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Easter Stations of the Cross (EXERCISE)


Time

30 min

 

Description

This activity teaches about the events leading up to the resurrection of Jesus.  It doesn’t follow all the traditional stations of the Catholic version but rather focuses on the most important events for sharing the Easter story.

 

Scriptures

Matthew 26-28

 

Materials

  • One copy of each of the puzzles that represent the different Stations of the Cross.  You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  The file is called, “Easter Stations of the Cross – Puzzles.ppt”
  • Scissors or cutting tool
  • 12 Ziplock bags (sandwich size)

 

Preparation

  • Printout one copy of the puzzles.
  • Cut along the outlines of the puzzle pieces.
  • Put each set of puzzle pieces into a Ziplock bag.
  • Create the following “Stations” around the room by setting out the appropriate puzzle at each Station:
  1. Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested.
  3. Jesus is tried by the Sanhedrin.
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter.
  5. Jesus is judged by Pilate.
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns.
  7. Jesus takes up his cross and is helped by Simon.
  8. Jesus is crucified between two thieves.
  9. Jesus promises the thief eternity in paradise.
  10. Jesus dies on the cross, and the veil is torn in two.
  11. Jesus’ is removed from the cross and buried.
  12. Jesus rises from the dead.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Some Christian traditions have a ritual called, Stations of the Cross.”
  • “The Stations are different places in a room, or on a road or in a building that you walk to and then stop to think about Jesus and how much He loves you.”
  • “The Stations each have a description, and they are usually about different events related to the Easter story.”
  • “Today, we’re going to go through some of the most important events (or Stations) and learn about what happened during that part of the story.”  (Divide the group into twelve smaller groups, and assign each one to one of the Stations.  If you have less than 12 people, you can assign multiple stations to each person.  Have these groups or individuals go to different stations and put the puzzles together.  They should then read the Scriptures on their puzzle and be ready to summarize that part of the story when the group reaches that Station.  After all the puzzles are done, gather everyone back together, and go through the Stations in the order listed above.  As you reach each station, allow everyone to look at the picture, and have the person or group who completed the puzzle summarize the story for the larger group.  When you’ve finished all the stations, you can sing the Alleluia chorus or do a short wrap-up lecture on the importance of the resurrection.)
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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Jesus, Judas, Resurrection, Simon-Peter

Lazarus (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures and answer the questions below.

John 11:1-44 (entire chapter)

1.    Why do you think Jesus waited before going to Mary and Martha?

2.    Have you ever had a time in your life when you desperately prayed for God’s help but God chose not to give you what you asked for?

3.    What do you think God’s purposes are in these situations?

Now, think back through the story, and put yourself in the role of Lazarus.  Instead of focusing on Lazarus’ physical sickness and death, though, now focus on your spiritual sickness and death before you became a Christian.

4.    How is the story about Lazarus’ resurrection like your own story of spiritual rebirth?

5.    What insights does this give you about the story?

 

Facilitator Notes for Large Group Debrief

o  Like Lazarus, we were dead, but our sickness which led to death was spiritual rather than physical.

o  Jesus waited until we were aware of our deadness before He brought us into life everlasting.

o  Releasing Lazarus from the grave was a visual representation of what Jesus was about to do for all of us.

o  When Jesus rolled away the stone from His own grave in the garden, He rolled away the stone for all of humanity.  Death could no longer hold us!

o  The stone that blocked our way to new life has been rolled away.

o  Jesus calls our name and invites us to come out to enjoy new life with Him.

o  Unfortunately, many of us chose to stay in our tombs rather than respond to Jesus’ call for us to come out.

o  As long as we stayed in our graves, we were still dead in our sin.

o  But for those of us who responded when Jesus called our names, we have new life!

o  But that’s not the entire story of how we got free, because even though we had been freed from the power of death, we, like Lazarus, were still bound in our grave clothes.

o  Satan had wrapped us up pretty tightly.

o  Many of us emerged from the grave, but we weren’t truly free yet.  The sins and scars of our past still held us.  We wanted to be free to enjoy the life that Jesus promised, but we didn’t know how to separate ourselves from those grave clothes.

o  Some of us are still bound today.  We still don’t know how to get free of our past.  What we did or what was done to us prevents us from experiencing the full joy of our new freedom.

o  Like the burial custom practiced in Lazarus’ time, Satan tied our hands and our feet, wrapped us in grave clothes and veiled our faces.

o  He tied our hands, because it’s with our hands that we do God’s WORK.

o  He tied our feet, because it’s with our feet that we WALK with the Lord.

o  He veiled our faces, because it’s with our faces that we bear WITNESS to God’s glory.*

o  Many of us are alive in Christ but still tied up in sin, guilt, shame, pain, or ignorance that keeps us from our WORK, our WALK and our WITNESS with and for God.

o  It sometimes takes a long time to recognize our freedom, and we need the help of the Church to get free.  We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to do for us what those who witnessed Lazarus raised from the dead did for Lazarus.  We need our brothers and sisters to “Take off (our) grave clothes and let (us) go!”

o  We can’t get free ourselves.  This is part of the role of the Church.

o  So, as we see other brothers and sisters emerge from the grave, we need to step forward and help them in whatever way God gives us.  We need to get them free from their grave clothes.

o  And if you are still bound and don’t know how to get free, don’t try to do it alone.  Turn to your brothers and sisters in Christ and to Christian professionals who can help you to cut those bounds and walk free in Christ.

 

* There are at least three important veils in Scripture. Moses wore his veil to hide God’s glory when he came down from the mountain, because the sinful people couldn’t stand the bright holiness of God. But when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom because all could now have access to a holy God through Christ. Satan wants to keep us veiled like Lazarus, but it’s no longer necessary to hide God’s glory.

