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EASTER: Helping children look to the Cross

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (BP) — Help your child experience the hope and promise of the cross more fully. Make time to focus on some special Scripture passages about what happened in the days before Jesus’ crucifixion. Read the passages, then use the object noted and the devotional thoughts and activities to help make the stories come alive for your child.

The Woman’s Precious Gift

Matthew 26:6-13

LOOK: Rub a little essential oil, such as frankincense or myrrh, on your child’s arm and look at some pretty perfume bottles. Explain that the perfumes people used in that time were very strong and fragrant and that the woman’s gift was very expensive.

THINK: Instead of being amazed by the generous gift the woman brought, the people at the dinner criticized her. Jesus understood her heart. He saw that she wanted to give Him an extravagant expression of her love and gratitude. He accepted her gift and encouraged her. People are still in the habit of criticizing one another. If you decide to live your life for Jesus, sometimes people will tell you that you are wasting your time and money. But Jesus will always understand your heart.

DO: Do something this week to express love to a neighbor, elderly or faraway friend, or missionary.

A Big Change

Luke 19:1-10

LOOK: View different coins and different denominations of money. Explain that in Jesus’ time, people paid taxes as they do today, but the person gathering the taxes often demanded more money than the governor or king required. The tax collectors kept the extra for themselves.

THINK: When Zacchaeus met Jesus, he changed completely. All his life, he had been greedy and had taken from people. Suddenly, he wanted to give. The opposite of taking is giving. The opposite of being selfish is serving. The opposite of being lost is being saved. Jesus came to give, to serve, and to save.

DO: Get a $2 bill from the bank and give it to someone along with a card with Luke 19:10 written on it.

A Cheerful Welcome

Matthew 21:1-11

LOOK: Pet a donkey at a petting zoo or find a palm branch to display at your house. Picture the scene of the Triumphal Entry with your child.

THINK: People often cheer for a popular celebrity one day and forget about him later. Jesus was not in the world to be a celebrity but a Savior. He heard the people cheering for Him, but He knew they would change their minds in less than a week and demand that He be killed. He did not live for the crowd’s cheers. He lived to do His Father’s will. Have you ever changed your mind about what you wanted to do or what you knew was right to do because of what people around you said? Find the kind of courage Jesus had — courage to stand for God’s ways.

DO: Make a list of things the crowd says you should do or treasure. Then make a list of things God says you should do and treasure.

A Profound Passover

Luke 22:7-30; John 13:1-16

LOOK: Share a snack of matzo crackers or bread. Remind your child that every year the Jews celebrate the Passover, when God protected the Jews who were slaves in Egypt and then miraculously freed them (see the story in Exodus 12).

THINK: Jesus celebrated the Passover each year with His family and friends. This Passover meal was the most meaningful of all. All of the prophecies and symbols in the supper were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In this amazing moment, the disciples should have sat in awe. Instead, they argued about who was the greatest person in the room. Each one wanted to be better than the others. Jesus settled their argument by washing their feet. He could have been impatient, but He modeled humility and taught until the very end of His life.

DO: During family worship, wash each other’s feet. Serve someone this week.

    About the Author

  • Kristen White/ParentLife

    Kristen White, on the Web at womenwithroots.com, lives with her husband and four children in Shelbyville, Ky. This article first appeared in ParentLife magazine (see lifeway.com/parentlifeblog) of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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