Jesus was sent by God to live among us, to show us perfect love.
Jesus loved outcasts and sinners.
Jesus offered forgiveness of sin, even to those who betrayed and murdered him.
Jesus offered hope and healing.
Easter is a great time to remind students about who Jesus is, why He came, and what that means to us.
Use this preteen lesson, based on 1 Corinthians 15:14-17, to teach preteens that the message of Easter is hope.
- Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry
PRETEEN MINISTRY LESSON ON EASTER
Written by Stef Litzler
Bible: 1 Corinthians 15:14-17
Bottom Line: The message of Easter is hope.
- Plastic eggs (connected with different colors on top and bottom)
- 2 large tubs
- Masking tape
- Colored paper (that matches the colors of the eggs)
- Confetti Eggs
OPENING GAME: EASTER EGG SCRAMBLE
Prepare the plastic eggs ahead of time and make sure you have mismatched tops and bottoms.
Place the mismatched eggs in 2 large tubs.
Tape off four areas large enough for your students: 2 “home base” areas and 2 “egg match” areas.
Hide or scatter the colored paper around the room.
Make equal amounts of colored paper to the eggs.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: Today we are going to play a game called the “Easter Egg Scramble.”
You will be divided into two teams and compete against one another.
Each team will begin at their home base.
When I say GO, teams will pick a mismatched egg out of the tub.
Once a student has an egg they will search the room for two pieces of colored paper that match their egg.
When a student finds the matching papers, he or she will proceed to the “egg match” area and place the egg on top of the two papers with the colors matching.
The goal is to be the first team with every player’s egg match complete.
Play this a couple of times with best out of 3 or best out of 5 depending on your time.
Say: We’re going to play one last time.
Remove the eggs from the tubs.
Are you ready? Get set… GO!
Why aren’t any of you making matches?
Allow time for response and confusion and then gather everyone together.
Say: We played a game where the entire point was to make a match between an egg and paper.
Ask: What happened the last time through the game when I removed the eggs?
Allow a few responses from students.
When I removed the eggs, there was no point to the game.
It was meaningless.
There was no purpose.
Everyone looked lost and confused.
What I want you to know today is that the foundation of our faith falls apart without the purpose of the celebration of Easter.
And no, I’m not talking about a faith that falls apart without candy, baskets, bunnies, egg hunts, or brunch.
In fact, I’m not even suggesting that our faith falls apart without Easter Sunday Services and Easter Sunday outfits.
Easter (also called Resurrection Sunday) began as a festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The story of the resurrection of Jesus is the most important story in all of God’s Word.
Without it, we wouldn’t have a purpose.
The answer would be missing.
Read Matthew 28:1-8.
After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men. The angel spoke to the women.
“You must not be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said. Come here and see the place where he was lying.
Go quickly now, and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from death, and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him!’ Remember what I have told you.”
So they left the tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Say: This is it!
On Good Friday, we focus on the cross, the weight of sin, the pain of death, and the sacrifice of Jesus.
But what we just read is the part of the story that makes all the difference for everyone who believes!
Can you imagine losing someone close to you?
Ask: Have any of you experienced the death of a loved one?
Allow a few responses from students.
These women went to the tomb because they deeply loved Jesus.
These women arrived at the tomb with a lot of pain and sadness in their heart.
These women spent all day Saturday in heaviness.
Saturday was the Sabbath, and they were not permitted to go to the tomb that day.
Isn’t God’s timing incredible?
The women show up to honor their loved one on Sunday after the Sabbath, and this supernatural experience occurs!
Have any of you ever experienced an earthquake or tremor?
Have you ever felt the ground as a train or large vehicle sped past you?
I imagine it felt something like that.
These women even had an angel encounter!
The angel confirmed that Jesus was no longer in the tomb.
I know I would be terrified.
The idea of coming back from the dead is an absolute miracle.
Matthew’s gospel account says that the women were terrified AND filled with joy!
They immediately went to tell the other disciples, who would most likely question this amazing story.
