To help pupils understand the Bible teaching that God gave everything, so that people could be his friends.
Things you’ll need
- An Easter egg for a prize
- The means to play an Easter song or hymn
1 Ask for five volunteers to take part in a competition. Choose a simple contest that needs great determination and concentration (eg not laughing whilst standing on one leg, whistling a tune without smiling etc). Make sure it doesn’t just rely on physical strength as this will always be biased towards older children. Award the winner the prize and make the point that she/he had to try really hard to win – they had to give it everything.
2 Ask all the pupils what one thing they would like to be or have above all else. After you’ve heard from several of them, explain that to achieve their dreams they might need to give it everything. To be a great footballer or actress or to own a private jet will take years of commitment and trying.
3 Tell the Easter story in this way:
I wonder what God would say if we asked him the same question? What would God want above everything else? The Bible gives an answer to that question. It says that what God wants more than anything else, is for people to know that he loves them and to be friends with him. Christians believe that God has given everything to make that happen.
First, the Bible says, he sent his Son Jesus to earth to show people what God is like. God was prepared to send his only Son from heaven to earth. That’s what Christians celebrate at Christmas. But that wasn’t all. Jesus also wanted everyone to know how much God loves them and to be friends with him, so he was prepared to give up everything. That is what Christians believe happened at Easter.
In the Bible it says that Jesus was arrested and killed, not because he had done anything wrong, or just because people hated him. He gave up his life because his death was a punishment for all the wrong things others had done. He died that so that people could be friends with God. To make this possible, Jesus had to give up everything. His friends all left him, he was arrested and beaten by the soldiers, and then he was put on the cross to die. But the Bible says it didn’t end there. Three days later Jesus came back to life again. He had given everything, including his life, but God raised him to life again.
A Christian viewpoint
1 Read John 3:16. Point out that God was prepared to give his own Son for us.
2 For Christians, Easter is the most important festival. It reminds them of their belief that God gave everything so that they could be friends with him. For Christians the only way to respond to what God has done for them is to give themselves to God – loving him and being determined to live the way he wants.
We all have dreams and ambitions. Is your dream worth doing your very best to achieve? Are you willing to give your all for your dream? And is there any one you care about enough to give everything for?
1 You could use this prayer to finish:
Dear Lord, thank you that you gave everything, so that people could be your friends. Help us to be people who are prepared to give everything for those we care about. Amen.
2 As the children leave, play a quiet Easter hymn. Introduce it as a song that Christians sing at Easter, to help them remember the story.