Alive forever more!
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:6
Woohoo! We have made it to the very last and best part of the Easter story! Up from the grave He arose…
Why is it such a big deal that Jesus rose from the grave? Other than the obvious, of course…the miracle of being dead and then alive…but what did this miracle accomplish? I believe two major things. One, that Jesus truly was the Son of God. Everything that Jesus said was going to happen- happened. His resurrection proved His promises were good and true. And that gives us great confidence.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
And two, Jesus’ resurrection provides victory over sin and the power to live a godly life.
“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” Romans 8:10-11
Transformation takes place as a result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. We no longer have a death sentence hanging over our heads but God’s stamp of approval and righteousness. Because of His resurrection He now lives in heaven with the Father “mediating” on our behalf.
“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Hebrews 9:15
The resurrection is the fairy tale ending of the Easter story! Our kids love a good ending to a story and we have one. It’s so good it is unbelievable! For so long God’s people had been waiting, some are still waiting, for a Messiah to rescue them.
But this is the moment we can tell our kids the good news…the whole foundation on which faith is established–Jesus rose from the dead and lives in Heaven. When we believe in Him, we are made “righteous” and can live with Him forever. He gives us a helper, the Holy Spirit, to live in our hearts and help us obey God. Even Paul thought the resurrection was THAT important…”And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:14
A Resurrection Devotional and Resurrection Rolls!
Read Matthew 28:1-10, 28:16-20 or John 20:1-23 or from your favorite Story Bible
After you have read the story, make Resurrection rolls.
Ingredients: crescent rolls, large marshmallows (or Peeps for a colorful effect), melted butter, cinammon and sugar.
Step 1.) Take your large marshmallow, and tell your kids that it represents Jesus after He died for all of our sins.
Step 2.) Dip Jesus (marshmallow) in melted butter, then in cinnamon and sugar mix. Read John 19:38-42 According to Jewish burial customs, the body was covered in a mixture of myrrh, aloes, and spices then wrapped in strips of linen.
Step 3.) Roll Jesus (marshmallow) inside crescent roll (strips of linen).
Step 4.) Place Him inside the tomb (the oven). Cook according to package instructions for crescent rolls.
Step 5.) Let one of your children stand guard at the oven and pretend to be a soldier. When the rolls are close to being finished, YOU or your child pretend to be the angel who rolled the stone away (the oven door).
Step 6.) Take out crescent rolls and Jesus (marshmallow) will have risen (disappeared)!!
Trust me, your kids will be really AMAZED!! And they are so yummy too. While we snacked on our Resurrection rolls, I took this time to talk with my kids about the story.
Ask, “What do you remember from the story?” Let them even act it out if they want to! My kids love this story and they fight over who gets to be the angel who rolled the stone away…Focus on HOW wonderful it is that Jesus rose from the grave and WHY–(see above).
We ended with reading the Great Commission again. “Why did Jesus say these words before He ascended into heaven?” Jesus was leaving this earth, and He was, in a sense, passing on the job. Of course we cannot do anything for Him apart from Him…but He was commanding His followers to continue the work.
I took this time to tell my kids how people for hundreds of years since Jesus left this earth have been sharing His story…and that is how I heard the good news. And that is why I now am telling them the good news…I shared a very simple version of my testimony, and how people in my life told me about Jesus…and eventually I made a decision to trust in Him. If we don’t tell His story, others will not have the joy of knowing Jesus.
We don’t do it alone. Jesus tells us that He is with us always until the end of time. What a precious promise to leave this earth with…
We wrapped it up in worship with two of our new favorite songs…1,2,3, Jesus is Alive by Yancy Not Nancy and Christ Arose.
Here’s how our cross turned out! We have loved it, and look–there’s still some room for adding some more stories next year!
We hope you enjoy making the resurrection rolls together. (They would make a great Easter morning breakfast too.) I think you and the kiddos will get a real sense of how “sweet it is to trust in Jesus!”