Aim: To teach the children about Jesus’ New Life - Easter Introduction: Easter is the greatest festival of the whole Christian year. The Easter story starts on Palm Sunday when Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem by people waving branches from palm trees. In the days of Jesus if a leader wanted to enter a city as a result of success in war he rode on a horse, but if he came for peace he rode on a donkey. Good Friday is called good because, although Jesus was crucified, his death opened the way into Heaven for all of us sinners. After three days Jesus rose from the dead and many people who had seen Jesus die met him after he rose from the dead. We celebrate this wonderful miracle. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack S-2-12
• Hole punch
• Colouring Pens/Pencils
• Palm Fronds/similar garden leaves or branches
• Donkey ears
Write the letters EASTER onto 6 large pieces of card, ask 6 children to volunteer to hold the cards for you.
Tell this story from the Bible —
Jesus’ body was taken off the cross, wrapped up in linen and put into a tomb. The tomb was a small cave. The first child holds up the letter T.
So then the cross was empty. The second child holds up the letter E.
The man who took Jesus to the tomb was called Joseph and he came from a place called Arimathea, The third child holds up the letter A.
Later on the tomb was closed with a large rock which was rolled in front of the entrance once the body of Jesus was put inside. The fourth child holds up R.
All of Jesus’ friends were very sad. The final child holds up the letter S. (one child will wait as their E is in the second word.
The letters will read now read the word TEARS.
So the first Good Friday ended in with many people in T-E-A-R-S.
But there is amazing news to come - EASTER day itself.
The women who had been with Jesus wanted to put herbs and spices on Jesus’ body and they went to the tomb very early in the morning on the third day.
Arriving EARLY in the morning- child holds up an E
at the garden of Joseph of ARIMATHEA - child holds up the A
they were shocked because the STONES child holds up the S was rolled away.
Looking in the tomb TOMB - child holds up T
The women found that it was EMPTY - child holds up E.
An angel was in the tomb and he told them that Jesus was not there he had already RISEN - child holds up the letter R.
The word of course now spells EASTER.
The resurrection (coming back to life) of Jesus turned everyone’s sadness into joy, because Jesus defeated death, meaning that death is not the end if you believe in Jesus.
But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. Matthew 26:64.
Activity 1 - Easter Poem.
Aim: To look at the Easter story through a poem and to create pictures based on the poem.
Read out the poem, whilst reading out the poem the children could draw. You could have pictures on the table and they may like to copy them. It would be good to take the poem home and have it put up at home for all the family to remember. This could mean that you print out on card or create a way to hang the poem — punch holes and put some string or ribbon in to hang it.
Jesus came to earth, To show us how to live,
How to put others t7rst, How to love and how to give.
Then He set about His work, That God sent Him to do;
He took our punishment on Himself; He made us clean and new.
He could have saved Himself, Calling angels from above.
But He chose to pay our price for sin; He paid it out of love.
Our Lord died on Good Friday. But the cross did not destroy
His resurrection on Easter morn That fills our hearts with joy.
Now we know our earthly death, Like His, is just a rest.
We’ll be forever with Him In heaven, where life is best.
So we live our lives for Jesus, Think of Him in all we do.
Thank you Saviour Thank you Lord. Help us love like you!
This is a lovely Easter Poem by Joanna Fuchs.
You can show the children some representations of Easter such as the cross (empty) and the
tomb (empty) and they can draw pictures around their poetry sheets.
If the children have good literacy you could get them to write their own poems of thanks for all that Jesus did at Easter.
Activity 2 - Palm Sunday
Aim: To look at Palm Sunday and to follow the story of Jesus journey to Jerusalem.
Read through Matthew 21:1-11
Before Jesus went into Jerusalem, He sent two of His disciples to a village. He told them they would see a donkey with its colt tied there. Jesus said they should bring the animals back to Him and if anyone asked what they were doing, they were to tell them that the Lord needed them.
An amazing thing happened — the disciples went to where Jesus had told them and they found the donkey and her young just as Jesus had said, and they brought them to Him.
There is a verse in Zechariah in the Old Testament where God had told the people that their king would come riding on a donkey’s colt It is found in verse 9:9.
"Say to Daughter Zion, See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”’
Jesus was the king who fulfilled that prophecy in Zechariah. Jesus is the king sent from God to save anybody who trusts in Him.
The crowds got very excited when they saw Jesus coming into town on the donkey and they shouted and worshipped Him as he passed by - by Iayng down their coats and palm branches on the ground. The people praised Jesus, saying,
"Hosanna to the Son of David!
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?’ The crowds answered, This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’
Jesus came to Jerusalem that day to fulfil God’s plans. He was coming to Jerusalem to die on the cross. The people who were worshipping Him did not understand God’s plan and they thought that Jesus was going to be King on earth and be a powerful leader. But that was not God’s plan,
Read through the story once with the children. Then, read through again allocating roles for the children to act, using the props provided.
Let’s pray and thank God for His incredible plan:
Dear God, thank you so much that you sent Jesus into Jerusalem that Palm Sunday. Thank you that you sent Him to die for each one of us, please help us to understand what that means for us. Amen.
Activity 3 - Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Aim: To learn in an appropriate way about the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus came to live on earth because God had a plan and a purpose for Him. Jesus lived a perfect life but had to die on the cross to pay the price for the sins of all people.
it is hard for us to understand why he had to do this and even the crowds who had worshipped Him on Palm Sunday didn't understand what was happening. For them, Jesus was supposed to be their king. But he ended up being crucified (killed) by the Romans. But the good news is - as some of you may know - Jesus did not stay dead!
Jesus rose from the dead after three days — like the prophets had told people and He showed Himself to His disciples. He told them that He will come again and when He returns, He will come in power and glory and to show the world that He is the King of Kings.
The Bible says that everybody will kneel before Him and everybody will know and accept on that day, that Jesus is Lord.
Well let’s have a little think about what things take us away from God. What things do we do that God doesn’t like?
• Someone steals from a shop
• One of the Juniors is always swearing and using God’s name as a swear word
• A robber steals all the money from the bank — probably about 11 million pounds!
• A burglar kills an old lady
• A little girl lies to her mum all the time
• A boy tells his mother that it is his sister who broke the TV.
Ask the children to think of things - lying, stealing, cheating etc.
The Bible tells us that Jesus died for all the things we do wrong, big ones, little ones, secret ones, ones we have not even done yet. There is nothing that we can do to get right with God because Jesus has paid the price by dying on the cross in our place.
But we don’t have to wait until Jesus comes back to accept Jesus into our lives. We can make Jesus the King of our lives by asking Him to come and live within our hearts and ask Him to guide our lives.
So the Bible says that it is sin that separates us from God but Jesus died on the cross so that we could make up with God and spend eternity in heaven with Him and with Jesus. Wow, how amazing is that going to be?
Dear God, thank you that Jesus died for me, thank you that he has paid for all of my sin and thank you that one day! can spend forever in heaven with you and Jesus. Amen
• Veggie Tales A Very Veggie Easter (Audio CD)
• A Very Veggie Easter (Veggie Tales)
• An Easter Carol (Veggie Tales)
For full details see the BB Anchors Pro Pack S2-12