Walk into a party supplies store now and you'll see memorabilia and party supplies plastered with bunny rabbit and egg motifs popping out at you, but we know that Easter is so much more than that - the question is, do our kids know that too?
Here are a few ideas on sharing the true meaning of Easter with our little ones:
Start with Jesus
Explain the perfect nature of Jesus Christ, the Son of God - the fact that He had and has no sin in Him, came to earth to live among us, fully knowing that He would have to save us and unite us with God by sacrificing His own life.
Get the kids to imagine that it's something akin to a friend who has never disobeyed his parents, yet he has to be punished, have everything taken away from him, even his life - for all the bad things he has never done for our sake.
Explain how Christ gave His life
Focus on the key parts of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Describe how Jesus was judged unfairly, died on the cross and rose again in this order. The beauty of Easter cannot be impressed upon our children without sharing the significance of Christ's crucifixion.
Explain why Christ gave His life
God rules - He created you and me, the heavens and the earth, and everything in it. He is king over everything. (John 3:1)
We sinned - We all chose to sin by disobeying God. Sin separates us from God and we will have to be punished for sinning. God’s punishment is death. (Romans 3:23)
God provided - God loves us and so He sent His son Jesus to rescue us from death, and allowed Him to die for us instead. (Romans 6:23)
Jesus saves - Jesus is perfect. He died on the cross for our sins and rose again. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross unites us with God for eternity because only He alone who is sinless can do this for us. (Romans 5:8)
We believe - All we need to do is believe that Jesus has saved us through what he has done on the cross. We are to turn away from sin and turn towards Jesus - letting God take charge of our lives. (John 3:16)
In sharing all of this with our children, we need to be mindful of two things - keeping a warm and assuring tone as well as adjusting our vocabulary accordingly.
For the younger kids, they might have trouble understanding the words crucifixion and resurrection so replace them with concepts such as dying on the cross and coming back to life respectively.
For the older kids, do not hesitate to share greater deals of the unfair trial that Jesus was subjected to and how people were more willing to plead for the prisoner Barnabas' release. Share with them the emotional anguish and physical pain that Jesus experienced.
Take every opportunity to use analogies that will allow the children opportunities to place themselves in Jesus' shoes for them to better understand the extent of Christ’s love for us and His obedience to God.
With Easter being just round the corner, there is no better time to share with our kids Christ's death and resurrection - God's ultimate act of love for us.
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