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Filed under Daily walk, Devotion, God's Will, Healing, Jesus, Martha, Mary, Resurrection, Witness

Resurrection Roll (GAME)


Time
10-15 minutes (or more, depending upon how many times you play)

Audience

Children & Youth

Description

This game is a fun and high-energy way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  It’s played in rounds, and an individual round takes only a few minutes to play.

Scriptures

  • Matthew 28:1-10

Materials

  • 10-20 feet of rope
  • “Friday-Sunday” dice cube pattern (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com in the file named “Resurrection Roll – Dice Cube.”)
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors or knife to cut out dice cube
  • Cardboard or poster board (8.5 x 11 inches)
  • Optional: Small prizes for the winners – it’s possible to have multiple winners each round, so you will want to have lots of small prizes
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print out the dice cube pattern.
  • Glue the pattern on top of the cardboard or poster board.
  • Cut out the dice cube pattern.
  • Bend the dice cube sides along the lines to form the cube.  (It might be helpful to lightly score the cardboard along the dice cube lines to help it to bend.  Make sure to score the cardboard side and not the paper side.)
  • Tape the dice cube anywhere the sides come together.
  • Lay out the rope in a large circle pattern.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Jesus died on the cross on a Friday, and His followers were crushed!”
  • “They believed He was the Savior, the Messiah, but now He was gone!”
  • “They couldn’t believe it!  They didn’t know what to do.”
  • “They had put all their hopes in Jesus, and they didn’t know what to do with their lives now that He was dead.”
  • “Fortunately for them and for all of us, that wasn’t the end of the story!” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 28:1-10.)
  • “Imagine you were there!”
  • “One moment, life has no meaning – only mourning.”
  • “The next moment, all your hopes are restored – even upgraded!”
  • “What you thought was a terrible defeat turns into an incredible victory!”
  • “So, let’s play a game to celebrate that victory!”  (Ask everyone to grab the rope and stand in a circle.)
  • “I have a die (singular for dice) here that has three sides that say, ‘Friday,’ and three sides that say, ‘Sunday.’”
  • “You are holding a rope that represents the tomb Jesus was buried in, and you represent Jesus.”
  • “Before I roll the die, you have to decide if you think it will land on ‘Friday’ or ‘Sunday’ and choose to either be in the tomb or out of the tomb.”
  • “If it lands on ‘Friday,’ you want to be in the tomb, where Jesus was after He died.”
  • “If it lands on ‘Sunday,’ you want to be outside the tomb, where Jesus was after He rose from the dead.”
  • “If you are in the wrong place, you are out of the game and have to leave the circle until we start a new round.”
  • “I will roll the die three times, and you can choose a different place (in or out) each time or stay where you are as long as you keep being right.”
  • “Whoever lasts all three rolls, wins!”  (“….and gets a prize” if you are giving prizes)
  • “Are you ready to play?”  (Start the game by having the kids choose a position inside or outside of the rope.  Then roll the die.  Any kids on the wrong side of the rope are out until the next round.  After three rolls, acknowledge the winners and start a new round if you wish.  End whenever you’ve had enough!)

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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Game, Games that Teach, Jesus, Resurrection

Resurrection Plants



Time

15 minutes (actual teaching time – more time should be allotted for the plants to change.)


Description

This object lesson helps participants understand that Jesus rose from the dead after three days. It takes at least an hour for the plants to show signs of life, so you will want to conduct this object lesson at the beginning of class. If you are teaching a multi-day program, you can do PART 1 on the first day and PART 2 on the second.

Materials

· Several Resurrection Plants (a.k.a. The Rose of Jericho). They can be ordered online or through a local nursery.

· A shallow dish or bowl for each plant.

· A little water for each dish or bowl.

· Ziplock bags (optional)

Preparation

Put a little water into the bottom of each bowl.

Practice the script.

Procedure

PART 1

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “I’m going to need a few volunteers.” (Select one volunteer per Resurrection Plant.)

· “I would like each of you to take one of these.” (Hand out plants to each child.)

· “What do you think that is?”

· “Would you agree that it looks pretty dead?”

· “Yeah, it looks dead to me, too, but I know something about these plants. They are very special.”

· “In front of each of you, there is a plate/bowl with a little water in it. I would like for each of you to put your plant in that water.”

· “We are going to leave those there for a little bit and see what happens.” (Allow volunteers to return to their seats and continue with other parts of your lesson. The plants will need at least an hour to show a difference.)

PART 2

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Let’s take another look at those plants.” (Ask your volunteers to rejoin you up at the front.)

· “Take a look at your plant. What do you think?” (Have them hold up their plants so that everyone can see them.)

· “Isn’t that amazing! Didn’t they look dead before?”

· “We call them Resurrection Plants, because ‘resurrection’ means to ‘come back to life.’”

· “That’s just what Jesus did. He died and was buried, but three days later, He came back to life! These plants are a good reminder that Jesus is risen!”

· “God puts many things in nature to remind us of Him and of His truths. The resurrection plants are an example of that. Can you think of any other examples from nature that teach us about God or His truth?” (The children might have all types of ideas, but here are a few to help if they can’t think of any:

o At night, the sun goes away, but the moon continues to reflect its light (Jesus is like the sun, and we are like the moon.)

o Sheep follow their shepherd just like Jesus wants us to follow Him.

o Dogs know how to show unconditional love. Even if you forget to feed them one day, they forgive you right away.)

· “Can anyone think of anything that dies and comes back to life?” (Take responses. If they struggle, you can remind them that seeds from fruits and plants have to die and be buried in order to grow into the trees and plants that they one day become.)

· “So God has left all these things for us as reminders of what His Son did.”

· (Allow volunteers to return to their seats. You can let them put the plants in ziplock bags and take them home, or you can let they dry out so that you can use them again later.)

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Resurrection