My mom would always say that I never had an imagination, and it was true. Playing games like house and trying to come up with shapes in the clouds were tasks that I was doomed to fail at. My sister on the other hand was so artistic. She could sing for hours on end, and when she was little all she needed was her colors and a coloring book.
So with my lack of creativity I was rather intimidated in the world of motherhood. As a mom I am faced with the challenge of teaching my children not only right and wrong, how to brush your teeth, how to be nice, and lets not forget the joys of potty training. But most importantly, above all of that, I am charged to teach, communicate, instill the most important and beautiful story ever told. Even though I have a degree in studying the Bible, I struggle with how to actually communicate the Truths that will prayerfully transform the hearts of Haddon and Leland.
As we approach Easter I began to start thinking and researching different ideas on how to teach my children the ‘true meaning of Easter.’ As I dug through google, and girly blogs, and I even checked into what a mormon mom did to teach her children, yup thats right…..I was curious.
So I thought I would share with you what Josh and I are going to do this year to teach and celebrate Jesus and the resurrection. It is really a hybrid between a bunch of different ideas out there, with just enough to make it our own. Hopefully it can help to get your creative wheels turning and a conversation going between you and your spouse about how you will intentionally spend some time teaching your children the precious message of a God who sacrificed Himself for the redemption of those He loves.
The Treasure Box
I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a wood treasure box for $4.99. We spend today painting the box, and on top of it Josh painted ‘Jesus Loves Us.’ Not to go too deep into representations, but we painted it red for the color of blood and that Easter is about the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. Each day there will be something different in the box that the boys will open up and then we will read the part of the story from the Bible in Matthew’s Gospel account, focusing on that the only treasure we need is Jesus.
Day 1) The Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-11). Object: Plastic Donkey
Lesson: Jesus came in humility riding on a donkey, just like when He was born. People laid out coats and palm trees to show their submission to Him, and said “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Hosanna means “Lord Save Us.”
Day 2) Plot to Kill Jess (Matthew 26:1-5) Object: Black Heart
Lesson: Jesus knew the plan that God had for him and told the disciples that he was going to die soon. The leaders made a plan to kill Jesus, but God was completely in control and they were being used to carry out God’s plan.
Day 3) Jesus is Anointed (Matthew 26:6-13) Object: Little bottle of cologne
Lesson: Mary shows all of her love and devotion for Jesus by using her perfume on the feet of Jesus. The purfume was equivalent to wages earned for a whole year. Jesus again tells them that He is going to die.
Day 4) Judas’ Betrayal (Matthew 26:14-25) Object: Coins
Lesson: Judas betrayed Jesus by telling the ‘authorities where he was for money.’ Judas betraying Jesus was a sign of him not really loving Jesus and caring more about money.
Day 5) Passover and Lords Supper (Matthew26:26-29) Object: Crackers and juice
Lesson: Jesus had dinner with his disciples and used bread and juice to teach them about His love for them. This was a way for them to remember Jesus and what He taught them even after he was gone. We still do this today in our churches so that we can remember Jesus too.
Day 6) Praying in the Garden (26:36-46) Object: Little pot and seeds
Lesson: Jesus went to pray to God, His Father in a garden. The Bible says he was sorrowful, or sad, about what was about to happen. He knew he was about to die for all the sins of the World, but he obeyed God and said that He would follow God’s will.
Day 7)Jesus Arrested (Matthew 26:47-58 ) Object: Handcuffs
Lesson: Judas kissed Jesus so that the soldiers would know which one He was. Peter, one of Jesus’ disicples tried to defend him and cut off one of the soldiers ears, but Jesus said to put his sword away, and healed the soldiers ear. Jesus tells them that he is fulfilling what the Prophets have said hundreds of years ago, and that He was fulfilling God’s great story.
Day 8 ) Crucifixtion (Matthew 27:27-44) Object: Rope and nails
Lesson: Jesus was beaten and hurt without ever being mean back. He took the hurt and pain because He knew that we were broken and needed a way back to God. Jesus who never sinned, even when being beaten, took the pain for us.
Day 9) Jesus Dies (Matthew 27:45-56) Object: Cross
Lesson: God made it dark over the earth, and Jesus gives up his spirit and dies. When Jesus died the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom, symbolizing that because God came and Jesus, and lived a perfect life, and shed his blood for our brokenness and sinfulness, through Him, we can now have a relationship with God. The Bible says that some of the soldiers there that day, witnessing all that God did, said that Jesus really was the Son of God.
Day 10) Jesus Buried (Matthew 27:57-66) Object: Cloth and Rock
Lesson: After Jesus died, they wrapped him in cloth and put him in a tomb. They remembered Jesus teaching that he would come back to life, and so they put a big stone in front of the tomb so that Jesus couldn’t get out, and then put soldiers to guard it so that no one could try to get to Jesus. We know that Jesus was dead, and no one could go into our out of the tomb.
Day 11) The Resurrection ( Matthew 28:1-10) Object: Empty Egg
Lesson: (This is Easter Sunday) Some of Jesus’ friends were very sad that he had died and went to the tomb. When they got there they saw an Angel and the big stone rolled away. The angel told them that He did exactly what He said he would do, raise from the dead. God, raised Jesus from the dead so that you and I can have new life. That we can be forgiven of our sin and live for God. (You can make up a special basket of goodies, to represent that Jesus’ sacrifice and raising from the death is a gift of eternal life with God. Just like a present you receive and thank God for showing His love to us)
Day 12) Go and Tell (Matthew 28:16-20) Object: Globe
Lesson: The story doesn’t stop at Jesus raising from the dead. We have a job to go and tell all of the world the story of Jesus. We are to tell everyone that we know about how much Jesus loves them, so much that he would die for them. And the Bible says that Jesus will be with us, through the Holy Spirit, as we live our lives for Him.
That took forever to type out, but I hope it is a simple way that you and your family can celebrate Jesus this Easter season. Maybe you take bits and pieces and adapt them to what you have already done, or you come up with something completely new. The focus isn’t on what you do, or how creative you are, but that you are praying for and teaching your children the most important story of all.
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and traditions that you have done with your kids and grandkids through out the year in the comment section. Share this post, chat about it with your husband and fellow mom friends, and lets make sure that in between the easter egg hunts and the purchasing of new Easter outfits, that we show, exemplify, and worship Jesus….not only on April 8th, but every day after as you ‘Go and Tell.’