There comes a time in every believer’s life when questions like, “Why does this matter?” begin to weigh on the heart as we evaluate why we worship and live a certain way. This lesson, “Why Easter Matters,” will help children understand how the highly celebrated holiday of Easter has incredible meaning and the difference it makes on our faith.
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: To emphasize that Jesus’ resurrection made all the difference because he came back to life and conquered death.
MAIN IDEA: Easter matters because Jesus’ resurrection proved that we too can escape spiritual death and a hopeless life on earth. Without his resurrection there would be no point to our faith.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: John 11:25-26, 1 Peter 1:3-6, Romans 8:34 & 31-39, 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
MATERIAL(S): small plastic Easter eggs, plastic spoons, supplies for obstacle course, Magic Color Scratch Cross crafts (from Oriental Trading)
Introduction (15 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, give us wisdom to understand the depth of importance surrounding the resurrection. Help us become even stronger in our faith as we discover why Easter matters. Amen.”
ICE BREAKER: Easter Egg Obstacle Course
Ask, “Does anyone know why we use eggs to celebrate Easter?” After allowing some time for the children to comment, explain that empty Easter eggs represent Jesus’ resurrection and his leaving the tomb. Then outline the gospel: Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. Help the class understand that because Jesus died and was brought back to life (resurrected) we can become his followers by asking for forgiveness of our sins and accepting the free gift of salvation. Say, “Only when we decide to trust in Jesus can we have a relationship with God and spend an eternity in Heaven. If you would like to accept Jesus as your Savior, then speak to me and I can lead you through the steps of becoming a Christian.”
Next, tell the children they will participate in an obstacle course! Give each child a plastic spoon and a small plastic Easter egg. Prepare an easy obstacle course before class, either indoors or outdoors (whichever is more appropriate). Place an egg on a spoon and walk the course for the children. Then time each child as they try to complete the course the fastest without dropping their egg. If the egg falls off the spoon, they must start the course again. The child who has the fastest time is the winner. Consider bringing a small prize for the obstacle course winner.
After the game, remind the class that the empty eggs are like Jesus’ empty tomb, and without his resurrection there would be no celebration of Easter.
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Explain that today’s lesson will help us understand why Jesus’ resurrection matters (and why we celebrate Easter). Ask, “Have you ever wondered how the world would be different if Jesus never came back to life? Well, God’s word is clear that Jesus’ resurrection made all the difference because it provided a way for us to spend eternity with him!” Tell the class that the first passage is found in John 11:25-26 where Jesus consoled his friend, Martha, concerning the death of her brother, Lazarus. Read the verses and ask, “What is the amazing promise Jesus told Martha concerning his resurrection (that it brought spiritual life)? This means that because of Jesus’ resurrection we can escape spiritual death by believing in him even though we will still physically die.”
- Next, contemplate with the class what life would be like if we had no way to have a relationship with God or go to Heaven (sad, hopeless, useless, etc). Say, “None of us can pay for our own sins – only the precious gift of Jesus’ innocent life can pay our debt.” Read 1 Peter 1:3-6. Ask the children to identify what we receive because of Jesus’ resurrection (new birth, living hope, an inheritance that can never fade, shield of faith, coming salvation, great rejoicing). Reiterate that Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope regardless of our experiences on earth. Say, “No situation is ever too bad, lost, or forgotten by God. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we have the incredible hope that one day everything will be made right again.”
- Read Romans 8:34. Tell the class that Jesus earned his right hand position next to God because he willingly and obediently died on the cross. Ask, “What does Jesus do for us as he sits next to God (intercedes on our behalf)? How is this comforting (because Jesus’ didn’t stop helping us at the cross – he continues to be our representative before God)?” Further explain the context of the verse: Believers are conquerors because of Christ. Read Romans 8:31-39 to the class and emphasize that nothing can separate us from Jesus because his love was proven on the cross. Say, “When we become believers, God’s word says we are conquerors! We can trust that Jesus is ready to give us the strength and wisdom we need to live in obedience.”
- Lastly, discuss the conflict Paul encountered when some believers claimed that Christ-followers would not return with him (be resurrected) in the end times. Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Ask for a volunteer to summarize the verses (we identify with Christ by believing in him, so if he was resurrected and successfully escaped death then we will too). Ask, “Looking at verses 14 & 17, describe our faith if Christ hadn’t been resurrected (useless and futile). This is why Easter matters, because without Jesus’ resurrection there would be no point in our faith.” Outline the gospel message and invite anyone who has not trusted in Jesus Christ to believe in him. Explain that his resurrection showed the world that he had power over death, and we too have power over death when we believe in him. Say, “Those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ will go to hell when they die, but those of us who believe in him will spend an eternity in heaven. Easter matters because without Jesus’ death and resurrection there would be no way to pay for our sins so we could be with him!”
Craft (10 minutes): Magic Color Scratch Crosses (from Oriental Trading)
Pass out the crafts and allow the children to use the tool to make designs on the crosses (consider creating an example ahead of time). Say, “Jesus is no longer on the cross because he was resurrected. Now we have the promise that we too will conquer death and be with him one day.” Encourage the children to hang the crosses somewhere meaningful to serve as reminders of the hope we have in Christ.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Easter matters because Jesus’ conquered death and gave hope to our faith. Without his return from the grave, there would be no way to reconcile our own sins and spend eternity in heaven.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, we could never thank you enough for the resurrection! We know our faith has hope, and we look forward to being with you one day. Amen”
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