This is an independent lesson written to present the Easter story. It
is one of the most important lessons of the year because Jesus'
resurrection is the key to Christianity. This monumental event is
necessary in a personal relationship with God. This must be communicated
on a regular basis but Easter provides an opportunity to explain in
God loves us and sent Jesus to earth. Jesus died for our sins. He
took a punishment that we deserved. He stood in our place as a
substitute. The past series had an emphasis on sin. The children are
aware that they are not perfect and they know that Jesus will forgive
them. It is important that they can fit the work of Christ on the cross
into their understanding of forgiveness and sin.
- to present the Easter story
- to communicate the significance of the cross
- to let the children know that Jesus loves them
The world has a commercial view of Easter. Most
holidays have been altered by flashy marketing strategies and glitzy
sales tactics. As a result of this, many children in the 90's do not
know the real reason why we celebrate Easter.
The opening segment is a time to introduce the theme. Discuss Easter
and have the children talk about what comes to mind when they think
about Easter. At the conclusion of the discussion re- emphasize that
today's lesson will be about what Easter really is.
Children often exhibit behaviour that is a direct
result of their circumstances. Sometimes when a child is acting up, it
is because something is bothering them. When a child is taken aside it
can be a wonderful opportunity to minister to that child's needs. Use
this time to allow the child to express his/her feelings. Present the
gospel and pray with them if possible.
Prayer is vital in our relationship with Christ.
This is how we talk to Him. Teach the children that Jesus is a friend
that they can talk to anytime using regular language. This is
particularly important in the Easter program since the children will be
given the opportunity to pray and accept Jesus into their hearts and
There are many appropriate songs that could be used
specifically to suit the Easter theme. One that comes to mind is a
simple chorus called "God is not Dead". Take the time to explain any new
songs to the children.
All of the games in this series have been adapted
to suit the theme.
Game #1 - Drop the
Select one player from each team. The first player
must stand with her/his back to a bucket. The participant must then toss
rocks over the shoulder into the bucket. (Do not use real rocks) The
object is to see which player can successfully throw the highest number
of rocks in the bucket.
Game #2 - Balance
Select one player from each team. The first contestant must stand on
one foot with the other leg extended for one minute. The "rock" must be
balanced on the extended foot. The winner of the game is the one who can
do it without dropping it or dropping it the least number of times.
(This is also adapted from "50 One Minute Games")
The memory verse in this lesson involves a number
of activities. It is an interaction between a puppet, a leader and the
Leader: Hello everyone. I would like to introduce
you to a friend of ours here at "The Zoo". Her name is Dr. Julie Cross.
She has a very special job. She is a geologist. Does anyone know what a
Puppet: (enters) Hi leader. That's right I am a
geologist. That means that I study rocks. It sounds boring doesn't it?
Actually it is very interesting. There are many kinds of rocks all over
the world and you can learn a lot from them. I brought part of my
collection with me. My assistant will show it to you.
Leader: (shows the collection) Very interesting.
Those rocks came from all different places where Julie went to study.
Julie: I'm glad that you like my collection. I
brought a memory verse with me about rocks.
Leader: There is a verse in the Bible about rocks?
Julie: Here it is (hands out verse)
Leader: Julie this verse has a lot of blanks in it.
Julie: Oh sorry I forgot to give you the rocks.
(hands them out)
Leader: Thanks. The words that are missing are
written on the back of these rocks. Let's try to sort them out and put
them in the right place. (Allow time to put verse together and repeat)
"Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is the Rock eternal" Isaiah
Julie: Could I get you to repeat that verse again?
It is very important. See leader, I told you there are verses about
rocks in the Bible.
Leader: That is cool. Why don't you tell us what the
Julie: I know a lot about verses with rocks in them.
This verse is about God. In the first part it says "Trust in the Lord
forever...". That means that we are supposed to rely on God always.
After that the verse says "for the Lord is the Rock eternal" That means
that God is like a rock. God is strong, unmoving and solid. God never
changes no matter what happens and that is why we can always trust in
Leader: Amazing verse. God is always the same, so we
can trust in Him.
Julie: That's right.
Leader: Thanks for sharing the verse with us.
At this point in the program a video will be shown.
It is the Easter story. It will cover the crucifixion and death of
Jesus. The video used is called "He is Risen" by Nest Entertainment.
Make sure to emphasize why we have Easter. Allow
the children to ask questions.
This final segment of the lesson is an interaction
between two puppets. They are discussing what occurred after the death
of Jesus. One character is a reporter and he is interviewing
"The Rock" that was in front of the tomb where Jesus was buried.
