By Alicia Michelle, Crosswalk.com
As Christian parents, we know that Easter is about so much more than fuzzy bunnies and plastic eggs.
But do our kids? Do our kids have a deep understanding of what Jesus’ death on the cross really means and why it is so relevant to their lives today?
Despite the fact that we take our kids to church every Sunday, it’s possible for even “good Christian kids” to miss the incredible, life-changing message of Easter.
Sure, our kids may know that Easter is about Jesus dying on the cross, but can they explain the magnitude of that event and why it absolutely changes everything?
Every Easter season is a beautiful opportunity for anyone to rediscover hope, meaning and rebirth—whether they already have a relationship with God or not! We need to teach our kids that learning about Easter isn’t a one time event but a lifelong conversation.
So what does it look like to have deeper conversations with our kids about Easter? What Easter truths can we share that will encourage kids to consider how the resurrection’s power applies to their current lives?
Here are 10 truths about Easter that our kids need to hear.
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1. The Easter story is 100 percent true.
The evidence for the resurrection is overwhelming. Overwhelming! We don’t have space here to go into all the fulfilled prophecies and logic-based arguments for the Resurrection. Books like Cold-Case Christianity for Kids and The Case for Christ for Kids do an excellent job of explaining that.
It’s critical that our kids understand that Jesus really was God in human form, that He really died, and that He was miraculously raised to life again. They need to know that the biblical Easter story is not a fantasy (or even an embellishment of what happened).
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2. Jesus' death and resurrection is highly relevant to our modern culture.
It’s easy to see that, as humans, we are all broken and in need of healing. As Romans 3:23 puts it, “We all fall short of the glory of God.”
There’s nothing we can do on our own to fix this brokenness. We can’t do enough good deeds or live a good enough life.
That’s why we need a perfect Savior who is willing to bring that healing for us. That’s exactly who Jesus is and exactly what He does!
His death (which covers all the wrong we’ve ever done) and his resurrection (which proves that His power can conquer all things, even death) is exactly what we need in this modern world to live the full lives we were meant to live.
Oh what it a difference it would make in our children’s lives if they could know this truth and share it boldly within our culture!
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3. It's okay to ask God questions and to wrestle with him on tough issues (even Jesus did).
For me, one of the most moving moments of the Easter story happens in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus—the perfect son of God—bares his fears and anguish to His Father about the impending cross.
Scripture describes Jesus as being “crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38). Christ knew what was about to happen and He asked God to take it away. And yet He demonstrates perfect obedience by eventually saying, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus asked the tough questions at Gethsemane, not out of a defiant spirit that wanted to disobey God’s plan, but as one who was anxious about the future and of what was about to happen. What a great example we can share with our kids about how to have a honest, real relationship with God!
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4. Jesus really suffered and he understands what it feels like to endure pain.
During his final days, Jesus endured incredible physical pain (including horrible Roman torture and a gruesome death on a cross), debilitating emotional pain (his closest friends either denied Him or hid during his darkest hour), and intense spiritual pain (while on the cross He felt the wrath of God for humanity’s sin).
Our kids will most likely encounter real pain and spiritual attacks in their lives (if they haven’t already). It’s critical that they know that Jesus—the one who says “come to me when you are weary and have heavy burdens” (Matthew 11:28)—is one who understands our pain because He experienced it firsthand himself.
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5. Jesus chose to be obedient to God, even though He knew many would not understand His decision, and that He would lose His life for it.
Wouldn’t you agree that our kids need authentic role models today—people whom they can admire and respect? Our kids need examples over and over of those who are willing to do the right thing, no matter the cost.
How awesome that Jesus—the one who guides our life—exemplified perfect obedience at the cross, regardless of the consequences. We can teach our kids to follow God at all costs because Jesus perfectly demonstrated this during Easter!
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6. Incredible, miraculous beauty can come through our trials.
Jesus’ death was one of the darkest moments in human history. As the Son of God was bleeding, suffering, and heaving his final breaths while being nailed to two pieces of wood at Calvary, Satan must have been rejoicing at what he thought was his apparent victory over Jesus.
And yet, what great victory came three days later as the risen Son of Man proved that there is nothing, nothing that is greater than God!
How else could God have proven that He understands our greatest trials and pains without asking the Messiah to be put through the greatest trial of all? And how else could God have proven that nothing is impossible for Him if He hadn’t risen Jesus from the dead?
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7. God has a bigger plan at stake than our momentary afflictions. Always.
We can’t always understand the “why” or know “how long” we must suffer during hard times, but Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that we can trust God to work out the behind-the-scenes details.
He had a bigger plan for Jesus’ suffering (our redemption), and He has a greater plan for our suffering too (to develop endurance and to perfect our character) (James 1:2-4)!
Easter is such a wonderful assurance of this truth. How glorious that we get to remind our kids year after year that He is able to turn our trials into triumph!
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8. There's nothing that God can't conquer, and he proved that with the resurrection.
In a world full of huge, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, how incredible it is to know that there’s nothing that our God can’t conquer on our behalf.
He is the great victor over every difficulty and every sorrow. He told us that, yes, we would live in a broken world full of pain, but that we can take heart because He has overcome that pain! (John 16:33).
I want to equip my kids with this confidence, don’t you? I want my kids to hear over and over that Jesus is great, mighty and all-powerful, and that He proved that at Calvary’s cross.
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9. Jesus went through all of this because He loved you.
Make no mistake—Jesus’ death and crucifixion is difficult to share with kids. Kids ask questions like, “Why would anyone want to kill Jesus when He was so kind and loving to everyone He met?” and also “Why did Jesus have to die?”
Great questions, right?
Kids need to know that Jesus went through intense rejection, physical pain, and a horrific death because He wanted to bring healing and hope to each one of us.
Jesus understood that there was no other way to bring mankind back to perfect communion with God without a sinless, perfect sacrifice. No human would ever be able to provide that, so Jesus did that on our behalf.
In short, kids need to know that Jesus died because He longs to have a deep, personal relationship with each of us, and that a perfect sacrifice was the only way to do that. Easter is God’s greatest expression of love for us!
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10. True hope, healing, and salvation are found only at the cross. Will you accept it?
Easter is a wonderful opportunity for conversations with our kids about salvation!
Perhaps our kids have gone to church all their lives, but have they every really made a decision to follow Christ for themselves? Maybe they know the Easter story backward and forward, but have they decided to not just follow Christ with their heads but to trust Him with their hearts?
As you talk about Easter with your kids, be sensitive to how God may be guiding your conversations to be your child’s opportunity for salvation!
Alicia Michelle, author, speaker and blogger at YourVibrantFamily.com, is passionate about helping women discover their beautifully imperfect journey through parenting, marriage, homeschooling, faith and homemaking. She’s also happily married homeschool mom of four curious and amazing kids who keep her on her toes!
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