The Resurrection of Jesus
TEXT: Mark 16:1-11
- supplemental scriptures
The students will be able to describe what took place the day of the Resurrection and will understand that because Jesus arose from the dead they can live forever with Him in Heaven.
- memory verse
Now is Christ risen from the dead. — 1 Corinthians 15:20
- bible lesson outline
Introduction: Open your class session by presenting again the symbol of the cross with which you opened your session last week. Remind your class that last week you learned about Christ's death. But today's lesson is one of joy—the empty tomb brings the glad message, Christ is risen! Show an empty tomb from papier-mache or a picture (flannelgraph illustration) of a tomb.
Progression of events:
- Review with your students the grief and despair the disciples must have felt after Jesus' death.
- Jesus had foretold that He would rise again, but that message of hope seemingly failed to comfort His disciples.
- The three women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body.
- The stone had been rolled away and an angel was there.
Climax: The angel at the tomb makes the announcement—He is risen!
Conclusion: Jesus conquered death when He rose after three days. Because of this event, we, too, have the hope of eternal life.
Response: The students should be able to use the flannelgraph figures of the Easter lesson and retell the story. They should also be able to explain why this event is so vital to Christian faith today.
- background information
Even though Jesus had predicted His resurrection many times (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34) it came as a complete surprise to His disciples (Mark 16:3,11,13). The women went to the tomb to anoint His body, never expecting that He had risen! Had Jesus not conquered death we would never have heard of Him. The disciples believed it was a finished tragedy (Mark 16:11). In a few years the stories of Jesus would have been only vague memories.
However, when the fact of the literal resurrection of Jesus finally exploded into the hearts and minds of these fearful, disillusioned disciples they were so changed that their message was to affect all the world.
The fact of the Resurrection gives absolute authority to all that Jesus said. The resurrection of Christ is of necessity the central doctrine of the New Testament. "If Christ be not raised your faith is vain" (1 Corinthians 15:17). Because of the Resurrection, Jesus is not a vague historical figure but the living Lord of the present. He is not a religious leader of the past to be talked about, but the living Christ to be met personally.
As we put our faith in Christ and He lives within us we also receive the power of the Resurrection. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11).
- in-class activities
- Use the Resurrection morning patterns provided (see Patterns) to depict the events of the first Easter. Cut the shapes from felt and use with a flannel board, or cut from paper and color, backing figures with flannel board paper (available at teacher supply centers and religious bookstores). As an alternative, back figures with magnetic tape for use with a metal cookie sheet. If you wish, copy the patterns for each student. Allow them to color their set and take it home to tell the Easter story to others in their family.
- Make a papier-mache tomb so that the children may look inside.
- Reproduce the framed motto designed for weaving for each student. Cut the slits as indicated. Let them cut out the strips which supply the missing letters, and then weave them into the slits in the motto (see Patterns).
- For an Easter craft activity, gather and clean a number of smooth flat rocks about the size of a small fist. Preliminary to class time, paint each rock a solid color with acrylic or model paint. At class time, talk about how the stone's being rolled away signified that Jesus had risen. Given students acrylic paints, permanent marker pens or scraps of felt and glue with which to decorate their rocks. Write an appropriate Scripture or Easter message such as, "He is Risen!" on each rock with a black marker pen. You might want to put a coat of varnish on the rocks, and glue felt to the bottoms. Use the rocks as paperweights or decorations.
- How can we be sure we can see Jesus?
- Why is the Resurrection important?
- pre-school suggestions
- Make a papier-mache tomb with moveable door to use as you explain the lesson.
- Let pre-schoolers act out the Resurrection with a tomb made by covering a folding table with a sheet or blanket, leaving an opening at the front.
- review ideas
Skit — Have a teacher act as a discouraged person who is unhappy with his life (spiritually dead). A Christian (another teacher) comes and tells the story of Christ's resurrection and that by this we can have new life (salvation).
Skit — Role play of the soldiers guarding the tomb and then the women visiting the tomb.
Bring a bandage made by wrapping a finger or hand in newspaper and then taping it so that the whole thing will slip off easily. Remind your group that the Bible says that when Peter and John went to Christ's tomb that first Easter, one look was enough to convince them that the Lord was risen. Show your group why that look was so convincing. Demonstrate wrapping your finger in adhesive tape. When you want to take the tape off you have to unwrap it, because it won't slip off. When a person died in Bible times they wrapped the entire body in strips of cloth, and the Lord's body was wrapped that way after crucifixion. But when John looked into that tomb he saw the wrappings just as if they were still wrapped around the body. It was like this (hold up the prepared bandage which will be shaped like your finger or hand). Yards and yards of cloth were not strung out all over the tomb, like they would have been if someone had unwrapped the body.