Scripture: For younger children read Matthew 28: 1- 10.
For older children read Matthew 28: 1 – 10, Luke 24: 13 – 49, John 20:24 – 29 or Pages 456 – 458 in The Golden Children’s Bible
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to Matthew 28 or pages 456 – 458 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
Matthew 28: 1 – 10
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
- What happened as the two Marys went to the tomb on Sunday morning? There was a violent earthquake when an angel came down and rolled the stone away.
- What happened to the guards? The were so afraid that they fainted.
- What did the angel say to the women? To not be afraid. That Jesus had risen and wasn’t there anymore. To look where he had been laid. To go and tell the disciples that Jesus would come to see them.
- Who came to see them as they ran back to find the disciples? Jesus
- What did the women do when they saw him? They fell at his feet and worshiped him.
- What did Jesus tell them to do? Go and tell the others to go to Galilee to see him there.
Luke 24: 13 – 49
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
- What happened as two of the disciples were going to Emmaus? Jesus came and walked along with them.
- Did they recognized Jesus? No.
- Jesus asked them what they were talking about and they told him about the events of the week. Why were they disappointed? Because they thought that Jesus was going to save Israel, but he was crucified instead.
- How did Jesus react to that? “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” and he explained the scriptures to them.
- When did the disciples finally realize that it was Jesus? When he broke the bread.
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
- Where did the two disciples go after they saw Jesus? They went back to Jerusalem and told the other disciples.
- While they were talking what happened? Jesus appeared to them.
- How did he convince them that he wasn’t a ghost? He had them touch him. And he ate bread.
John 20:24 – 29
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
- Who wasn’t there with the disciples when Jesus came? Thomas
- Did he believe them when they told him about Jesus being alive? No.
- A week later Jesus came again. What did he say to Thomas? “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
- Who did Jesus say was more blessed than Thomas? Those who believe without seeing.
- Do you believe without having seen Jesus alive? (Let them ponder this. Don’t force anyone to answer.)
- Let’s pray and ask Jesus to take away any doubts that we have about who he is and what he has done for us…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Matthew 28:6a (NIV)
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
Share a video of this story:
Video #2 from Crossroads Kids’ Club
Video #3 from Crossroads Kids’ Club
Video #4 from Crossroads Kids’ Club
Video #5 from What’s in the Bible?
Read the story “I Can’t See It” from Keys for Kids.
Have the children fill out these worksheets and color pages from Calvary Curriculum.
There are several ideas for an empty tomb craft.
#1 from Sunday School Network
#2 from No Longer Conforming…
#3 from the Oriental Trading Company’s Free and Fund Easter
#4 from Catholic Icing
#5 from Amy’s Free Ideas
#6 from Smarty Pants Fun
I used the angel and Jesus patterns from #3 and the tomb pattern from #4.
This craft is from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.
There are some great ideas here at Bible Fun For Kids.
Have the children make this empty tomb craft from Crafting the Word of God.
Make a Jesus’ Resurrection magic window from Bible Class Creations.
My Little House has paper figures that you can make to act out the story.
Make handprint Easter Lilies.
Have the children help Mary find the tomb with this maze puzzle from Sermons4kids. Older kids will like this maze, and younger kids will enjoy this maze from BibleWise. Or review the events of the Holy Week with this true of false worksheet from Bible Wise.
Here is a detective puzzle to find out what the first witnesses saw. This worksheet is from BibleWise.
Have the children do this matching worksheet from Bible Wise.
Have the children do a crossword puzzle by Sermons4kids.
Play the song “The Easter Song” by Keith Green or by the 2nd Chapter of Acts. Better yet, make a music video with your imovie program. Wonderful!!! Get them on itunes.
Sing “Alive, Alive” by the Countdown Kids, or “He Made Him” or “Wages” from the Workmanship Album by Mary Rice Hopkins.
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story.
Color page #5 from Crafting the Word of God
Color page #6 from Crafting the Word of God
Color page #7 from What’s in the Bible?
There are several color pages featuring this story here at My Little House.
An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Serve these cute Empty Tomb Treats for snack time.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.