Think About It!
Hope depends on our imaginations –– does that sound crazy? As kids, hope comes easily to us because we can imagine our ways out of almost anything we feel trapped by. As we become more “realistic” and grow up, sometimes we lose our sense of imagination too. And when we can’t imagine how our circumstances could be different, we lose hope. That’s why it takes the imagination of God himself to really shake us up and give us hope. In the craziest rescue mission the world has ever seen, God himself paid the price for everything we couldn’t fix, securing healing and hope for us forever. That’s what we celebrate at Easter, and that’s why we have an unstoppable hope!
Talk About It!
1. The resurrection may sound like nonsense.
- Have you ever told a true story that someone didn’t believe? When God has an important announcement, sometimes it sounds so good that it’s hard for us to believe. He told the women that he was alive, but when they told his friends, they thought it sounded like nonsense.
- Have you ever heard news that was so good that it was hard to believe? When it’s hard to believe a story, we call it “doubting.” Jesus’ friends didn’t believe that he was alive. They “doubted,” even though he had told them it would happen. How did you hear the news that Jesus came back from the dead? What did you think when you first heard it?
- Have you ever “doubted” something that God said? Even Jesus’ closest friends had trouble believing that he was alive. Sometimes, we have trouble believing the things that Jesus says too. Jesus wasn’t angry at his friends when they had trouble believing. Instead, he spent time with them and showed them what was true.
2. But the resurrection was fact-checked.
- What’s the craziest story you’ve ever heard? Sometimes, true stories are even crazier than made up ones. The story of Jesus coming back from the dead might sound crazy, but there are lots of things that prove that it really happened. We call this “evidence.” Evidence is usually a thing or a person that helps to prove a story is true!
- Can you think of some “evidence” that Jesus is real and came back from the dead? The Resurrection isn’t just a made up story. We know this because five-hundred people saw Jesus after he came back from the dead! A man named Josephus wrote about Jesus’ friends after the resurrection. His friends were so sure that he was alive that they were willing to die instead of stop telling people about Jesus.
- Do you know what “faith” is? (Believing in things that we can’t see.) Even though we have lots of evidence, it can be hard to understand the resurrection. This is why Jesus wants us to talk to him about our doubts and ask him for faith. The fact that Jesus came back from the dead wasn’t just good news for his friends. It’s good news for us today!
3. Let Jesus give you peace.
- Think about a time when you felt peaceful. What did that feel like? Jesus wants to give us peace, no matter what’s going on around us. The first thing Jesus said to his friends was “Peace to you.” He came back from the dead to give them peace, and he wants to give us that same peace today.
- Have you ever felt peace, even when things were crazy? That’s the peace the Bible talks about. It’s called, “the peace that passes understanding.” That means that we can be at peace, even when it doesn’t make sense or when everybody else is scared or upset.
- When do you feel scared or upset? You can ask Jesus for peace in those times! He wants to give it to you. It’s not a fake peace, and it won’t go away. Jesus wants us to talk to him about what scares and upsets us. He wants to give us the peace that only he knows how to give!
4. Join Jesus in new life.
- Have you ever seen a tree or a plant “die” in the winter? What happens when spring comes? (It grows again.) This is what Jesus wants to do in our hearts. He wants to take all the old dead stuff away, like our selfishness, our pride, and our fear. Then he wants to give us new life. That’s what resurrection is! Jsut like God brought Jesus back from the dead, he wants to bring us back to life too.
- How hard does that plant have to work to grow again in the spring? (Not very hard at all.) God does the work. The plant just has to let God do what God does best, bring things to life! When God is working in our hearts, we have one job–let God do what God does best. We can give him all of the old dead things out of heart and pray for him to give us his love, his joy, and his peace instead. He doesn’t want us to carry around all that old stuff. He wants to come and live in our hearts and make us brand new people!
- What old, dead things do you need to give to Jesus today? What new things do you want him to bring to life in your heart? Jesus took on all of the scary stuff for us and wants to give us new life! All we have to do is ask him. It’s easy. All we have to do is talk to Jesus and say, “Jesus, thank you for taking all of the scary stuff for me. Please give me new life and make my heart look more like yours.”
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How does that make you feel?
- How would you explain this to someone who doesn’t know Jesus?
- Why do you think God did it that way?
- Why should we do the things that God tells us?