All too often, our worship of Christ takes a back seat to traditions that were created to celebrate the holidays instead of the reason for those holidays. Yes, it's fun to get the kids all dressed up for that annual Easter Egg Hunt at the church, but do they truly understand what Easter is all about? It may seem a bit harsh to talk to pre-schoolers about the crucifixion, but at what age is it appropriate to start teaching children about the atrocities that our Lord suffered at the hands of those who simply refused to believe that He was the Messiah? Can we effectively help children understand the story of Jesus without getting tangled up in all of the ugly details? I think we can.
In the Bible, we are told that Jesus was the son of God. We are told that He was born of a virgin and that He lived on this earth for 30 years before beginning His ministry. He ministered for three years with His twelve apostles and then, He was crucified. His death was meant to redeem man from his sins. It was the example of perfect obedience to God and the greatest example of love for mankind that ever existed. It's all very serious and can't effectively be demonstrated by egg hunts and baskets full of candy. These are great if you just want to instill warm and fuzzy feelings in your kids, but if you want to truly teach them what it means to believe in Christ, you need to dig a bit deeper.
Some suggestions given by Lifeway.com for providing a more significant Easter experience for your kids include:
Build on foundational truths for each age group. For example, ask younger preschoolers, "Who is Jesus?" Ask middle preschoolers, "What did Jesus do?" Older preschoolers can answer, "How did Jesus die and how was He raised from the dead?" Younger children can ponder the question, "Why did He die?" And Middle and Preteen children can be asked "Why did Jesus have to die and be raised from the dead?" Adjust these questions to the level at which your child(ren) have been learning about Jesus, of course.
Be sure to stick with the Bible as you discuss these questions.
If possible, help create a visual for the story that is appropriate to your child's level of comprehension.
Check for clear understanding and ask follow-up questions.
Be sure to clarify important terms such as Angel, Cross, Disciple, Savior, Tomb, Resurrection, Crucifixion.
The information above was taken from the article:
How to Explain Easter and the Resurrection to Children: Teach children age-appropriate biblical truths to help them understand why Jesus died and rose again. LifeWay Staff. September 15, 2015. Available: https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/bringing-easter-into-focus.
To better equip you to teach your children about Easter, we have some great resources in the HGBM Shop for learning about Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection. Check them out today! And from our family to yours, have a wonderfully blessed Easter!