The death of a beloved fictional character is almost meaningless these days, as we all know they’ll reappear a few episodes later. Whether it's magic water or a zombie virus, rising from the dead is all the rave. If you’re a parent, this phenomenon has likely crept into your child’s vocabulary. With all the mystical stories out there, the impact of Jesus’ resurrection might not hit home in a young mind. It’s a complex topic to comprehend, but it centers on one simple truth: God’s love.
Jesus rose again; He was not undead.A fundamental place to begin is by giving your child a practical explanation of who Jesus was and is. Jesus came to Earth as God in human form, so His body seemed like an average man. He didn’t fly through the air or use super strength. The miracles performed by Jesus and His followers were done through the Holy Spirit and because Jesus was the Son of God, not because of human-made superpowers. When Jesus died, no one froze His body or injected Him with any weird goo. Jesus rose on the third day, fully alive. Followers of Jesus spoke to Him after His resurrection, and they dedicated their lives to testifying that He rose long after He ascended to Heaven.
Jesus is a true story.As adults, we know that kids aren’t the only ones who contemplate fictional worlds. When I watched The Walking Dead, my first thought was, “I wonder what I would do in this situation?” When you explain the difference between truth and fiction to your child, you don’t need to paint fiction in a negative light. Let them know we can learn real lessons from fantasies, and it’s okay to spend time in your imagination. However, the most important story we have is not a fairytale. The life and death of Jesus is not a parable; it is something that really happened and affects everything we do in our lives. Explain why we know the Bible is true and that it tells us not to be deceived by anyone who compares themselves to Jesus.
Jesus did it for us.Jesus isn’t just someone for us to know about; He’s someone for us to know. The heart of our faith is about the why of what Jesus did. His why was us. God offers us forgiveness and tells us to share the good news with others so that we can be with Him. We are His creations whom He knows and treasures, and following Jesus is about having an intimate relationship with Him. There was no secret agenda behind the death and resurrection of Jesus - His sacrifice was all for our sake. God wants us to accept His gift and live in the freedom of redemption. That is something to rejoice in.
Here are some ideas to help your child actualize the meaning of resurrection and engage with Jesus:
Instill memorization.Videos are an excellent way for kids to visualize and process the Bible. Resources like The Bible Project provide easy-to-digest explanations about Jesus and salvation. Your kids can also sing along to these Easter songs (they’ll stay stuck in your head for the rest of the year) or try this resurrection trivia game.
Practice sacrifice.Our purpose is to reflect the love of Jesus through our unique gifts. Encourage your child to display selflessness in their lives. Jesus paid the debt for us because forgiveness is our greatest need. Ask your child what needs they see around them and how they can serve in their own way. This could be as simple as saying kind words to a friend or lending a hand to a sibling.
Write a letter to Jesus. It’s important for children to understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, rather than going through the motions because a parent tells them to. So before you have your child try this project, ask them why they would want to do it. Do they want to thank Jesus for His sacrifice? What thoughts do they have about resurrection? Do they want to voice those thoughts in writing? If your child is too young to write or fully comprehend resurrection, you can invite them to express their thoughts through art. An abstract finger painting might remind them of your conversation for years to come!
Parents! Don’t do parenting alone. If you are looking for practical tips from parents who have been through what you have already, check out parenting courses at Sun Valley!
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.