At times it can be hard for us to slow down long enough to ponder and be amazed by the jaw-dropping truth that Easter represents. It is another day, another family function, another event to plan around, and we can lose our sense of awe at the magnitude of what we're celebrating. So how are we supposed to share the awe and wonder of Easter with our kids?
From the beginning of time, our all-knowing God has been preparing a plan to save and restore a broken and sinful world to himself. His design for us is to live in relationship with him, but our selfish and sinful hearts forbid it. There is nothing we can do to repair that relationship on our own, so he made a way. He sent his perfect, holy, divine Son into our brokenness to take the punishment we deserve and give us his righteousness. Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and was raised on the third day, forever defeating death and sin on our behalf. What an incredible, glorious day to celebrate.
But what practical things can we do to teach our kids of the big picture of Easter - not just the springtime fun, but the culmination of God's redemptive plan for the world?
This Easter I want to encourage you with some resources that can help you communicate the mind-boggling, beautiful truths of the holiday with your family. One of these resources is a sweet little book called, The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross. Drawing kids into God's big story - creation, fall, redemption, and restoration - this book beautifully depicts the heart of the gospel.
The book traces God's story from creation, through the fall and our separation from God, and finally Jesus' triumphant sacrifice on the cross. As it describes the effects of the fall and our separation from God, the book repeats the refrain, "because of your sin, you can't come in." But at the end of the book (spoiler alert) Jesus beautifully says, "God says it is wonderful to live with him. Because of your sin, you can't come in. BUT I died on the cross to take your sin, so all my friends CAN now come in!" This sweet rhyme reminds us all - adults and kids alike - that we were hopeless and desperate, unable to come to God. But because of Jesus, we are welcomed and loved. Incredible.
We will have a few copies of The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross available at the Connect Bar this Easter season if you'd like to purchase one to read with your family.
If you want to read along with what your kids are learning in their classes this season, we will have a two-week unit on Easter beginning March 25th. Our first series in the Gospel Project curriculum, week 1 will focus on Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem in Matthew 21:1-17;
Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19. Week 2 will turn to the crucifixion and resurrection in Matthew 26:36–28:10; and John 18:1–20:18. Read these passages with your kids beforehand and talk with them about it!
I also wanted to share some other resources that one of my new favorite podcasts, Risen Motherhood, put together about celebrating Easter with your little ones. There are lots of great books to read, both for you and your kids, and some fun activities to do together to talk more about what Easter means.
And of course, don't forget that we have several events centered around Easter coming up! The goal for each of these events is not just to put something on the calendar, but to joyfully celebrate the most amazing thing that has ever happened: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Don't miss the opportunity to invite someone in to hear this incredible truth!