Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Momma, What is Easter?

"Momma, What is Easter?" This is such a great question, I thought it deserved it's own post on Holy Week. Here is what I might say to my 3yo-6yo if they asked:
Easter is all about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Do you remember what your Sunday School teacher talked about last Sunday? How Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and the people waved palm branches? Why was Jesus going to into Jerusalem? (for the Passover) Jesus was going to Jerusalem for a holiday called Passover. Do you know what the Passover is? Do you remember how long before Jesus was born the Israelites were slaves in Egypt? And God freed them by sending all those horrible plagues? What was the last plague? The last plague was the Angel of Death who took the first born of the Egyptians. But did the first born of the Israelites die? (No, Momma) No, because God told the Israelites what to do to make the Angel of Death "pass over" their houses. So every year in Jesus' time his people celebrated this.
Did all of the people like Jesus? (Not really, Momma) No, they didn't. Some of the rulers of the people wanted to kill Jesus. And do you think he knew this? Yes, he did. He knew that His job was to die for our sins. So he went to Jerusalem where the rulers were.
During that week, one of Jesus's disciples named Judas decided that he would tell the rulers where to find Jesus. The rulers gave Judas some money for doing this. When Jesus went to a garden to pray, the rulers sent their soldiers there to capture him. He went with them willingly. (Remember that Jesus knew he had to die for our sins.)
The rulers tried and tried to find something that Jesus had done wrong, but had Jesus ever sinned? (No, Jesus lived a sinless life.) Finally they found some people to lie about him and then they said that Jesus must die on a cross.
The rulers beat Jesus and put a crown of thorns on his head. Then they made him carry his cross outside the city. They nailed him to the cross. And he died. (Did he really die, Momma?) Yes, he really died. A soldier came around and poked him with a spear to make sure he was dead. Then they took him off the cross and buried him in a tomb. But did he stay dead? (No, Momma)
On the third day, early in the morning, some of the women who loved Jesus came to see where he had been buried. When they got to the tomb, the stone had been rolled away! There was an angel there that said, "Why are you looking for Jesus here? He isn't dead any more!" The women ran and told all of Jesus's friends. Jesus came to his friends and taught them. Forty days later Jesus went up to heaven to be with God, the Father.
So why did Jesus have to die? (Here's how my kids answered:) Because we were sinful and we needed someone to take care of that. Satan said that we have to die because we have sinned, but Jesus said, "No, I will die instead."
This is long, and kids may not want to sit through this at one time, but this is the goal of the story of Easter--to point out the necessity of Christ's death and to celebrate His resurrection.
Long answer to a short question (see comments of "The Garden") but I hope to inspire us all (myself included) to share this story often with our children.
Linked to Tip Jar Tuesday.