This week we celebrate Easter -- the time of the year we stop to remember the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rightfully, there is no more important celebration within Christianity. Were it not for Jesus' death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for humanity’s sin and His subsequent resurrection from the grave and triumph over death, it would not be possible for us to be saved by faith and made righteous before the Lord. At Easter, we celebrate the historical reality that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected on our behalf!
In response to this reality, we pause from our chronological reading of the Old Testament to concentrate on Old Testament passages that prophesy -- or foretell -- the coming of Christ. The entire Old Testament points to humanity's need for a Savior to save us from our sin. Throughout, specific passages provide great detail about the coming Savior and what He will do. Ultimately, we find the fulfillment of those prophesies in the person and work of Jesus Christ. In fact, Biblical scholars suggest that Jesus fulfilled over 300 specific Old Testament prophecies. The passages listed this week are incredible reminders that God has been working since the beginning of time to save humanity from our sin. In so doing, He gave His only Son so that by faith in Jesus we might have the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.
FOR THIS WEEK'S SERMON OVER ISAIAH 12, LISTEN BELOW:
LUkE 23:20-25, 32-49; MATTHEW 28:1-10
Worship, Thanksgiving, and Joy
Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection can alter our eternal destiny. By putting our faith in Christ’s acts, we no longer have to be separated by sin from God. Hallelujah! This leads to the family ingredient of Worship, Thanksgiving & Joy. Our parental responsibility and joy is to share the story of Easter. We naturally want to shield our children from painful truth. While horrific details of the crucifixion are not appropriate for young children, the cost Christ paid should not be watered-down. Our sin nature, inherited from Adam, separates all from God (Jer. 17:9). We must clearly explain that their heart, without God’s cure, is incurably sick. Follow this with the good news that, through the cross, we all can have a new heart if we humbly accept the gift of salvation. Be sensitive and prepared to pray with your child to confess their sin and belief in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection!
- Did Pilate think Jesus was guilty of any crime? Why did Pilate give in to their demands? Was Jesus guilty?
- What did Jesus say to His Father about the people who crucified Him?
- Could Jesus have come down from the cross? Why did He allow people to do this to Him? Who was He obeying and at what cost to Himself?
- Jesus told one of the thieves crucified with Him that he would be with Him in Paradise. Why?
- What separates us from God? Read Jeremiah 17:9. What does it say about our heart condition?
- When the women heard that Jesus was alive and then they saw Him, what was their response? What actions show us their joy?
Supplies: sacks, smooth stones (craft or gardening store), permanent markers and pretty container.
Activity 1: Take a family walk
Gather 1-3 nature items each that represent something about God, or for younger children, something God made. Examples: heart shaped leaf (Jesus loves me), flower (Jesus creates beautiful things). Discuss why items were chosen. Praise Him for each.
Source: Adapted from www.avirtuouswoman.com.
Activity 2: The Stones Cry Out
Before Jesus was crucified, children began to praise Him. When some objected, He said that if the children did not, then the stones would praise Him (Luke 19:40). On stones, write praise words/phrases. Pray and share your praise words with God. Keep stones in a pretty jar and make this activity a part of daily prayer.
Source: Adapted from Beth Ann Weber.
Activity 3: He Died for Me craft
Read Isaiah 53:5. On each family member's palm draw a red, dime-sized dot and write their name beside it. Give thanks to God and remind one another throughout the day that Jesus died for them.
Source: Wendy Schultz Celebrated Family.
Small Group Discussion
- What stood out to you about Jesus this week in your readings of the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus?
- What did you learn about God through the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus?
- What principle is there to follow? Remember a principle is a timeless statement of truth drawn from a passage and used to guide our lives.