Sharing the Easter Story

T  he Easter story is full of emotionally charged moments. It ends with resurrection, hope, joy, the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life for those who trust in Jesus Christ. But it begins with a series of agonizing events: betrayal, arrest, denial, a trial, mockery, beatings, crucifixion and death. Jesus went through an unbelievably painful experience. What makes it even more unbelievable is that He could have stopped all of it. How? Because He is God the Son. He has all the power and authority of God. But He didn’t stop any of it. He endured all of that pain and cruelty for us. Why? To save us. To give us hope for eternity.

Many of us are currently experiencing a time of unprecedented pain, fear, loss and confusion. Every corner of the world is affected by this global pandemic. We are united in our suffering, but as believers and as families we can also be united in our faith, trust and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us not only hold onto our faith but also lead our families into the Easter season with celebration and hope. You undoubtedly have access to countless Easter-themed materials from your church and various other ministries and individuals. Our intention is not to present yet another obligation you have to fit into your upturned life right now. But we do want to provide a resource that you can turn to for help (and hope!) if and when you need it.

Connect with your family and with the Lord during this time in ways that work best for you. Choose activities that will help your family learn, grow and have fun together. And feel free to come up with creative ideas of your own!

Read

Discuss

Create

Sing

Pray

Sharing the Easter Story

T  he Easter story is full of emotionally charged moments. It ends with resurrection and hope and joy and the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life for those who trust in Jesus Christ. But it begins with a series of agonizing events: betrayal, arrest, denial, a trial, mockery, beatings, crucifixion and death. Jesus went through an unbelievably painful experience. What makes it even more unbelievable is that He could have stopped all of it. How? Because He is God the Son. He has all the power and authority of God. But He didn’t stop any of it. He endured all of that pain and cruelty for us. Why? To save us. To give us hope for eternity.

Many of us are currently experiencing a time of unprecedented pain, fear, loss and confusion. Every corner of the world is affected by this global pandemic. We are united in our suffering, but as believers and as families we can also be united in our faith, trust and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us not only hold onto our faith but also lead our families into the Easter season with celebration and hope. You undoubtedly have access to countless Easter-themed materials from your church and various other ministries and individuals. Our intention is not to present yet another obligation you have to fit into your upturned life right now. But we do want to provide a resource that you can turn to for help (and hope!) if and when you need it.

Connect with your family and with the Lord during this time in ways that work best for you. Choose activities that will help your family learn, grow and have fun together. And feel free to come up with creative ideas of your own!

Read the Story

Read the Easter story from the Bible.

  • You can find it in all four Gospels: Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-20
  • If you have younger children, also read the story from a children’s Bible.
  • Share a blog post or daily devotion that speaks about Easter.

Click on the text below to use scripture references to share the Easter story.

1. The Arrest

Mark 14:32-50

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 

Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Jesus Arrested

Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

“Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled.

4. Jesus' Death and Burial

Mark 15:33-47

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”(which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

The Burial of Jesus

It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

 

2. The Trial

Mark 14:53 – 15:15

They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.

Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate.

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”

But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.

“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.

“Crucify him!” they shouted.

“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

5. The Resurrection

Matthew 28:1-10 

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.

The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

3. The Crucifixion

Mark 15:16-32

The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.  

And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the Jews.

They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. 

Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 

Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

 

Discuss

  • Ask your children if there are parts of the Easter story that confuse them or that they’d like to know more about. Then find the answers together in Scripture. Use other trusted reference materials if needed. (Feel free to pull out your BSF Notes from the John and Matthew studies for help!)
  • Encourage everyone to share the parts of the Easter story that intrigue or excite them the most and explain why.
  • Challenge children to find the attributes of God that are displayed in the Easter story.
  • Talk about the differences between how and why the secular world views and celebrates Easter versus how and why Christians celebrate Easter.

Create

  • Challenge each child to express their thoughts about what Jesus did for us in a way they will enjoy. They might want to create a poem or song, paint a picture, draw some graphic novel scenes, make a video, or simply write a letter to God.
  • Record a 30-second video of your family telling the Easter story in a quick, fun, and creative way. Use music, props, or costumes as desired. Then send it to some friends or family members who will enjoy it or who need to hear the true Easter story.
  • Make Jesus-themed cards or crafts, and send them to elderly relatives or residents of a local nursing home who are currently unable to receive visitors.

Sing

  • Listen and sing along to a variety of styles and genres: worship songs, hymns (both old and new), children’s music, and even classical music such as songs from Handel’s Messiah.
  • If any family members have musical talent, play live Easter music.
  • Pull out old CDs, cassette tapes, or vinyl records that contain songs about Easter or related themes. Introduce your children to not only the music but also the singers and bands you enjoyed listening to as a child, teenager, or young adult. (Of course, you can probably find most of those songs on a streaming service, but that’s not nearly as fun!)
  • Help your child set up an Easter playlist on your mobile device and play it throughout the day.
  • Invite your extended family and friends to join you in an online video chat and sing together.

Download BSF Preschool and Basic Truth songs on mybsf.org “extras.”

Pray

  • Write a list of people you know who need to hear about Jesus and/or choose to trust in Him as their Savior. Make copies and post them on your most-used mirrors around the house. Encourage everyone to pray for those people each time they look in the mirror.
  • Pray an add-on prayer (similar to the “I’m Going on a Picnic” game). The first person says something like, “God, thank You for Jesus.” The second person says, “God, thank You for Jesus and that He died on the cross.” The third person says, “God, thank You for Jesus, that He died on the cross, and that He rose again,” and so on. See how many things you can add to the prayer. If you have younger children, help with the repetition part.
  • Ask non-Christian family members or friends if you can pray for them. Make a list of their prayer requests, and commit to pray for each one. A week or two later, follow up with those people to see if their prayers have been answered or if they have any additional requests.

130 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing the Easter Story. It has reminded me that I need to pray for those in my family that have strayed away from the Lord to be much in prayer for them.

  2. I enjoyed the summation and will look up a few things mentioned I want more clarification on. Ex. What is myrrh? What is the purpose of drinking wine with vinegar? Thank you for the readings.

  3. An opportunity to hear a talk to grasp this visual: land (sin), flood water (death), ark (in Christ Jesus); God created wood naturally floats as water rises. those who can swim may laugh at those who cannot for a short while, but they eventually drown after the large body of water raining for a long long time. Those are willing to enter into the cover of ark (Jesus) are saved.

  4. Thank you so much for the Easter story and the hope it has brought all over again in the midst of despair and hopelessness. I am so blessed and reminded again to pray and keep praying for family and friends who have not received the free gift of salvation.

  5. An amazing job in putting this Easter story together for families. Thank you! And as Jesus’ death gave us victory over our sins and eternal life, so will his death and his Resurrection give us freedom and healing from Covd 19. He is Risen, HalleJulia! He is risen indeed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This