. We might encounter periods that seem as though things will never look bright again. But that is the hope that we have in Easter. Because of Jesus, we know we have hope and joy. We celebrate the Resurrection and look forward to the final Resurrection, when we will be with Jesus. We rejoice that He has already taken care of our sins and loves us, and is always with us. Easter reminds us that Jesus turns our lives around. He is risen! Alleluia!  

Let’s say a prayer to thank God for Jesus and the hope of the Resurrection:

Prayer for Kids: 
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Dear God,
Thank you for sending your son,
And thank you for the Resurrection hope of Easter
We rejoice that you conquered death for us!
Thank you for loving us
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!

Bible Verses/story to Reference:
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.  -John 20:1-18

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