He Is Risen

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A New Dozen

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Easter eggs are a great way to tell about Easter. The filled
plastic Easter eggs can be opened at home on different days of Holy
Week, used to tell the purpose of an egg hunt, or illustrate a
sermon on Easter morning. Keep the surprise element year after year
by changing the contents of the eggs and the details of the Gospel
story that you focus on. Here, along with the classic contents, are
new items that are sure to keep your kids’ interest piqued. Because
of the small size of these items, use them only with children ages
4 and older.

  • Gray fleece or a tiny donkey to represent the donkey borrowed
    by Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:2-5);
  • Palm branch or a doll’s coat to represent the reaction of the
    crowd in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:8-11);
  • Three silver coins or 30 dimes to represent Judas’ payment for
    his betrayal (Matthew 26:14-15);
  • A strip of terry cloth fabric to represent the towel Jesus wore
    as he washed the disciple’s feet (John 13:4-11);
  • A miniature cup or a broken piece of matzo to represent the
    Last Supper (Matthew
    26:17-29
    );
  • Miniature praying hands to represent the praying hands of Jesus
    in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42);
  • A watch to represent Jesus’ question to his disciples about
    watching and praying with him (Mark 13:37);
  • A rooster figure or a feather to represent Peter’s denials (Luke 22:61);A piece of rope to represent
    Jesus’ arrest (John 18:12);
  • A leather strip to represent when Jesus was beaten (John 19:1);A small piece of soap to represent
    Pilate washing his hands of Jesus’ sentencing (Matthew 27:20-24);
  • Thorns or a piece of a rose bush to represent the crown of
    thorns Jesus wore (Matthew 27:29);
  • A cross or two sticks to represent the cross Jesus carried and
    was crucified on (John 19:16-22);
  • Three nails to represent how Jesus was nailed to the cross (John 19:16-22);A toy soldier or dice to
    represent the soldiers who gambled for Jesus’ clothing (John 19:23-24);
  • Color the inside of one egg with a black permanent marker to
    represent the darkness that fell at noon (Luke 23:44-45);
  • A piece of sponge or a cotton ball soaked in vinegar to
    represent the gall offered to Jesus (John 19:28-30);
  • A toothpick-end dipped in red paint and dried to represent the
    piercing of Jesus’ side (John 19:32-37);
  • A shattered or split rock to represent the earthquake that
    occurred when Jesus died (Matthew 27:51, 54);
  • Purple cloth to represent the torn curtain in the temple (Matthew 27:51);Gauze or strips of muslin to
    represent Jesus’ grave clothes (Matthew 27:57-61);
  • Cinnamon stick or a tiny bottle of perfume to represent the
    burial spices the women prepared (Luke 23:55-56);
  • A rock and chunk of paraffin to represent the sealed tomb (Matthew 27:65-66);Empty egg to represent the
    empty tomb (Matthew 28:5-8);
  • An angel or a gold chenille stem twisted into a halo (John 20:12);
  • A chick or a flower bud to represent the new life we can have
    in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17);
  • Cotton batting to represent Jesus’ ascension through the clouds
    (Luke 24:51-53);A tiny Bible to remind kids to
    tell others the wonderful story (Luke 24:46-50).

A Living Cross

Construct a 6- to 8-foot cross from lumber. Then cover it with
chicken wire. Mount the cross on your church lawn. Fill the chicken
wire with palm fronds from Palm Sunday. Invite your children and
adults to bring fresh flowers on Easter morning to place on the
cross. Have classes take turns putting their flowers on the cross
as they recite John 3:16. This living cross reminds children that
Jesus is alive, and it creates a great background for family photos
on Easter morning.

Susan Grover San Juan Capistrano, California

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Jesus Covered My Sins

Construct a 6- to 8-foot cross from lumber, and mount it on a
base so it stands upright. The week before Easter or early in the
Easter worship service, give each child a piece of red paper. On
their papers, have children write specific sins they’ve committed
or just their names as they remember a sin that needs to be
confessed. Play music as children walk to the cross to tape or nail
their red papers onto it.

Next, give each child a dozen white tissues and a white chenille
stem. Show children how to fold the tissues like an accordion fan,
tightly wrap the chenille stem around the center of the tissues,
then fan out the layers of the tissues to create a large white
flower. As you play or sing praise music again, have the children
put their white flowers on the cross, covering all the red papers
to celebrate Christ’s gift of forgiveness. Afterward take photos of
the children in front of the cross.

Anthony Guynes and Jan Kraushaar Irvine, California

Easter Gospel Cross Garden

As children enter your worship area on Easter morning, give them
each two wooden paint-stirring sticks. Direct the kids to an area
where an adult will help them hot glue the sticks to create a
cross. After telling the Easter story, have children each use a
permanent marker to write on their cross what it means to them that
Jesus is alive. Then take the kids out to your church’s front yard
where they’ll press the crosses into the dirt to create a garden of
crosses. This is a wonderful surprise gift to your congregation in
remembrance of Christ’s resurrection.

Susan Grover San Juan Capistrano, California

Light From The Broken Pieces

Theme: Christ’s Exaltation As KingText: John 1:4

Preparation: For each child, you’ll need a 1-inch piece of
cardboard tube (from a paper towel roll), spray-painted gold;
scissors; several sequins or small plastic jewels; glue; one-half
of a clean shell from an extra-large egg; and a votive candle.
You’ll also need an uncracked egg, one-half of a clean shell from
an extra-large egg, a bowl, a completed crown (see directions
below), a votive candle, a match, and a Bible.

