As you prepare to teach kids about Easter, remember that the cross and the crown are both essential to teaching the gospel.
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
Philippians 2:8 (HCSB)
The cross of Christ is important because of what Jesus accomplished there—namely, our salvation. At the cross, Jesus was subject to physical pain and death. He felt the weight of sin, the pain of being abandoned by God, and He bore God’s wrath for our sins. Jesus was innocent; He never sinned. (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15) He didn’t deserve to die a guilty death, but He did so as our substitute.
With The Gospel Project for Kids, we’ve equipped you to teach the story of Jesus’ crucifixion in an age-appropriate way. Help kids see that Jesus’ death was God’s plan to save sinners! (Isa. 53:10; Matt. 1:21) Jesus obeyed God perfectly. He was determined to do His Father’s will. (Luke 22:42)
Emphasize the tension and confusion the disciples must have felt as Jesus died on a cross. Of course, they didn’t understand what was really happening. They were afraid, and they scattered. Peter even denied Him … three times. Had the bad guys won? Was this the end? The man who claimed to be the promised Messiah and the Son of God was dead. How could a dead person save anyone? Spoiler alert—Jesus didn’t stay dead.
For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name
that is above every name.
Philippians 2:9 (HCSB)
The resurrection of Jesus is important because it confirms that Jesus is who He said He is. He is the promised Messiah, the Son of God. The resurrection also confirms that God accepted Jesus’ payment for sin. His work is done. The check has cleared. If Jesus had stayed dead, it would have been the end. The bad guys would have won. The apostle Paul understood this:
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:17
The resurrection also gives us hope for new life. When we know and love Jesus, the same Spirit who raised Him from the dead lives in us. We can walk in a new way of life. (Rom. 6:4; 8:11) When Jesus returns, He will raise us too. (1 Cor. 15:22; 1 Thess. 4:16-17)
Easter comes early this year! March 31. If you’re teaching through the Spring quarter of The Gospel Project for Kids, take a break from the chronological study to celebrate Easter. You might have new kids visiting for the first time. Take this opportunity to present the gospel clearly and explicitly.