Easter is the most important and oldest festival for Christians. At Easter we celebrate that after he died on the cross Jesus rose and lives again.
Jesus told his disciples many times he would rise again. And yet when the tomb was empty and the stone rolled away on that first Easter morning they were shocked. Only when he showed the nail prints in his hands did they remember his words. Now they knew he was truly the Son of God.
Before this Jesus was known in many different ways. First, he was the son of the carpenter Joseph (Matthew 13:55). The disciples saw him as their teacher and called him Rabbi. The rulers said he broke the rules. According to them he didn’t wash his hands as much as he should. Instead he said what comes out of your mouth is more important than what goes into your mouth (Matthew 15:11,12,20). This was something new. It didn’t follow the rules.
Jesus did things differently. When he called his disciples to follow him he expected them to leave their fishing boats and their families. To the rich young ruler he said, “Sell all that you have; then come and follow me” (Matthew 19: 21,22).
On the Sabbath he healed the sick and went into the wheat field to pick the ripe grains. He went to eat with Zacchaeus, rather than condemn him.
He told stories to teach truth. The story of the Good Samaritan teaches that anyone in need is your neighbour (Luke 10: 30-36).
He did amazing miracles. With five loaves of bread and two fish he fed five thousand people, and filled twelve baskets of leftovers (John 6:9-14).
The rulers said Jesus was an outlaw breaking all the rules. They were afraid that because of his many followers they would lose control. So they arrested him.
The disciples wanted Jesus to be their king in a new kingdom. They wanted him to replace the Roman rulers who were harsh and treated them unfairly. Jesus was building a kingdom, but not only for now on earth.
While on earth Jesus taught how people should love and respect each other. His miracles showed his love for the people. They showed God’s power. He died and rose again to show life does not end on earth, his kingdom goes on forever. He came to earth to show a new way. Just like his disciples you find the way by following him. Read John 14:6.
Activity: find the missing words.
- Jesus died on a __ __ __ __ __.
- On the third day he __ __ __ __.
- The __ __ __ __ __ was rolled away.
- He showed his __ __ __ __ __ to his disciples.
- Jesus said __ __ __ __ __ __ me.
- I am the __ __ __ the __ __ __ __ __ and the __ __ __ __.