Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday and our resurrection when He comes again.
Needed: Bibles, toilet paper rolls, cones or another placement marker
Read Matthew 27:62-66.
“The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that He has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.’
“‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”
On the Saturday after Jesus died, the priests asked Pilate, the Roman governor, to put guards around Jesus’ grave. Why does it say that they did that? (The priests didn’t want Jesus’ followers to come steal Jesus’ body and then, lie and tell people that Jesus came back to life.)
(Read Matthew 28:1-10.)
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: “He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.” Now I have told you.’
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.’
How did Jesus come back to life? (After Jesus died, God brought Him back to life.)
God can do anything. He can even make dead people come back to life. One day, when Jesus comes back to Earth, He will make our souls go back into our bodies and bring our bodies back to life. Our bodies will be perfect, and we will live forever with Jesus and God forever.
(Read Matthew 28:11-15.)
“While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole Him away while we were asleep.” If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”
Why did the priests pay the guards to lie about Jesus being alive again?
The priests didn’t want people to believe in Jesus, and they didn’t want people to know He came back to life, so they paid the guards to lie about what happened.
Game: Resurrection Race
Divide students into pairs. Have each pair line up along one line. Place cones a good distance from the line, directly in front of the pairs.
Give each pair two rolls of toilet paper. On, “Go!” the first person from each pair will wrap their partner in toilet paper, using the whole roll. The wrapped person will then break free of the toilet paper and run around the cone and back toward their partner. They will then wrap their partner, and the second person will do the same thing. The first pair to have both people wrapped and run around the cone wins.
Explain to students that this is what will happen to us. Our bodies will be dead, but then when Jesus comes back, He will bring our bodies back to life, just like God brought Jesus’ body back to life.
Game: Resurrection Tag
Pick one student to be It. That student is Death. Pick another student to be Jesus. When Death tags someone, they fall down and lie on the ground like they’re dead. Jesus can then come to tag them, and they can get back up. If Death tags Jesus, Jesus must count to three (because Jesus was dead for three days), but can then get up again. If Jesus tags Death, the round is over. Play until everyone has had a chance to be both Death and Jesus or as long as time permits.
Remind students that Jesus will come back one day and will raise everyone who believes in Him back to life, just as God raised Jesus back to life on Easter morning.
Father God, we praise You for bringing Jesus back to life and for promising to raise us again one day. Help us always to believe in You so that we’ll be ready when Jesus returns one day. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, He Came, He Saw, He Conquered.