The thing that sets faith in Christ apart from the all other religions or belief systems of the world is that Jesus is alive. Oh, how that truth comforts me in our messed up crazy world! You see, hope didn’t die when Jesus was crucified; for believers, hope begins at the cross. It was at the cross that Jesus restored relationship between man and the God who relentlessly loves him. The empty tomb seals the deal. We live because Jesus lives. We have hope for today, tomorrow and forever because Jesus is alive.
I can look at the cross from the perspective of hindsight. For me it’s history, but for Jesus‘ disciples, it was a different story. Although Jesus told them of His upcoming death before it happened, I’m sure the disciples didn’t fully understand the implications of what Jesus was saying. It must have been a long three days after Jesus died. Their grief must have been unbearable and their loss must have felt all encompassing. As for hope, I can only imagine that at this low point, it was nonexistent. All they had dreamed of, their future aspirations as followers of Jesus were dashed. Life would never be the same. How could they even think of going on? What would they do? They couldn’t remain in hiding forever or could they? Could they, should they go back to the lives they knew before Jesus had called them?
I can only imagine the pain and confusion they felt; then on the third day, the tomb was found empty. Could it possibly be? Was it true what the women said? Yes, Jesus was alive and history was forever changed. Not only was history changed; their lives were changed forever.
Looking back on this one incredible event, I can’t help but rejoice and be thankful! No matter what I am facing now or what I will face in the future, Jesus is with me! He’s alive! I know there will be dark, dreary days sometimes because that’s life. Perhaps there will be moments filled with intense pain, hurt and great loss yet I know there will also be hope because my friend, the one who loves me more than anyone else, is alive. He is alive and well! He’s able to redeem all that I give to Him. Thank you Jesus, that you are my friend. Thank you for the life and hope you give. You are and forever will be alive and well!
I don’t know where you find yourself today. Maybe you too are rejoicing because you know Jesus is with you. He is alive and He is your forever friend and Savior. Maybe you are just checking out who Jesus is. You’ve heard about Him, but you are wondering, “Was He just some great historical figure or was He truly the Son of God? Can the resurrection truly be for real?” I can’t answer that question for you, you must answer it for yourself. You alone must decide, “Who is Jesus and what will I do with Him?” I can only say, that Jesus has been real in my life in so many, many ways. I have felt His touch, His comfort and the joy of relationship with Him. He’s been there when I’ve been in the hospital, when I had a son who was very sick and I didn’t know what to do. He was there when one of my granddaughters was born and they weren’t sure whether she would live or not. He’s been there through times of great loss and great joy! He has answered prayers time and time again.
I chose to believe and receive Jesus as my friend, my lord and my Savior. I hope that you choose Jesus too and I hope this Easter that you can celebrate, no matter what is going on in your life, even if you find yourself alone, because Jesus is with you. He is alive!
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
I am incredibly grateful for what you did for me. You didn’t have to come to this world to live and die on a cross, but you did. You did because you loved. You looked down the corridors of time and you saw that man needed rescued and so you came. I believe you saw me too and you knew that a little girl would one day acknowledge you as her Savior and grow up to live in relationship with you and so you came. You are still looking down the corridors of time to those who are afraid, lonely, hurting, mostly to anyone who chooses to trust you and you are there. You not only died for us, but you rose again to give us a hope and a future. Thank you! I so long for friends and yes, family to know you and to love you with all their hearts. I desire that they would find in you that same close friendship and relationship that I have found. Help me to boldly proclaim your name, but to do so in a gentle way. I am thankful that most of my family, my kids and grandkids know and love you, but I do have cousins and others that are still seeking for answers. Lead them to see the truth.
Help me, help us, amidst the egg hunts, the candy, the Easter baskets and all the fun stuff that happens this time of year, to take a moment to truly reflect on what you did for us, even the kids in my life. Thank you God! I love you Jesus. Amen
FUN WAYS TO BRING JESUS INTO YOUR EASTER CELEBRATIONS
Go to church as a family. Whether it be a Good Friday service, Easter Sunday, The Stations of the Cross – whatever church service you can attend, go. Make it a point to take a moment to reflect on Jesus.
