Sharing the Easter Story with Your Kids

Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead . . .

~1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)~

The week leading up to Easter is an opportune time to share the Easter story with our kids. Last Easter season, I spent some time reading through the Easter story in the Bible and preparing a daily devotion and activity to share with my son. It was my desire to delve deeper into the Easter story with him and highlight why Easter is such an important part of our faith as Christians.

So this week during our devotional time, my son and I will once again be reading through the Easter story. I’ve included the verses we will be reading each day along with some questions to ask your kids to help them understand the story.  Also, I’ve listed some additional readings from the Bible (if you would like to dig deeper into the Word), and I’ve included some suggested activities you can do with your kids.

I’d love to hear about the ways you  teach your children about the Easter Story and its significance.

MONDAY

Digging into the Word Theme: The Lord’s Supper
  Read Matthew 26:17-30 
  Questions to Ask Your Kids: 
  (1) What was the name of the meal Jesus and the disciples ate? (2)Have you ever heard of Passover? What is it?(3)Why did the disciples become very sad at the meal? (4) Jesus said one of the disciples was going to hand him over to his enemies. Which disciple was it? (5) What did Jesus say when he gave thanks and broke the bread? What did he say when he gave thanks and handed the cup to the disciples?(6) What did Jesus and the disciples do after they ate the meal?
Going Deeper Read about the first Passover sacrifice in Exodus 12.
Verse of the Day “Then he took the cup. He gave thanks and handed it to them. He said, ‘All of you drink from it. This is my blood of the new covenant. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many.” ~Matthew 26:27-28 (NIrV)~
Activities Give your child a piece of paper and crayons/markers. Ask him to draw a picture of the Lord’s Supper. For fun, you could get online and show your child a picture of Leonardo di Vinci’s Last Supper painting.You could also participate in a Seder Passover meal with your child. Our church hosts a Seder meal for kids in 2nd through 5thgrades on the Wednesday evening before Easter.

TUESDAY

Digging into the Word Theme: Jesus says that Peter will fail and Jesus prays at Gethsemane
  Read  Mark 14:27-42
  Questions to Ask Your Kids: 
  (1) What did Jesus say Peter would do?(2) What did Jesus do at Gethsemane?(3) Who was with Jesus at Gethsemane?(4) What were the disciples doing while Jesus prayed? (5) What does Abba mean?
Going Deeper Prayer was an important part of Jesus’ life. Share some verse with your child that show Jesus’ prayer life, such as Matthew 6:5-15, Luke 11:1-4, Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12-15, and John 17.
Verse of the Day “Watch and pray. Then you won’t fall into sin when you are tempted. The spirit is willing. But the body is weak.” ~Mark 14:38 (NIrV)~
Activities  Take some extra time today to pray with your child. Talk to your child about prayer and why it’s such an important part of our walk with God.

WEDNESDAY

Digging into the Word Theme: Jesus is arrested & Peter says he doesn’t know Jesus
  Read Matthew 26:47-75 
  Questions to Ask Your Kids:
  (1) What did Judas do to show who was Jesus?(2) What happened after Judas did this?(3) What did one of Jesus’ companions do with his sword when Jesus was arrested?  What did Jesus say?(4) What did Jesus’ disciples do after Jesus was arrested? (5) Which disciple followed Jesus as he was being taken to the high priest? (6) What did Peter do in the courtyard when he was asked three times if he knew Jesus? (7) What happened after Peter said he did not know Jesus three times?  What did Peter do when he remembered Jesus telling he would do this?
Going Deeper On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter said he did not know Jesus three times. Peter was sad about his actions. But he would be given another chance to stand up for Jesus.  Read Acts 2:14-41 to learn about this second chance.
Verse of the Day “But here is what I say to all of you. In days to come, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One. You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.” ~Matthew 26:64 (NIrV)~
Activities Give your child a couple of pieces of paper and crayons/markers and ask him to draw two scenes: one of Peter denying he knew Jesus three times and how sad Peter was and one of Peter standing in front of the crowd in Acts 2 (see above) and telling the people about Jesus.
THURSDAY
Digging into the Word Theme: Jesus is brought to Pilate & Herod
  Read John 18:28-19:16 
  Questions to Ask Your Kids: 
  (1) How did Pilate treat Jesus?(2) How did the soldiers treat Jesus?(3) What did the chief priests and their officials do when they saw Jesus?(4)What did Pilate do in the end? 
Going Deeper Read John 8:23-32. In verses 31- 32, Jesus said, “If you obey my teaching . . . you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will set you free.”
Verse of the Day “Jesus answered, ‘You are right to say I am a king. In fact, that’s the reason I was born. I came into the world to give witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me.’” ~John 18:37 (NIrV)~
Activities Ask your child what she thinks a king should look and act like. Jot down her responses on the left side of a piece of paper. Then talk with her about how Jesus was a different kind of king. Together, list his characteristics on the right half of the page and compare and discuss the differences.

GOOD FRIDAY

Digging into the Word Theme: Jesus is nailed to a cross and dies.
  Read Luke 23:26-43 and Matthew 27:45-56 
  Questions to Ask Your Kids: 
  (1) Who carried Jesus’ cross?(2) What did Jesus promise one of the criminals who was sentenced to be killed with Jesus?(3) What did Jesus call out before he died?(4) What happened after Jesus died? (5) What did the Roman commander and those guarding Jesus say after they witnessed Jesus’ death on the cross?
Going Deeper The Old Testament contains prophesy about Jesus’ coming and death. Jesus also told his disciples about his coming death. Read Isaiah 53 and Mark 8:31-9:1 & 10:32-34.
Verse of the Day “The Roman commander and those guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened. They were terrified. They exclaimed, ‘He was surely the Son of God.’” ~Matthew 27:54 (NIrV)~
Activities If you have a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, read “The Sun Stops Shining” (pages 302 to 309). Then on a piece of paper outline your child’s hand and instruct your child to draw a picture similar to the one below with a path in the middle of the hand leading to the cross at the fingertip.

SATURDAY

Digging into the Word Theme: Jesus is buried
  Read Matthew 27:57-66 
  Questions to Ask Your Kids: 
  (1)Who buried Jesus?(2) What covered the entrance of the tomb?(3) Who else was at the tomb?(4) Why did chief priests and Pharisees want Pilate to make the tomb secure and place guards on duty in front of it?
Going Deeper Read Matthew 12:40
Verse of the Day “So they went and made the tomb secure. They put a seal on the stone and placed some guards on duty.” ~Matthew 27:66 (NIrV)~
Activities Read The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt to your child.

EASTER SUNDAY

Digging into the Word Theme: Jesus rises from the dead
  Read Matthew 28:1-10 
  Questions to Ask Your Kids: 
  (1) Who was at Jesus’ tomb when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary showed up?(2) What did the angel tell the women?(3) What did the women do when they received this news?
Going Deeper Read story about Jesus’ resurrection in the other Gospels (Mark: 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-12; and John 20:1-9).
Verse of the Day “The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here! He has risen, just as he said he would! Come and see the place where he was lying.” ~Matthew 28:5-6 (NIrV)~
Activities Attend an Easter church service with your family. At dinner, ask your child about why we celebrate Easter and what they are most thankful for in the Easter story.

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