Note: This post is the most viewed page on the SojournKids site in its history. If you are planning to use our lesson plan at your church for Easter, then please let us know in the comments how it goes. We'll definitely use your feedback to tweak what we do at Sojourn in the future.
Easter Sunday Resources to Accompany this Lesson
- “He is Alive!” Easter Bible lesson (2009)
- Preschool Easter Learning Centers (2011)
- Resurrection Sunday Coloring Page by Mandy Groce (2011)
- Crown of Thorns/Crown of Glory Art Project for Preschoolers by Jenna Schrock and Danielle Hammon (2011)
- Spread the Good News Easter Art Project for Grade School Kids by Danielle Hammon (2011)
- Easter Sunday SojournKids “At Home” (2011)
- Easter Light Painting Art Project (2010)
- Easter Music Liturgy (2009)
- Shrinky Dink Easter Art Project by Robin Tillman (2009)
- Original Easter song by Bill and Courtney Bell, “The Cross Is Not The End,” (2009).
- Original Easter song by Chandi Plummer, “God’s Love Goes On Forever,” (2009).
- For more Easter resources, check out this page at Ministry-to-Children.com
THE BIG IDEA: An Introduction for the Teacher and Liturgist:
He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit was seen by angels was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
What makes Jesus different from every other religious leader in history? What makes him different from every other human being in history? He lived a sinless and righteous life. So, death had no claim on him. It could not hold him. Jesus was, as the apostle tells us, “vindicated by the Spirit.” Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. He is alive! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
This is the great truth that we celebrate during Easter. Jesus was dead. But now he is alive! But this is not all! Because Jesus’ resurrection is the central event in our own vindication and salvation, we can also have life:
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
Today, we will introduce our kids to the one who is himself the Resurrection and the Life, and we will challenge them to trust him alone for life. Here are our keys for this lesson. When the lesson is through, each child will know…
- Jesus was dead
- But God raised him from the dead
- Now we can have new life in him
GATHERED STORY (5-10 minutes): Don’t just read it. Know it and bring it to life!
Good morning, boys and girls! (Good morning!). Let me tell you a story. This is a story about what happened after Jesus died on the cross. Jesus died on a Friday. It was a very sad day. It was sad because Jesus’ friends didn’t know what was going to happen. They didn’t understand why Jesus had to die.
Late on that Friday afternoon, Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross. It was wrapped in long strips of cloth. And it was buried in a rich man’s tomb. A large stone was rolled over the entrance to the tomb, and soldiers were standing outside to make sure that nothing happened to Jesus’ body. Jesus was dead.
The Bible tells us (hold up your Bible or open to John 20) that this is what happened next:
Early on Sunday morning when it was still dark, Jesus’ friend, Mary Magdalene, went to the tomb and saw that the large stone that was rolled over the mouth of the empty tomb was gone! So, she ran away.
Why do you think Mary ran away? (Let the children answer: Was she afraid? What could have happened? Jesus’ body was not there. The stone had been moved.)
Mary ran to two more of Jesus’ friends, Simon Peter and another friend that Jesus loved very much. So, Peter and the other friend that Jesus loved ran very fast to the tomb. (Have the children stand and run in place.)
The second friend ran so fast that he beat Peter there. (Have the children stop and sit down)
Why do you think the friends ran (really animated)? (Let the children answer: Were they shocked? Was it hard to believe what Mary had told them?)
The friend and Peter looked inside the tomb. They saw the strips of cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body. They saw the cloth that had been put on Jesus face. It was neatly folded in a corner of the room. The second friend saw and he believed. What did he believe? Jesus was dead, but God raised him to life.
Do you believe that Jesus is alive? (Pause).
Mary didn’t believe. She was sad. She thought Jesus was missing. The friends went back to their homes, but Mary stayed at the tomb, and she cried. Why do you think that Mary cried? (Let the children answer: She thought that Jesus was dead, and now his body was missing too!)
A man came to Mary. He said, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Mary said, “If you took him away, please tell me where he is. I’ll go and get him.” He said her name, “Mary.” It was Jesus! He had been dead. But now he was alive! Now Mary believed! She wanted to touch him and hug him! Jesus said, “Not yet. I’m going to the Father. And he is your Father too!” Then, Mary ran away.
Why do you think Mary ran this time? Let the children answer.
Mary had good news! She was going to tell her friends, “I have seen Jesus! He was dead! But now He is alive! He is risen! And he is giving us life, so that we can live with the Father again!