Easter is an interesting holiday to celebrate. It’s the most incredible celebration when you’re focused on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and the redemption and freedom we have as a result. But most of the typical American traditions are, well … commercial, and probably based in ancient pagan fertility rites. Ouch. So how can eggs and bunnies tell the Easter story for kids?
First, watch the Easter story as a family. It’s a difficult story to tell—torture, death, a dead man rising—a perfect horror movie, right? But, when understood, the Easter story is the foundational, beautiful story of God’s love and sacrifice for us and the hope we have in His power and victory over sin and the grave. Share it with your family so they know what we’re really celebrating on Easter. Seek God’s wisdom in how you tell the story, and in how to answer your kids’ questions about it. Here’s a kid-friendly version to help you out.
My kids love their Easter baskets—for the candy! What do I do about that? Don’t get rid of them—leverage those delightful, dainty (or humongous!) sweets and associate them with the unmerited grace of God! An Easter basket is a gift your child did nothing to earn. It comes from your love for them and your heart to see them happy and full of joy. That’s what God’s grace is all about, too! While we were still sinners, God showed His love to us by sending Jesus to show us His love and to take the punishment for all of our sins. He didn’t do it because He had to. He did it because he wanted to. He wants us to be His children, to be His friends, and He loves to see us happy, free, and full of joy over the beautiful gift of salvation He gave to us.
A quick tip to make your at-home Easter egg hunt all about Jesus: Stick with the plastic eggs and candies (or loose change and dollar bills—however your kids roll), but include a few strategic eggs stuffed with images from the resurrection story. When your kids open their eggs and find an image, have them put them all together. Let your kids talk about what each picture shows and which part it played in the betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. You can draw, print off, or cut out your own images, or use this handy sheet.
What do Easter eggs, baby bunnies, chicks, etc. have to do with it? Originally? Nothing. Baby animals and eggs were symbols of fertility goddesses, of the earth regenerating, and the promise of a future harvest. But we can repurpose these ancient symbols to teach our kids what Jesus has done for us! Eggs and bunnies tell the Easter story for kids by showing rebirth and power over death. The earth seems to die for the winter season and miraculously renews in the spring. It reminds us how Jesus actually did die at the crucifixion, only to be revealed three days later, alive, with a new victory over sin and death! Look at eggs ready to bear chicks as the tomb that seemed lifeless until Jesus walked out of it as the giver of life to all mankind! Look at the baby animals as the new life we have when we choose to follow Christ—fresh, new, and free!
Bring on the Easter dresses, white gloves, suits, and ties! It’s so adorable to see little boys and girls all dolled up for the holiday! And better yet, it’s a tradition we can leverage to spread the news of Jesus. Dress your family up and take a family picture. Post it on social media or send it to your friends and family along with an invitation to attend Life.Church Online. People who need the love of Jesus can hear a clear presentation of the gospel on Easter Sunday. Attend with your family to reinforce the meaning of the holiday and to celebrate with the body of believers that He is risen! He is risen, indeed!