Reporter: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I am Alex
reporter for the WZOO news. Today I am at a geology expo. Many of you
might be wondering what a geology expo is. A geology expo is a huge
display of exciting rocks all over the world. This is really neat for me
since I have been collecting rocks since I was a boy. Come with me and
we will check it out. (He walks around) Look at that crate, it says
Jerusalem on it. I wonder what kind of a rock would come from that part
of the world. Oh look they are hoisting it out of the crate. (Sound
Rock:(slightly confused) Oh hello there. Who are
Reporter: I am Alex. I am a reporter. Do you mind if
I interview you?
Rock: No problem
Reporter: Tell me about yourself. I see on your
crate that you come from Jerusalem.
Rock: That is right. I had quite a trip to get here.
Reporter: Why did they choose you? Why did the
geologists decide to include you in the expo?
Rock: I guess I am a bit famous. Many years ago when
I was a very young rock I had a really important job. At first it wasn't
too important but one week when I was working everything changed. It
seemed like a regular week to me but on Friday things started to get
Friday evening, I was waiting for my boss to come back when all of a
sudden the ground started to shake and it got really dark. I was scared.
I had no idea what was happening!
Then a while later my boss Joseph and his friend Nicodemus show up.
They were carrying a dead guy. ( I started trying to come up with ways
to get a new job). Then I heard them say it was a man called Jesus. I
had heard of him. He was supposed to be a great teacher. Then Joe and
Nick rolled me in front of the tomb where they put Jesus. My task was to
stay there and cover the entrance. No trouble I thought.
The next day I got my feelings hurt. These two soldiers showed up and
put a rope across me and sealed the opening. As if I couldn't handle the
job on my own. The soldiers stayed and watched over the tomb. That Jesus
guy must have been pretty important.
The next day was Sunday and it was the weirdest of all. I still can't
figure it out. It was very early in the morning when I saw these two
women coming towards me and the tomb. The next thing I knew the ground
was shaking again, even worse than it did on Friday. I was just about to
get upset when the most amazing thing happened. A huge beautiful angel
came down and rolled me out of the way and then he sat right on me. I
just stayed there too surprised to say anything. By this time the
soldiers were really scared. I think they fainted. Then the angel spoke
to the women. He told them not to be afraid and then he said that Jesus
was not in the tomb."What?" No way. It wasn't possible I was there the
whole time. I would have known if he left. Jesus had to be in there.
(Rock changes attitude - awe struck)
I looked into the tomb and it was true. Jesus was gone. He must have
risen from the dead like they said. You know , Jesus really is the Son
Reporter: Absolutely incredible. You were there and
you saw the whole thing. Wow I always wanted to know more about the day
Jesus rose from the dead. Cool, thanks for the interview. I can hardly
wait to get back to the office to share this story.
Personal Testimony and
After having run the Zoo program consistently year
round for two years we felt quite strongly that it was time to begin to
share what the gospel has meant to us personally. Sandra Pattison, the
Assistant Zoo Director shared with the children at the conclusion of the
"You know, Jesus really is the Son of God and close to 2000 years ago
He really did die on a cross. We just heard about that in our story. It
was really , really painful. Jesus suffered more that we can imagine. He
took the punishment for all our sin. He gave up his life because He
loves us so very much. He knew that everyone including you and I needed
to be forgiven for all of the wrong things that we do, otherwise we
would be separated from God forever. Jesus died but he didn't stay dead.
God's awesome power made Jesus alive again. He's still alive today - He
lives in heaven and He has the power to forgive us and make us new
You know what? Jesus wants so much for us to come to Him, to talk to
Him. He really does hear us when we pray. I want to tell you something
about when I was a kid. When I was about 10 years old, someone told me
that Jesus loved me and He died and rose again so that He would have the
power to forgive me for all of the wrong things that I had done. But
Jesus won't come into your life and forgive you unless you ask Him to. I
knew that I needed Jesus. So way back when I was a kid, I prayed and
asked Jesus to come into my life and forgive me. And you know what? He
did! He changed me inside and He is still in my life today. Inviting Him
into my life was the most important decision I ever made. I can
understand why the Bible says that Jesus is like a rock - because He is
strong and He will never let you down. I would like to ask you if you
want Jesus to come into your life and if you do we can talk to Him right
Thank you Jesus that you love me.
Thank you that you died for me.
Thank you that you rose again and that you are alive today.
I'm sorry for the wrong things that I have done.
Please forgive me and make me new inside.
I want to live for you.
Thank you that now I belong to you.
Dismissal: Quiet seat prizes and treats.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries