Making the Resurrection Real
"Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles." Psalm 145:3-5 (NLT)
The television host leaned over to make sure the microphone was close to the precocious girl's mouth so as to catch her every word. He'd just asked her, along with a panel of other school-aged children, about the real meaning of Easter. Her classmates' answers ranged from getting candy and trinkets from the Easter Bunny to the official beginning of spring.
This curly-haired youngster seemed to have an answer that was more spiritual and accurate than the others. She spoke quietly into the microphone stating, "Easter is the time when Jesus died on a cross for our sins and got buried in a tomb."
"That's right!" the host responded. "But He didn't stay in the grave, did He honey? Tell the audience what happened next."
"Oh, that's easy!" she chimed. "He rises from the dead and comes out of the grave."
The host smiled and started to commend her for her correct answer. But before he could, the no longer camera-shy student grabbed the microphone, pulled it closer to her mouth and heartily added, "And each year, if He sees His shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter!"
Often holiday traditions can get mixed in with the real essence of holy days. Which can be confusing, like when that sweet little girl merged Easter with Groundhog Day. As a child, I wondered what Santa caravanning his reindeer through snowstorms had to do with baby Jesus who was born in Bethlehem. Wasn't that in a desert?
And I never did figure out why the Easter Bunny brought me chocolate eggs each year. Didn't chickens lay eggs, not rabbits?
Today's passage from Psalms encourages us to teach our children and future generations of God's mighty acts. We are to proclaim His power over all the earth. I can't think of a more powerful act than when God raised His only Son Jesus from the dead, making a way for us to gain access to heaven to live with Him for all eternity.
There are many fun, family-bonding Easter traditions to celebrate with children. But this year, why not be intentional to tell the powerful story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in ways that stick in little minds? Here are some ideas to help make the reality of the story come alive for us too:
- Attend a live passion play put on by a church in your area.
- Read the account of Jesus' last week of life out loud as a family while enjoying a favorite snack. Read a passage each night beginning in Luke 22:1 through the end of the book of Luke.
- Watch a movie on the life of Jesus. The Jesus Film by Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) is well done with each scene coming directly from the words of the Bible. Make sure to decide if the child is ready to see a depiction of the crucifixion.
- Use Resurrection Eggs to tell the story over several days. (See the Related Resource section below for purchase information.)
All of these activities help portray the true meaning of this sacred season and point the children to the God who created them, knows them and sent His only Son to die on a cross for them.
Let's purpose to tell of God's mighty act of raising Jesus from the dead to the generations that come after us. Fun traditions can be OK, so long as we don't miss the real meaning of this Christian holy day.
Dear Lord, help me to tell of Your wondrous power and mighty acts to those generations that come after me. May I not let the season pass by without pondering the real meaning of Easter. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Was there ever a time in your life when the secular traditions and the true spiritual meaning of a holiday got mixed up for you?
In what ways have you seen Easter celebrated that drove home the real meaning of the season?
Psalm 71:18 "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come." (NIV)
John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (NKJV)