- Put some pictures or small objects into plastic eggs and set these eggs in a basket on your table. One at a time open the eggs and talk about how each thing represents the Easter story – keep it very simple for little ones, you can get into more detail with older kids. Some objects might be –
- Stone – represents the rock rolled over the tomb.
- Empty egg – because the tomb is empty.
- Picture of Jesus
- Can also buy a set of “Resurrection Eggs” – which are already filled for you.
- Take a walk and look for signs of new life in the leaves that are opening, flowers blooming, etc. Thank God for new life and thank Him that Jesus is alive!
- As you are eating those jelly beans so prevalent this time of year, thank God for the colors. Talk about what the colors might remind you of.
- Red – Jesus died on a cross. He gave His life for us.
- Yellow – Joy, sunshine, Jesus is alive.
- Pink and orange – The women came to the tomb at sunrise.
- White – The angel that told them, “Jesus is not here.”
- Blue – After Jesus met with His disciples and other believers, He rose up into the sky back to heaven.
SHARE A STORY: Jesus Is Alive – Matt. 28, Mk. 16, Lk. 24, John 20
This is a special day. It’s Easter! Do you know why we celebrate Easter? Easter is because Jesus is alive! You see, God sent His Son, Jesus to the world as a baby, that’s why we celebrate Christmas, but Jesus didn’t stay little. He grew, just like you are growing. He became a man and He went around healing people and telling them about His Father, God. God sent Jesus to the world because He loves us so much.
One day Jesus died on a cross. He died to rescue us from our sins or wrong choices. He died on the cross because He loved us so much and He wants to be our forever friend. He died to forgive us so that we can be friends with God, but Jesus didn’t stay dead!
Jesus died, was put into a tomb or cave and a big rock was rolled over the opening. His friends were very sad. They thought they would never see Jesus again. But remember, Jesus is God. He can do anything!
Three days later, some women were going to the tomb to put some good smelling spices on Jesus body. When they got there, the big rock was rolled away! An angel told them, “He is not here. He has risen. Come and see…” Jesus was not in the tomb. He was alive!
Jesus is still alive today. He went back to heaven, but He is still alive and that’s why we can talk to Him anywhere and everywhere we go. We can talk to Him when we are sad or hurt. We can talk to Him when we are lonely or don’t know what to do. We can talk to Him when we are happy, when we are playing, eating, getting ready for bed. He is always with us and He want to be our friend everyday.
Even though you can’t see Jesus, the Bible says that He loves you and will always be with you. You can ask Him to be your forever friend and to help you live for Him. You can ask Him to forgive you and help you make good choices that will honor Him. You can love Him with all your heart because Jesus really is alive! God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to be our friend and savior. A savior is someone who rescues us. Jesus rescued us from our sin and wrong choices so that we can love God with all our hearts.
MEMORIZE: John 3:16 CEB – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
God so loved – (Reach up, then place hands on heart.)
The world – (Fan arms outward.)
That He gave – (Extend outwards as though giving a gift.)
His only Son. – (Pretend to rock a baby.)
Thank you for loving me enough to die for me. I’m glad that you are alive and that you are always with me. I want you to forgive me and be my forever friend. Amen
KNOW: I can love and talk to Jesus because He is alive!
TALK ABOUT: Why we celebrate Easter.
ASK: Who wants to be your friend? Jesus wants to be my forever friend.
DO: I can celebrate that Jesus is alive!
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
Look for signs of new life or spring. When you see a crocus blooming or trees that are budding, say, “Thank you, Jesus, that you are alive and always with me.”
- Answer this question as a family, “What’s amazing about your friend, Jesus?” Celebrate and give thanks because Jesus is alive.