>Here are some of our favorite Easter resources …
Jesus, Keep me Near the Cross by Nancy Guthrie is a collection of short writings and sermons by 25 classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers, focusing on the wonder of Christ’s sacrifice. This is a perfect companion to use in the days leading up to Easter as we linger near the cross.
The Very First Easter by Paul Maier is a favorite for the kiddos. It is a bit lengthy, but our 3 older kids (ages 5-8) especially love to sit and listen. In this book, a Dad and Mom tell their son all about the real meaning of Easter. Passages from scripture are weaved throughout the story, along with many questions from Christopher (the boy in the story) and answers from his parents. The full page illustrations are beautiful as well.
Journey, Easter Journey by Dandi Daley Mackall presents the story of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. This book is geared towards younger children as it is much shorter and has a rhyming/singing kind of text that is easy to read and very engaging. Callie (age 2) loves this book, although all of the kids will sit and listen.
Resurrection Eggs – this is something that you can buy or make as a fun resource for teaching children in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. Our set is homemade, but I know there are places (such as Family Life) that sell them too. To make your own set, here is what you’ll need:
~12 plastic eggs, labeled 1-12
~1 egg carton (to store them)
~The following items (there are different options; what we use includes the birth, life, death and resurrection):
straw, wood, mustard seed, cloth, bread, flowers, three dimes, thorns, nails, cloves and heart
~A printout with descriptions of each egg/item/description/scripture reading; here is what ours looks like:
The Story of Easter
Egg 1: Straw – Jesus was born in a manger. A manger is what animals eat from in a stable. Luke 2:1-12
Egg 2: Wood – Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, was a carpenter. Jesus learned carpentry from Joseph. Matthew 13:54-58
Egg 3: Mustard Seed – Jesus helped us understand that even small is big in a way. Matthew 13:31-32
Egg 4: Cloth – An old woman was sick for a long time. She believed that if she only touched Jeses’ clothing that she could be healed. She did, and she was healed! Matthew 9:20-22
Egg 5: Bread (we use a crouton) – When Jesus had the last supper with His disciples He said that the bread was the symbol of His body being broken for them. The disciples didn’t know it yet, but Jesus was going to die for their sins on a cruel Roman cross. Matthew 26:17-30
Egg 6: Flowers – Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray the night that He was taken by the Romans. Matthew 26:36-46
Egg 7: Three dimes – Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 silver coins. Judas told the chief priests where Jesus was so they could go and arrest Him. They wanted to arrest Him for blasphemy because He said that He was the Son of God. They did not believe Him. Matthew 26:47-50, 27:1-5
Egg 8: Thorns – Jesus was tortured by soldiers and they made Him a crown of thorns to press into His head, to hurt Him and to mock Him. They said “if you are the King of the Jews save yourself!” John 19:1-6
Egg 9: Nails – People didn’t want to believe that they were sinners and that they needed to repent from their sins. Jesus, who is the Son of God, came to die on the Cross to take the punishment that all of our sin deserves. John 19:16-27
Egg 10: Cloves – After Jesus died on the Cross, Mary Magdalene went to take spices for Jesus’ body but found that the tomb where they had laid Jesus’ body was empty! Mark 15:42-47
Egg 11: Empty – Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death once for all! John 20:1-18
Egg 12: Heart – Jesus took our punishment for our sin when He died on the Cross! Jesus is God; He can’t sin. He loves us so much that He took our punishment and died for us. We need to ask His forgiveness for our sin against Him as our holy God and surrender our lives to Him. John 3:16