Resurrection Sunday is coming up next month. Remembering and celebrating our Lord’s death and resurrection is both a sober and joyful time. It’s a poignant reminder of how sinful we are and how deep God’s love is for us. It’s also an ideal time to help our children learn and understand the gospel of grace.
I like to spend these weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday reminding my boys of why Jesus had to come. We go through the story of creation, fall, and redemption. Beginning with the story of creation, I show them what the world was like before the fall. We then make our way through all of Scripture, highlighting the promised Savior. We have a “resurrection tree” that we use to hang ornaments that represent the Scripture passages we are reading. The ornaments are made from small objects that we found (like a nail or a cut up piece of sponge) and some are ones we simply cut out from cardstock. Shrinky Dinks are also great to use in making ornaments. Simply draw the item on the plastic paper, punch a hole in it, and then bake it. We read a passage each morning and then hang the ornament on the tree.
The passages we study include the covenant promises God made about the coming Savior to Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. I include prophesies from the prophets like Isaiah and Daniel. We also cover Jesus’ birth, baptism, miracles, and the calling of the disciples. During the days of Holy Week, the items we hang on the tree are based on Jesus’ final days and hours.
Additionally, here are a few Easter related books that we like to read to think about and remember all that Christ did for us: The Donkey Who Carried a King The Prince’s Poison Cup Why Easter? Amon’s Adventure: A Family Story for Easter
If you are interested in making your own “resurrection tree” here are the passages we read and the ornaments we hang:
1. Read story of creation (Gen. 1 and 2)–ornament of the earth
2. Read story of the Fall (Gen. 3)–ornament of a fruit tree (could also do a snake), discuss the promise of a Rescuer in Genesis 3:15
3. Read story of Noah and the Flood (Gen. 6-9)–ornament of animals (could also do an ark), point out how God saved a remnant, Noah and his family, to ensure that the Rescuer would one day come
4. Read story of Abraham and the covenant God made with him (Gen. 15)–ornament of a star to represent the countless number of children, discuss how God chose Abraham to make a special people for himself
5. Read the story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen.22)–ornament of a ram, point out how this story foreshadows Jesus’ substitutionary death. While Abraham’s one and only son was saved from death and a ram took his place, God’s one and only son Jesus would take our place. God promises in Gen. 22:18 that all the nations on earth would be blessed through Abraham’s offspring. This is because of what Jesus would do. Galatians 3:29 says that through faith in Christ, we are children of Abraham.
6. Read the story of Jacob (Gen. 27 and 28)–ornament of a ladder or maybe a picture of a bowl of stew, In John 1:51 Jesus refers to this passage. Jesus is the ladder, restoring sinners to God.
7. Read the story of Joseph (Gen. 37, 40-46)–ornament of a coat with many colors, God is sovereignly at work in the life of Joseph, keeping his covenant to make a great nation.
8. Read the story of Moses and the Passover (Ex. 12)–ornament of a lamb, discuss how Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this story. His blood covers us and protects us from God’s wrath as the lamb’s blood protected the Israelites. For further discussion: read Deuteronomy 18:15. This refers to Jesus.
9. Read the story of the ten commandments (Ex.20)–ornament of a scroll or slate with the words “The Law” written on it, in Matthew 4:17 Jesus said he came to fulfill the law. Jesus came to do what we could not do. He lived a life of perfect obedience.
10. Read about David becoming King (2 Samuel 5 and 7)–ornament of a crown, Jesus is a descendent of David. God promised he would always keep a descendent of David on the throne–Jesus is that King. For further discussion, read a few of the Psalms David wrote that Jesus fulfilled (such as Psalm 22).
11. Read Isaiah 53–ornament of hands (for a servant) or a lamb
12. Read Daniel 7:13-14–ornament of clouds for Son of Man coming with the clouds (Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man” over 80 times in the Gospels)
13. Read story of Jonah and refer to Matthew 12:41 where Jesus calls himself as “one greater than Jonah”–ornament a large fish
14. Read the story of the angel announcing to Mary the good news that she will bear a son (Luke 1)–ornament of an angel
15. Read about Jesus’ birth (Luke 2)–ornament of a manger
16. Read about John the Baptist’s ministry (Luke 3)–ornament of locust or honey
17. Read about Jesus’ baptism (John 1)–ornament of a dove
18. Read about Jesus’ temptation (Matthew 4)–ornament of a snake or stones, Jesus here fulfills what the Israelites could not do in the desert, perfectly obeying God and resisting temptation.
19. Read one of Jesus’ miracles such as the feeding of the 5,000–ornament of bread or fish
20. Read one of Jesus’ parables such as The Parable of the Hidden Treasure in Matthew 13:44-46. Discuss how Jesus is our greatest treasure–ornament of a treasure box
21. Read the Transfiguration in Mark 9–ornament of a white robe
22. Read about Jesus predicting his death in Mark 10:32-34–an ornament reflecting travel, like foot prints
23. Read about when Jesus enters the city on a donkey, Matthew 21 (Palm Sunday)–ornament of a palm tree
24. Read about the anointing by Mary (John 12:3)–ornament of perfume
25. Read about the Last Supper (Luke 22)–ornament of wine or bread. Also read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
26. Read about Peter’s denial (Mark 14: 27-31, Luke 22)–ornament of rooster
27. Read about Jesus’ arrest and trial (Mark 14:23-65, Mark 15:1-20)–ornament of a whip. for older children, discuss how these trials violated Jewish law
28. Read about the crucifixion in Mark 15:21-40–ornament of a cross or nail
29. Read about the burial of Jesus (Mark 15:42-47)–ornament of a piece of cloth
30. Read Luke 24:1-12–ornament of a stone, discuss the resurrection and its importance to our faith. Discuss 1 Corinthians 15.