One aspect we can focus on with the linen cloth is an act of mercy. Joseph of Arimathea, stepped in after Jesus’ death. He saw a need and gave hugely of himself for that need. He risked getting in trouble with the soldiers and gave the tomb that was being saved for his family, to someone in need.
This is something that is easy for us to emulate: giving back during this holiday season and using the break from school to do so. This could be the day to do such an activity.
We can learn from Joseph’s example and give our time and resources. Teaching children to give to others is an invaluable lesson. We have given several ideas in past blogs on what you can do as a family to help those around you in need. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it just has to be done!
The spear in the Easter story is an amazing representation of the fulfillment of prophecy. The Old Testament states that not a bone would be broken in Jesus body. This is one example of God keeping his word. There are so many amazing promises in the Bible. We can use the fulfillment of prophecy to help children learn to focus on God’s promises.
A fun activity to do is make a promise coupon. Children can think of something they can do for another family member. A promise they alone can fulfill. I could be something that they promise not to do, a teaching tool, such as I promise not to argue about going to bed. It could also be something nice that they will do for another family member, like helping mom clear the dinner dishes. Writing promises down helps children remember. This can be a fun way to help children learn to do what they have promised, like their Heavenly Father does.
It is amazing to think that even while the soldiers were throwing dice for Jesus’ robe, the thing he was thinking was forgiveness. This is the point at which He said, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Everything Jesus did was so intentional and something we can learn from.
Practicing asking for forgiveness is a wonderful discipline. We have talked about teaching prayer and asking for forgiveness for our sins by placing them on or at the foot of the cross. What about the practice of asking each other for forgiveness?
As a family today, practice asking for forgiveness. Have your children think of something they have done that hurt another family member and go to that person to ask for forgiveness. This is something that we can lead by example. If this is not a daily practice in your home take the opportunity to learn from Jesus example. Practice forgiveness!
It’s hard to imagine all that Jesus sacrificed to pay for our sins. A good practice for anyone is to learn to take time to process that sin in their life. This season as we remember what he has done for us, it should become all the more important.
One activity we did in youth group that made the process of repentance very real was actually nailing your sins to the cross. This can be something that as a family you can do every Easter season or Good Friday. Spend some time thinking of some sins, (even young children can do this) and writing them down on a sheet of paper. If your children are young you can write it for them. Make a cross out of two by fours, or just use one that you have for decoration. You can either place your papers at the foot of the cross or actually nail them to the cross. Leave these out until Easter Sunday as a reminder and then, as a family, either remove them or tear them up. This will help children visualize that what Jesus did on the cross removed our sins.
Like we have talked about, the crown of thorns may also be a difficult thing to explain to children. The fact that Jesus was mocked and beaten will be a hard thing for them to understand.
One thing that my mom did, was show us a branch with thorns. We were able to hold it as she read that Bible passage. Having something tactile to hold helped to make it more real.
Explain to your children that the reason they put a crown of thorns on his head was to mock Jesus; saying he was the king of the Jews. But we know the truth. Jesus is actually the King of Kings. An activity that can be done to help celebrate that fact is to make crowns. You can make them as elaborate as you have time for. It would be a great lesson to be able to put the crowns up in a central location in your house to remind us that the King of Kings gave his life for us. That is the very reason we celebrate this season!!