Good Friday and Easter Sunday – Why We Need to go Beyond Traditions and Talk About It

Good Friday and Easter Sunday

This week is THE most important celebration of the Christian faith.  Good Friday and Easter Sunday are greater even than Christmas.  The resurrection of Jesus is the reason he came at all.  It is the grand finale, the whole point, the completion of the great plan to rescue people back from their sin.

When you ask most children, though, “What is Easter all about?”  you’ll get “Easter Eggs and Chocolate.”  Ok, even most grown ups I know get excited about chocolate.

This week I want to challenge you to talk about Jesus.  Talk about Good Friday and what happened.  Talk about what happened on the Sunday morning and what they found at the tomb.  Talk about why it matters!

Most families have some sort of Easter traditions – ours is simply celebrating the resurrection at church then being together with family and having a fun egg hunt at grandma’s with all the cousins.  Many of you already have traditions in place where you walk your children through the story using verses and trinkets in eggs, or making empty tomb rolls – that’s awesome.  I’m a big fan of a simple life and am certainly not suggesting here that we need to DO more.  I just want to be the gentle nudging voice that says make sure you don’t miss the point.  Especially the chance to teach the ones you have the responsibility of raising.

The Gospel

Here is what it’s all about.

Sin separates us from God.  He is so holy that there can be no sin in his presence.  The problem is that because we are all descended from Adam and Eve who chose sin, we are all born with a sinful nature.  BUT God created us and WANTS us with him.  So he came up with a plan to fix that problem.

Jesus, God’s son, fully God and fully man, was born to live life here as one of us.  Because he was God he was able to keep from letting the sinful nature have control and was able to stay sin free.  Before Jesus came, the only way for forgiveness was a sacrifice; blood had to be shed to cover the sin.  Jesus came to die.  He knew that was part of the plan.  He was going to be THE sacrifice that would start a new way.  His innocent blood covers OUR sin – because he had none of his own, he was able to pay for ours instead.  And he chose to endure that because he wants us with him.

So that’s Good Friday.  That’s what his death was all about.  That what he did for us there.  But that’s not even all.  Because on Sunday – when he was found not in the tomb, but RISEN?  He was proving that he is greater than death.  We have no fear of death because even when our earthly bodies fail, we can live forever, raised to eternal life with him.  Amazing.

Do you believe that?  It’s a great truth, but we need to believe it, accept that he did it for us personally, and thank him for it.  To use a cultural Easter illustration, someone can hand you a chocolate egg, but until you unwrap it and eat it, it doesn’t change you.

Now What?

I’m not a theologian, but I do believe it’s important to be able to articulate what we believe.  And let the story lead you into conversation.  (I wrote another version of it here.)  By the way, it is totally ok to find help to tell it – there are many wise believers out there who have made resources available to us.  I started an Easter Pinterest Board where you can find a bunch of helpful ideas.  There are teachings, baking, crafts, and colouring pages to use as you go about your week.  I think I want to try the empty tomb rolls – it’s an awesome illustration of how Jesus was there and then just disappeared, plus I’m all about yummy baking.

Tell the Story

I pray you’ll have many opportunity to talk about your faith this week.  Teach your children, have conversations with coworkers, and keep the story on your heart so it rolls off your tongue easily.  And if you have a moment, leave a comment with your favourite traditions.

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