But this true story of the resurrection pulls all the pieces together.
This is the true story of the resurrection the prophets had foretold.
This is the true story of the resurrection that Jesus was communicating in His teachings while on earth.
The early church would preach Christ crucified AND raised from the dead.
Jesus’ death on the cross was not enough.
DEFEATING death was the final piece.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can have NEW LIFE!
Read 1 Corinthians 15:14-17.
And if Christ has not been raised, what we preach doesn’t mean anything.
Your faith doesn’t mean anything either.
More than that, we would be lying about God.
We are witnesses that God raised Christ from the dead.
But He did not raise him if the dead are not raised.
If the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith doesn’t mean anything.
Your sins have not been forgiven.
Say: In the passage we just read, Paul is writing to the Corinthian church about the Resurrection.
The Corinthian church believed that Jesus was raised from the dead, but they did not think that His followers would also be raised from the dead.
Paul wanted to be very clear about the point of the resurrection.
First, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, we have no point in being here today, talking about God’s Word and studying it for ourselves as a group.
Secondly, if Jesus was not raised from the dead than none of us would have a purpose!
I don’t know about you, but my faith in Jesus gives me purpose every day.
If Jesus was not raised from the dead, then we could not be raised from the dead and live eternally with God.
Lastly, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, our sins are not forgiven.
Easter, Resurrection Sunday, is central to the life of a follower of Jesus.
Here’s the good news.
JESUS IS ALIVE!
Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus conquered the grave.
Jesus defeated sin.
Jesus made a way for us to have a solid faith.
Easter is the reason we have the Good News to share with others.
Easter is the reason we gather together all year long to worship together.
Easter is the reason God’s Word is worth reading.
Easter is the reason you can talk to God any time you wish.
Easter is the reason that you can comfort those who need comfort.
Easter is the reason that the sick are healed.
Easter is the reason that we don’t have to live in fear.
Easter is the reason that every day is a new day.
Easter is the reason that we can learn to forgive others.
Easter is the reason that we confess our sins to God and one another.
Easter is the reason we can trust God and give our lives to Him.
Easter is the reason we have a peace that passes all understanding.
Easter is the reason that we have eternal hope.
EASTER IS THE ANSWER!
And because of that, we should celebrate!
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY
Say: Before we go into our small group discussion time, I want to do something.
I want everyone to think about a reason that Jesus’ resurrection matters to them.
How does it change you?
How does Jesus’ Resurrection encourage you?
How does it give you purpose?
Easter is a reason to celebrate.
The women ran from the tomb, filled with joy, to share the news with the other disciples.
We should run from this place, filled with joy, ready to share Jesus with others.
I am going to give you each of you a confetti egg, and I want you to hold onto it.
When I count down from 3, I want you to yell praise to Jesus and say why the resurrection is a reason to celebrate.
I’ll wait until everyone thinks of a praise phrase and holds their egg up in the air over their head before I countdown.
As you yell your praise, smash your confetti egg against the wall or on your head or a friend’s head.
If you choose your friend’s head or your head, smash kindly!
WE’RE ALIVE, CAUSE HE’S ALIVE!
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- What is your favorite Easter tradition in your home, at school, or church?
- Do you think we do more to celebrate Christmas than we do to celebrate Easter? Why?
- Have you ever felt like a class or activity didn’t have a purpose? Why do you think it felt meaningless?
- Have you ever played Jenga? What happens when someone pulls the one piece that is holding the whole tower together? How is that piece like the resurrection of Jesus?
- What do you think your response would have been if you were one of the women at the tomb that Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the dead?
- Have you ever visited a gravesite or a memorial? How did it make you feel? Why do we visit these locations?
- Why do you think that some people don’t believe that Jesus rose from the grave?
- Why would we still be in sin if Jesus was not raised from the dead? Why is the most important part of the gospel story for us?
- How can you share the story of Easter with others this week? Does the celebration of the life of Jesus end after Easter?
- If you could create your tradition for Easter, focusing on the resurrection of Jesus, what would that tradition be?
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