The Gospel Message: Jesus left his home in heaven where he was a
king. (Show the crown.) He came to earth as a fragile human being,
just like you and me. (Show the egg.) When people decided they
didn’t want this man to be their king, they hung him on a cross,
and his body was broken. (Break the egg into the bowl.) Jesus’ life
was poured out, much like this egg is being poured out. What do we
usually do with broken eggshells?

People planned to toss away Jesus too, but God had another plan.
God took Jesus’ broken body, and gave him back his heavenly crown.
(Set the clean eggshell half in the crown. Read the Scripture.) God
raised Jesus from the dead and made him the light of the world.
(Place the votive candle in the eggshell and light it.)

God replaced Jesus’ broken, empty shell with life and gave him
power and authority. God wants us to share the light of Jesus with
others. We’re going to make these candle holders to remind us of
what God did with Jesus’ broken body to give us new life.

(Give each child a section of the cardboard tube painted gold.
Have them each cut notches on one edge of the roll to create a
crown. Have them glue on the decorations. Give the kids each an
eggshell and a votive candle to put inside of the crown.)

Jesus Is Risen Rolls

To help children understand the meaning of Christ’s empty tomb,
make this fun and tasty treat.

Supplies:1 can refrigerated breadstick doughLarge
marshmallowsSpray margarine1/3 cup sugar1 tablespoon cinnamon
Baking sheet Wire rack

Preparation: Knead and press each breadstick into a flat circle.
Place a marshmallow in the center of the circle and pinch the dough
around the marshmallow. Roll the marshmallow-filled rolls into a
round ball. Spray the rolls with margarine. Combine sugar and
cinnamon. Sprinkle the rolls with the mixture. Place the rolls on a
baking sheet with the pinched edges down. Bake the rolls at 350
degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until brown. Cool on a wire
rack.
While the rolls bake, tell the Easter story. Then pray, thanking
Jesus for taking our place on the cross. Then enjoy a tasty Easter
treat as you celebrate that Christ’s tomb was hollow, just as these
rolls are hollow.

Susan Grover San Juan Capistrano, California

Chain Of Praises

On Palm Sunday, put three brightly colored strips of paper
(approximately 2 1/2 x 11 inches long) in each worship bulletin.
During the service just before the offering, ask people to write a
praise statement on each of their strips. When they’re finished,
collect the strips. Have children write their praise strips during
Sunday school so they have more time to think.During the week,
staple the strips into loops and make praise chains. Make the
chains about 8- to 10-feet long. Add sections of blank strips to
stretch out the chains so they’re long enough to surround your
congregation.

On Easter Sunday, have the kids march down the center aisle,
then around the sides of the sanctuary, surrounding the
congregation with the praise chains. Explain to your congregation
what the chains are comprised of, then lead the entire group in a
litany of praise, which includes the phrase “He is risen!” as a
refrain. Each time the congregation says, “He is risen!” the kids
raise the praise chains high in the air.

Jean BallewMcPherson, Kansas

Chocolate Egg Hunt

Hide hollow chocolate eggs instead of plastic or real eggs. Make
sure there are enough eggs for each child to have one, and limit
the hunt to one egg each. Gather the children and tell them that
before they unwrap or eat their eggs, they need to know that each
egg holds a special message just for them.

Count to three and have children each bite or break their egg at
the same time. As the children discover that the eggs are hollow,
remind them of Christ’s empty tomb. Have children each tell what
Jesus’ resurrection means to them.

Terry Williams Brisbane, Australia

Hallelujah Hunts

Use the traditional Easter egg hunt to give your kids an
opportunity to search for treasure with one of these unusual
hunts.

New Life Hunt — Hunt outdoors for signs of spring. For
example, kids might find new green grass, a robin’s egg- shell, or
a flower. To minimize environmental interference, have the children
shout “New Life!” when they find something, and have all the
children run to the child to see what’s been found without removing
or disturbing it. At the end of a specified time, gather the
children to discuss how each item is a sign of the new life we have
in Christ.

Bible Verse Hunt — Write parts of a Bible verse on
squares of brightly colored paper or Post-It notes. Hide the
squares around your room or in an outdoor area. When all the
squares are found, have the children put the verse together in
correct order.

Hunt for Lunch — Pack simple lunches in paper bags.
Hide the bags, then have children find them. After each child has
found a lunch, provide drinks and enjoy a fellowship lunch with the
children.

Friendship Hunt — Form two groups. Give the children
pencils and paper strips. Have children each write their name on a
strip. Then have both groups trade strips so each child has one
strip. On the back of the strips, have children each write or draw
something good about the child whose strip they have.

Have a volunteer hide the strips in another area. Then have
children hunt for their own strips. At the end, have children read
their strips to the entire group.

Helping Hunt — Plan ahead for a springtime food drive,
culminating on Palm Sunday. In your publicity, ask church families
to contribute items for a meal, such as a boxed-dinner mix, a
canned vegetable, and a canned fruit; or tuna, crackers,
mayonnaise, and cookies.

Early Easter morning, hide all the items. Form pairs, and give
each pair a large grocery bag. Ask each pair to hunt for items to
make one full meal. When they’ve selected their items, have them
label the bag so the contents are identified, such as “lunch for
two” or “dinner for a family.” Then have the partners work together
to create a card with a mealtime prayer to put in their bag. Double
check the bags to ensure that the food is evenly distributed. Kids
can collect the bags for your church food pantry or a local
shelter. Subscribetoday

Mary Davis Montrose, Iowa. 


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