Hope everyone had a Happy Easter. I did. I spent time with my family which I love doing, but this year, I realized that as much as I love spending time with my family, Easter is really about Jesus. I knew that before, yet for some reason, this year it came home to me. No matter what Easter brings, whether it’s stormy or sunny, whether the food is overcooked or just right, regardless of whether the kids like their Easter baskets or even get Easter baskets at all, whether things are going well in my life or I’m struggling, Jesus is there. He is alive and I have hope. Because of the hope and life I have in Jesus, I’m finding that I don’t want to be quiet any more. I want to proclaim Jesus. I want to share what He’s so freely given me with others.
I once heard a speaker I was listening to say, “I want the epitaph on my grave stone to read, ‘He found God’s grace too amazing to keep to himself.’” I don’t remember anything else the speaker said that day, but I do remember that statement and I have adopted it for myself. God is amazing! Jesus is amazing! And the grace we receive from God is so beautiful; how can we possibly keep it to ourselves? Yet we do!
I know I’ve struggled with sharing my faith, with sharing Jesus with others. Why? I’ve been afraid I may offend someone or that they wouldn’t understand. Maybe this is not the time or place to talk about my amazing friend, Jesus. What do I say? How do I broach the subject? Will I come across as unkind? These and a heap of other questions assault me when I want to share Jesus with friends and even sometimes with family. What is it that makes me so reticent to share? I wish I knew. Just for today, I want to focus on not why we don’t share, but what we do have to share. What’s amazing about Jesus?
Each one of us has a different story and perhaps even different reasons why Jesus is amazing to us. Let me share a few of my reasons. I hope that you too will take a moment to think about why Jesus is amazing to you.
Jesus is alive! He has been my friend for a very long time. He was my friend when I was a shy, tiny child and then a teenager. He was with me when I was afraid, when I thought no one liked me or when I felt like I didn’t have very many friends. Jesus was always there! I could talk to Him when no one else was available. He listened. He loved me and He showed me that He cared.
Jesus has been there with me when things weren’t going well, when finances were tight, relationships strained, when my kids were sick and I didn’t know what to do and when I was hospitalized. Jesus was always there. He comforted me through His Word and through gentle nudges in my spirit reminding me that I was not alone. He brought wisdom, healing and strength even on the darkest days.
Jesus is still with me. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He gives me strength and joy for the journey. He’s even there when I have one of those pity party days; those days when I’m tired and out of sorts and nothing seems to be going right. He’s there. He forgives and He helps me move on.
So I ask again, “What’s so amazing about Jesus? Is He your friend too?”
Yes, Jesus did return to heaven after His resurrection, but He didn’t leave us alone. He sent His Spirit to live in us and be with us. He will be with you everywhere you go. He’s never far away – just a prayer away. Even in the dark when you can’t see Him, He’s still there. Continue to trust and watch to see what He will do because He is amazing!
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
You are amazing! I am so incredibly grateful that you are alive and that you are always with me. Although I sometimes fail to see what you are doing, I know you are working. As I look back at my life, I see time and time again how you have extended grace and mercy and help to me. You have been a good, good friend. All my life you have been faithful. Thank you Jesus. My prayer today is not for myself, but for the younger generation. I pray for kids that are struggling because of poverty or depression or wars or loneliness. I pray for our schools and I ask that you would bring hope to our kids. I pray for my own kids and grandkids, that they would grow up knowing and loving you with all their hearts. I pray that when life gets tough because sometimes it does, I pray that they would remember and turn to you and find in you a friend that never leaves them, but is always ready to answer when they call. I pray that kids around the world would begin to seek you and find you because you love them so very much. Teach us all, Lord, to seek you above all else and to lean into your Word, hiding that Word in our hearts so that we can draw on it when the need arises. So many other things would distract us from you and your amazing grace, even as adults we are distracted from our friendship with you. Bring us back Jesus, bring us back to seeking your face so that you can fill us with your Spirit and your grace. Amen
WHAT IS AMAZING ABOUT JESUS?
At the top of my list is how much He loves us. Who else would be willing to come, live among us and give His life to rescue us? Here’s some of the things I find amazing. Please make a list of your own. I would love to hear your thoughts too.
- He is alive!! He gave His life for us, but He didn’t stay dead, He arose in victory over sin and the grave. That’s why I can have hope.
- He is our healer! He heals miraculously, sometimes instantaneously, but not always in the exact way we think it should happen. Yet He does bring us strength and healing as we look to Him.
- He is with us! Yes, that does mean every moment of the day, whatever we are facing. He promised and He keeps His promises.
- He’s a good friend. He desires relationship with us. He wants to walk and talk with us.
- He forgives us.
- He leads, guides and gives us wisdom.
- He can do anything. Nothing is impossible for Him. He’s the miracle worker.
- He is faithful.
SHARE A STORY: Jesus Returns To Heaven – Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:3-12
Jesus’ friends were very happy. Jesus was alive and well! He died on a cross and was placed in a tomb, but He didn’t stay dead! No way! He can do anything. He was alive! His friends had seen Him and He is still alive today.
One day, Jesus’ friends went up on a mountain with Him. (Climb, climb, climb.) Jesus said, “I am going back to heaven now, but I will send my Spirit to be with you always. My Spirit will help you tell the good news about me to people everywhere; all around the world.” (Show inflatable globe if you have one.)
Jesus wanted everyone to know that He was alive. He wanted them to know that He would be their forever friend if they believed in Him.
When Jesus finished talking to His friends, He lifted up His hands, (Lift hands.) blessed them and then rose up into the clouds. (Stand up, raise hands and release helium balloon if you have one.)
Jesus’ friends were happy that He was alive. They waited for Jesus to send His Spirit just like He had promised. Jesus did send His Spirit to be with them always. Then Jesus’ friends went everywhere telling everyone the good news about Him. They said, “It’s true! The Lord has risen. Jesus loves you and wants to be your forever friend.”
Jesus is alive today and His Spirit is with us everywhere we go. We can tell our families and friends that Jesus is alive and wants to be their forever friend. Jesus wants people around the world to know about Him. He wants them to know that He loves them and wants to be their forever friend.
What are some ways we can share the good news about Jesus with others? (Draw pictures, send a note or e-mail, invite someone to church, pray for others.) What can you tell your friends about Jesus? (Jesus is alive! Jesus loves you. Jesus hears our prayers. Jesus wants to be your forever friend.)
Who wants to be your forever friend? Jesus wants to be my forever friend. What can you do? I can tell others that Jesus is alive.
MEMORIZE: John 3:16 CEB – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
God so loved – (Reach up and then place hands on heart.)
The world – (Make w’s with fingers and roll hands around each other.)
That He gave – (Extend hands outwards as though giving a gift.)
His only Son – (Place hands together above head, bring downwards and out as though making a cross.)
I’m glad that you are alive and that you sent your Spirit to be with me. Help me be a good friend and share you with others so that they can have you as a forever friend too. Amen
KNOW: Jesus is alive and wants me to tell others about Him.
TALK ABOUT: What good news can you share with a friend?
ASK: Who wants to be your friend? Jesus wants to be my forever friend.
DO: Tell someone that Jesus is alive!
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
* Share some good news with a friend. You can tell them, “I prayed for you.” or “Jesus loves you. Jesus is alive!”
* Answer this question as a family, “What’s so amazing about my friend, Jesus?” Then tell someone why Jesus is amazing.