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Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection

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Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection - Matthew 26–28; 1 Corinthians 15

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the center of the gospel. In Adam, we were spiritually dead in sin, but Jesus died to pay for our sins. Jesus is alive! God gives new life to everyone who trusts in Jesus.

Key Passage

“He must increase but I must decrease” - John 3:30

  • He (Point up with both hands)
  • Must increase (Change to “praise hands”)
  • But I (Point to chest with both thumbs)
  • Must decrease (Put hands about one foot apart in front of chest to make “small” gesture)

Songs

He Must Increase

Resurrected

Bible Story Video

Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection

Bible Story Summary

  • Jesus died on a cross and was buried in a tomb.
  • On the third day, the tomb was open and an angel told Jesus’ two friends, both named Mary, that Jesus was alive.
  • Jesus appeared to the two Marys.
  • Jesus gives us life with God forever!

Family Discussion Starters

  • Why is Jesus’ death and resurrection the most important thing that has ever happened?
  • How can we have life with God?

Family Activity

Make the "Resurrection Rolls" from the Holy Week Family Devotional or draw the Empty Tomb.


Other Resources

For Preschool Kids

  • Activity: Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
    • Direct children to hold their thumbs up if what you say about the Bible story is true and down if what you say is not true. Use the statements below or create your own.

      • Jesus never sinned. (up)
      • Jesus was put on a cross. (up)
      • Six criminals were put on crosses next to Jesus. (down, two criminals)
      • Jesus was buried in a tomb. (up)
      • A large door was locked on the tomb. (down, a large stone was in front of the tomb)
      • Two women named Ava went to the tomb (down, Mary)
      • The angel said, “Do not be afraid! Jesus is not here! He has risen from the dead.” (up)
      • The women saw Jesus and worshiped Him. (up)
      • Three people saw Jesus alive. (down, over 500)
      • Say: Good job remembering! The most important thing that ever happened is that Jesus died and was raised from the dead. We can believe that Jesus is alive! When we turn from sin and trust in Him, Jesus gives us life with God forever.

For Elementary Kids

  • Personal Bible Study (3rd-5th Grade Class Handout) - Download PDF

  • New City Catechism - Question 25
    • Does Christ’s death mean all our sins can be forgiven?

    • Yes, because Christ’s death on the cross fully paid the penalty for our sin, God graciously imputes Christ’s righteousness to us as if it were our own and will remember our sins no more.

  • Discussion & Bible Skills
    • Help kids use the table of contents to find Matthew 26–28. Read a few verses of your choosing from those chapters, such as Matthew 27:50-51 and Matthew 28:5-6.

    • Ask the following questions:

      • What did the religious leaders want to do with Jesus? (kill Him, Matt. 26:66)
      • What sign was hung above Jesus on the cross? (This is Jesus, King of the Jews, Matt 27:37)
      • Who saw Jesus raised from the dead? (Mary Magdalene, Peter and the disciples, and more than 500 other people; Matt. 28:1,16; 1 Cor. 15:5-8)
      • How can you know if you are saved? Guide kids to see it is not our feelings that save us, it is God’s grace given to us through faith. (Eph. 2:8-9) Help them understand that salvation comes to everyone who trusts in Jesus. (Rom. 10:9) Explain what is written in the Bible—we can know that we are saved, even if we don’t feel saved or do sometimes choose sin. (1 John 5:12-13)
      • Why is the resurrection so important? Discuss Jesus’ role as a substitute. Jesus died for our sins because He had no sin. If He had stayed dead, it would have meant His sacrifice wasn’t enough. Jesus’ resurrection ensures that we will live forever with God because it proved that sin is paid for completely.
      • What does it mean to have eternal life? Help kids understand that eternal life is more than just a place with God after we die. Point out that our new life begins as soon as we believe the truth about Jesus. We become new creatures. Our current lives reflect that change through loving obedience to Jesus, and we look to the future when Jesus will return and fix all that sin has broken.
      • Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope for eternal life. Eternal life isn’t just for some point in the future but begins right away as our lives change to glorify God.