Every child knows the symbols of Easter: eggs, bunnies, flowers, and of course, candy. Most of these popular symbols point to the concept of new life (with candy representing only frenetic, sugar-crazed life).
And while candy is often at the forefront of kids' minds, it's the new life of Jesus's resurrection that stands behind the symbols as the ultimate reality, the true meaning of Easter.
But how do we teach our children the meaning of Jesus's resurrection? Yes, it's new life, but the Bible teaches that it's so much more. The meaning of the empty tomb is anything but empty.
I recently read a copy of Carl Laferton's 2016 book for young children: The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross. It's short (you could read it to your preschoolers in less than 10 minutes), but contains a hit-the-high-spots tour of the entire Bible. Commenting on the book, Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says: "Laferton has provided us with one of the best little treatments of biblical theology available for parents to read to their children. The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross not only teaches children stories in the Bible, but the story of the Bible."
And this story line of Scripture provides the ideal setting for displaying the many, shining facets of the resurrection. In his book, Lafterton writes:
"Suddenly Jesus was—alive! Suddenly, his friends weren't sad—now they were so, so happy! God had brought Jesus back to life so that he could live in God's wonderful place for ever! And Jesus has sent everyone an invitation to come and live with him there too!"
There are many ways to teach the younger generation about the meaning of Easter. The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross is one of the best.
If you'd like to watch Carl Laferton explain the resurrection in one minute, be sure to check out this video.