Saturday, March 19, 2016

Redeeming Easter: When Jesus, the Cross, Bunnies, and Eggs Work Together

In Kingdom Kids, we don't have an Easter Egg Hunt for one very simple reason: space. Rather, lack of it. We don't have a secure lawn or lot for our kids to run around in, so in the name of safety, our kids don't hunt for plastic eggs. Well, except for the Toddler class because they have the biggest room and eggs don't have to be "hidden."

There are arguments that egg hunts aren't very Christian anyway. What do bunnies, plastic eggs, and candies have to do with Jesus's death and resurrection? Well, nothing. But since Easter is about redemption and restoration, is it possible to redeem and restore those bunnies, eggs, and candies to reflect Jesus?

First, let's find out where they came from.

Bunnies, eggs, and candies are tied to many historical Easter traditions. Today, they don't seem to have anything to do with Jesus at all. Are our kids missing the point of Easter? It's up to us as a church and you as parents to work together and pass down to our children Easter traditions that remind us about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Working together is how we Think Orange!

So how can we Think Orange this Easter?

1. Talk about Jesus.
Talk about what Jesus did on the cross. Talk about what it means for Jesus to die, and what it means that He rose again. Sometimes we think that children won't understand, but children understand more than we think. They are ready to believe. They are ready to follow Jesus. Why do you think Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3)? It's because children's hearts are more open than adults' hearts. Children's hearts are fertile ground.

2. Talk about what your kids are learning in church.
Our March curriculum is called "Easter Egg" and we're using the idea of eggs to teach our children the Bible stories leading up to and including Jesus' death and resurrection. Use the Take Home Papers to learn more about what we're teaching so you can talk about it at home.

3. Point it all back to Jesus.
If your children ask about Easter bunnies, point them back to Jesus. You can tell them this (or put it in your own words and at the level your child could understand):

The Easter Bunny is a popular children's character. He hides candy-filled eggs for kids to find on Easter Sunday. Easter is really about Jesus. He has a gift for us too, but He doesn't hide it! Jesus' gift is eternal life and it's for everyone! Jesus died on the cross, but on Easter, He rose again. He is alive right now! And He wants to be our Savior. 

Can you imagine finding an empty Easter egg? What's the fun in that? When we don't have Jesus in our hearts and lives, we're like empty Easter eggs. When Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we're like candy-filled eggs. We have love! We have joy! We have eternal life in Heaven! We also have ALL the promises God says in the Bible. Those are much better than candy because candy is gone once you eat it, but God's promises will never go away.

Do you want to ask Jesus into your heart and life?

4. Don't miss the opportunities to lead your child to Christ.
Easter is a great time to bring up the topic of salvation. You can lead your child to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ through a simple prayer. Ask them to repeat this prayer after you:

Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you into my heart and life as my Lord and Savior. I want to honor and serve You always. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

This Easter, let's use the bunnies, eggs, and candies to point our children back to Jesus. Let's create Easter traditions that remind us all about Jesus' death and resurrection, the true reason for Easter.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16.

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