Over the past term, Primary and Infants students here at Kuyper have been looking at the amazing, and sometimes sad, last days of Jesus’ life. Here is a summary of the narrative we shared with the kids:
Jesus had his last meal with his disciples. He was taken by the priests and beaten. Pilate had the chance to free him, and didn’t. Jesus was whipped, spat on and laughed at. He was forced to carry a heavy piece of wood up a hill, was nailed to it, and lifted up for everyone to look at. He cried out to God “Why have you forsaken me?” And there, the son of God died. Jesus’ body was taken down and placed in a tomb on the side of a hill with a giant rock in front of it. There were soldiers guarding the tomb…
The next part of the story is what makes it SO amazing!
Some women who were Jesus’ friends went to take care of his body by putting herbs and perfume on it. But when they got to the tomb, they saw that the giant rock had been moved. Then they looked inside the tomb and Jesus’ body was gone! They saw an angel sitting in the tomb instead, and they were terrified. The angel said “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He isn’t here. HE IS RISEN.” The women were very confused. They left the tomb wondering what had happened to Jesus, and suddenly, there he was! When they saw him, they hugged him. Jesus is alive! The women went and told the disciples. At first the disciples didn’t believe them, but then Jesus appeared to them too. He ate with them and said this:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Matthew 28:19-20
“I am with you always, to the very end of the age” means that Jesus is with us right now, and he will continue to be with us forever. The Bible tells us, in Chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians, that 500 people saw Jesus before he was taken up to heaven. He is alive and he promised to be with us always. THIS is why Good Friday is so good. It’s the gospel; the good news of Jesus:
- On the cross our sin was dealt with completely; he took our punishment, BUT
- Jesus rose again! He defeated death.
- This means that we too will be raised. Our sin has been taken, and we can be friends with God. If we understand and accept Jesus’ death for us we will live with him forever.
- Good Friday is the day for us to reflect on Jesus’ death. On Easter Sunday we celebrate his resurrection. We need to remember the truth of Easter. Some people have forgotten it, and the world is constantly trying to tell us a different story.
The world has forgotten the wonder and horror of Easter. It has been drowned in a sea of bunnies and chocolate. Will you remember the REAL story? When you’re looking for eggs and eating chocolate, will you remember the sacrifice that Jesus made and his eternal love for us through his resurrection? Maybe, every time you open up an Easter egg, and crunch down on that delicious chocolate, look inside, remember that the tomb was EMPTY, and that Jesus is risen!
Easter is all about redemption. We are redeemed through the work of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection. This is the truth of Easter, always.