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Bible passage: Luke 24:1-12, 36-39
Background: Easter Sunday can get lost among Easter eggs and family trips out. This session should give you and the children the space to explore the real meaning of this story. Help the children discover the excitement and joy of Jesus’ resurrection and wonder together about what it means.
Sit around in a circle and look at one another’s shoes. How are these pairs of shoes different? Who has had a new pair of shoes recently? What makes a pair of shoes a favourite pair? Can you perform ten ways of walking, running or hopping?
EASTER EGG HUNT
You will need: Easter eggs (chocolate or plastic, or chocolate balls, if you can’t find Easter eggs); empty yoghurt pots
Before the session, hide the eggs around your space. Give each child an empty yoghurt pot and send them off to find the eggs. You might need to redistribute the eggs if some children have more than others!
You will need: a man’s sandal; a woman’s sandal; two card feet (one with a black ‘nail mark’, one white and sparkling)
On Friday, the women who had watched Jesus die also saw his body being buried in a cave in a garden. They had gone home to gather lots of sweet-smelling spices. They wanted to put these spices beside Jesus’ body in the cave. This was what people did in a hot country, to hide the smell of a dead body.
On Saturday, they stayed at home. It was the Sabbath, the day for resting.
Early on Sunday morning, they got up, put on their shoes and walked to the cave, carrying the sweet-smelling spices. Produce the woman’s sandal.
If you’d been one of these women, how do you think you would have been walking? Remember, it’s almost dark, you’re sad and the spices are heavy. Ask for demonstrations.
An enormous stone had been rolled across the entrance to the cave. These women might have wondered how they were going to get in. But when they got there, the stone had been rolled away!
What they saw made them step back in shock. Jesus’ body had disappeared. And right beside them were two men in shining white clothes, bright and dazzling! Produce the white sparkling foot.
The women fell down with their faces to the ground, where the only thing they could see were the angels’ feet. What do you think an angel’s foot looks like? Big, bright, always moving, very still or floating off the ground? Ask the children what they think.
The angels spoke calmly to the women. They said:
“You won’t find Jesus in a place where people are buried.”
“He’s not here!”
“He’s come alive again and has a new body!”
“He told you he’d be nailed to a cross and three days later he’d rise again. Have you forgotten?”
The women remembered that Jesus had said this. They went to tell Jesus’ disciples what they’d seen and what they’d been told. How do you think they moved this time? Ask for demonstrations.
The women told Jesus’ disciples what the angels had told them. Can you remember what things the women would have said? Let the children tell you.
Jesus’ disciples didn’t believe the women. But Peter decided to find out for himself. Produce the man’s sandal.
How do you think he got there? Ask for demonstrations.
Peter looked inside the cave. He saw no angels or body, but the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ body was still there. The women were right!
Later that day, Jesus came into the room where his friends were. They thought he was a ghost! Jesus said to them: “Why are you scared? Look at my hands and my feet. Touch me. I’m no ghost. I’ve got flesh and bones.” Produce the card foot with the nail mark. Talk about how Jesus was nailed to a cross. The nail would probably have gone through his ankle rather than his foot.
We don’t know how Jesus walked once he’d come alive again with a new body.
We do know that he walked, ate and talked with his disciples and 500 other people. They all knew that this was Jesus who had died but was now alive again!
Chat about the story using these questions:
- How important is it that women were the first people to be told Jesus had come alive again?
- Why do you think the disciples didn’t believe what the women said? How many possible reasons can you think of?
- Why is it important to you that Jesus is not dead but alive?
You will need: thin elastic bands; foot shapes made of card or craft foam; hole punch; felt-tip pens
Using felt-tip pens, children can write ‘Jesus is alive’ or draw a small cross (or any image from the Easter story). Punch a hole in the foot and then attach these little feet to the children’s shoes. Say that when they see the foot on their shoe, they can remember the story and that Jesus is alive!
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
You will need: one large paper foot; felt-tip pens
The women’s first reaction to what the angels said was to go and tell other people. Jesus is not dead. Jesus is alive! He is still alive and with us by his Spirit all the time.
On a large paper foot, invite children to write a note to Jesus telling him what they think about the fact that he is alive and with them now.
Conclude by asking that God will help us to be like the women and share the good news with others that Jesus really is alive today.
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