If you happen to go to church ever on Easter in the last couple decades, then your Sunday School teacher probably brought out Resurrection Eggs. Remember those? Twelve eggs that helped tell the Easter Story – each egg with a little reminder of the Resurrection Story…like a little branch to represent Palm Sunday, some coins to represent the betrayal of Judas, a small cross to represent Jesus on the cross, and an empty egg to represent the empty tomb.
Well today, I’m not going to tell you to do Resurrection Eggs 🙂 Why? Because, if you’re like me, then being creative and having the time to find all those tiny objects or the thought of purchasing them is not something on your never-ending-to-do list. Now don’t get me wrong, Resurrection Eggs are awesome and a great way to share the story with kids (especially with those visual/tactile learners). If you’ve got the pieces and want to – GO FOR IT! But today, I’m going to share what I think are effective and long-lasting ways to make Easter more than eggs without buying crafts and extra props. Heads up though, these ways do require time, intentionality, and a commitment, but don’t stop reading yet! 🙂
Here’s the good news, if you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Savior then you’ve already made that commitment. Phew right?! Now, let’s get into it…
First, what is Easter about?
Easter is about Jesus, God’s son, coming down from heaven to share his life with us and doing something that no one else on this Earth could do – taking the punishment of the sin, brokenness, and evil of this world upon himself, dying on the cross, and resurrecting back to life to offer eternal life and salvation to all who believe in Him.
Mannn, now that’s not gonna be hard to explain to your kids now, right?! Haha…those Resurrection Eggs are now sounding like the easier route, am I right? I get it, that is A LOT TO TAKE IN as a child! And it can be hard to explain too. If you’re like me, then you become overwhelmed with how complex it all is and then before you realize it, you’re trying to sum up the whole Bible for them, their sinful nature, and their need for a Savior for Easter to make sense…and it’s all gone over their heads. :/ So let’s not overcomplicate it. Let’s just fulfill our already made commitment and be intentional. 🙂
1.) Parents / Caregivers need to spiritually prepare for and understand Easter
This is where that personal commitment comes in, “Are you, the parent/caregiver spiritually preparing for Easter?” I know life is busy, but are you giving this amazing Christian holiday the time and prep it deserves?
It’s hard for Easter to even mean anything spiritual for adults if we haven’t been spending time with the Lord. It reminds me of the old saying, “You can’t teach what you don’t know.” One thing I’ve learned and am grateful for is that I can always learn more from the Bible and the historical stories in it. Even if I’ve heard them many times, the Holy Spirit can bring new understanding. And I believe the deeper we grow our relationship with Jesus, the deeper our understanding becomes of Him and the meaning of the things we celebrate.
2.) Talk about Jesus more than just on Easter
Again, as busy as our lives can be, Jesus needs to be someone we talk about often. I love the verses in Deuteronomy chapter 6, that sum up how we are to disciple our children daily,
“5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Your kids should be used to hearing about Jesus from you because of your own relationship with him. Incorporate your children in your relationship with him. Share with them what you are learning. When appropriate, talk to your children about your struggles and your personal need for a Savior. And how thankful you are for what Jesus did for you and for everyone. Like the verses say above, love God yourself and talk about him daily – in the car on the way to soccer practice, at the table when you’re eating dinner, at bedtime when you’re tucking them in.
3.) Read about the Easter story from your Bible AND children’s storybooks.
Here are four different Bible passages that you can read for the Easter story. Each has its own style of writing and account. For personal study, you can read each or one of these.
- Matt. 26-28
- Mark 15-16
- Luke 22-24
- John 17-20
For your children though, it’s so important for them to actually see you open your Bible and read from it. Read one of these passages as a family. If you don’t open your actual Bible with your kids, the Bible can seem “useless” and the stories we summarize without showing where they came from can seem “make-believe” or simple moral stories. If we make opening our Bibles important in our own lives, our children will see that. Then the Bible and the stories it contains become real.
Now, children’s storybooks about Easter. Why? Because even after you’ve read the Easter story together in your Bible, you might still be feeling like your kids aren’t really getting it. I LOVE reading Christian children’s books with my little ones. God has already blessed Christian authors with the gift of writing complex concepts in ways that children can comprehend them, not to mention they are beautifully illustrated, so why not utilize them? Truly, I am always blessed by the conversations that blossom from reading these books together and many times, they even help me in my understanding.
4.) Enjoy the festivities, BUT CIRCLE BACK AROUND
- Take your kids to do the fun things that the churches offer.
- If you’re a more casual family (like ours) get everyone to dress up! Don’t worry about buying new matching outfits. Let everyone choose their best outfit! Explain that it’s like going to a party at church to celebrate that our King is ALIVE! Make it a big deal and ask questions like, “What would you wear if you could see King Jesus in person?” My girls LOVE dresses and they will be so excited to see mommy wear something other than jeans.
- Now, for the egg hunt. If you do this at home or with family and friends, review before prayer or while everyone is enjoying their candy. Ask questions like, “Wasn’t this a fun way to celebrate the Good News that Jesus is Alive!?” And maybe, if you remember – leave one egg empty and really hype it up beforehand like, “Now there’s a lot of candy out there but someone – only one person – is going to find the best surprise of all. I left one egg out there, completely empty. Why do you think I did that?” Hopefully they’ll get it now 🙂 Then once everyone is enjoying their candy and you discover who found the empty egg, discuss what it might have been like to be the first one to discover the empty tomb.
Overall, I hope I’ve hit the target in an easy, doable yet meaningful way. How can you make Easter more than Easter eggs? Spend time with Jesus yourself. Remember you can’t pour out of an empty vessel. Open God’s word as a family and read an illustrated version of the Easter story for an additional way to understand. Be intentional and make time to discuss the meaning of it all. It’s time and effort in the things that really matter – eternal things.
Happy Easter! Let’s celebrate our Risen King!