On the third day, after Jesus was buried, some women went to the tomb to place spices around the body. The body of Jesus was gone! They were shocked to find the huge stone rolled back from the tomb door and an angel inside. The angel told them that Jesus had risen from the dead. After the other disciples saw what had happened, Jesus himself appeared to Mary Magdalene in front of the tomb. Jesus rose from the dead!
Suggested Emphasis: Even though everything was bad — God made it good. He can do the same for us when things are bad.
Group Share Time
Share experiences in your life where something bad turned out to be good. Perhaps it was medicine or an injection that you had to take to make you well or a discipline that formed a better habit. Use this to begin thinking about how the crucifixion was a terrible event but the result was the most amazing thing that could have happened to mankind.
Story from the Bible
An adult or young reader can read the words below as the slides are shown.
- Cover: The Burial and Resurrection of Jesus
Matthew 27:50-28:15; Mark 15:42- 16:14; John 19:38-20:31; Luke 23:50-24:44
- Jesus used to tell the apostles and his friends that he was King. He told them that he would be raised on the third day. His followers listened to Jesus but they did not always understand what he meant.
- Then something happened that made them forget everything. Jesus was put to death on a cross. Even after he was dead the soldiers were mean to him. One Roman soldier stuck a spear into his side after he was dead- just to make sure. How could Jesus be king if he was dead? This was on a Friday and it was the saddest and most hopeless day that has ever been. The apostles and Jesus’ friends thought everything was over.
After Jesus died two friends came to get his body. They were Joseph (from Arimathea) and Nicodemus. They washed Jesus’ dead body and wrapped it in long strips of cloth with lots and lots of spices in between the cloths. They put the body into a tomb that had been carved out of a solid rock. Then they rolled a very big stone in front of the doorway to the tomb.
- The Jewish leaders were afraid that someone might steal Jesus’ body and say that he was raised from the dead. So they asked Pilate to put a special seal on the stone in front of the tomb and put guards in front of it. That was still on Friday (the first day).
- Saturday (the 2nd day) passed and all was quiet. Then, on the third day (Sunday) some women sadly made their way to the tomb. It was a custom for women to come and put sweet-smelling spices on the body of the person that died. But the women were worried. They had heard about the big stone in front of the tomb. Who would move the stone so they could put spices on the body of Jesus?
- When the women arrived at the tomb they saw that the stone had already been moved. A man dressed in white (an angel) was beside the tomb and he said, “Don’t be afraid. You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, the one who was killed on a cross. He has risen from death. He is not here. Look, here is the place they laid him. Now go and tell his followers and Peter, ‘Jesus is going into Galilee. He will be there before you. You will see him there as he told you before!’”
- This is what had happened just before the women had arrived. There was a violent earthquake and an angel of the Lord came down out of heaven like a lightning bolt. His clothes were as white as snow. The angel went to the tomb and rolled back the huge stone and then sat on it.
The guards were so afraid that they couldn’t move. Finally, they ran away to tell the Jewish leaders what had happened. The Jewish leaders didn’t want anyone to know the truth so they gave the soldiers lots of money and told them to tell everyone that the disciples had come during the night and stolen Jesus’ body.
- The women left to tell the other followers of Jesus. Peter and John both came to see. Everyone was amazed.
- But one of the women, Mary Magdalene, stayed behind. She was in the tomb crying because she still could not understand how Jesus’ body could be gone. How could the tomb be empty? Maybe someone had stolen it. But Mary was not alone in the tomb. Two angels spoke to her and asked her why she was crying.
She began to explain but then heard another voice.
- At first she didn’t know who was speaking but then he heard him say, “Mary”. When she heard him say her name Mary knew that it was JESUS, her teacher, speaking. Jesus had come back from the dead!
Jesus spoke to Mary and told her to go and tell the others that he would spend some time on earth with them but that he would be returning to his Father soon.
- After Jesus rose from the dead he appeared to many people. Two men were walking along a road talking about Jesus when he just appeared right there with him.
- His apostles had gathered and he appeared right there in the room with them. He ate with them and even let them touch the scars he had from when he had been crucified.
More and more people began to realise that Jesus was no longer dead. JESUS WAS ALIVE!
Verse(s) to Think About
I passed on to you what I received. And this was the most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day as the Scriptures say. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Christ was raised from death. And we know that he cannot die again. Death has no power over him now. Romans 6:9 (ICB)
By God’s power God raised the Lord Jesus from death. And God will also raise us from death. 1 Corinthians 6:14 (ICB)
Choose Activities and Learn Together
Select activities that suit your family or group. Consider ages and abilities and how to involve everyone present in at least one of the activities.
- AT HOME: Place a dark cloth over a small table to form a “tomb”. Ask someone to be the body inside. Place a cardboard rock at the entrance. Let the children see the body inside and then put the stone in place. Turn the lights on and off in the room as you count the 3 days in the tomb (2 nights because he was raised on the 3rd day). While you are doing this the “body” crawls out the back so the children remove the stone to see an empty tomb at the end. Young and old alike will enjoy this obvious re-enactment.
- EXPLORE: Research online to find out how long a person can stop breathing and still have their heart re-started or breathig begin again. How is this recovery different from a resurrection and, in particular, the resurrection of Jesus?
- IN THE WORD: Using a large poster or whiteboard draw a line down the middle to form 2 columns. On one side write “Resurrection” and on the other “No Resurrection”. Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-34 and then write the corresponding facts in the columns. For example in the “no resurrection” column you could begin with “preaching is for nothing-verse 14” and in the “resurrection” column “proof the dead will be raised-verse 20”.
- GAME/ACTIVITY: This one requires preparation but is a wonderful and memorable way to talk about the events surrounding the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Adults and children alike will enjoy it. In preparation you will place simple objects inside 12 plastic Easter eggs. Each egg reveals something about the story so you will tell the story as you open each egg. The final egg is empty which represents the empty tomb. You don’t have to use plastic Easter eggs. Small containers, boxes or bags work just as well. You could even place cloths over the objects and uncover them one at a time. Click here for a list of objects and what to say.
- CREATIVE: Use these instructions for The Story of the Cross to learn a simple way to tell the story using one sheet of paper.
- CREATIVE: Use a blank piece of paper or print this worksheet: The Burial and Resurrection of Jesus_Drawing Response
- LIFE APPLICATION: Read Mark 16:1-7. As the women approached the tomb their chief concern was the stone that had been placed in front of the tomb and who would move it for them. As it turns out, the stone was no problem for God. Provide smooth stones and markers and invite participants to write their concerns and worries on the stone. Then, either as part of the session today or later in their own time instruct them to “roll the stone away” or throw it as far as they can into a field or body of water. God can move the stones that we feel are impossible to move.
- LITTLE ONES: Before this session print and prepare story cards so children can put the cards in order. Print on letter size paper USA or Print on A4 paper.
- FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Serve hot cross buns.
Singing does not have to be a performance. Don’t take yourself too seriously. In the privacy of your own home or within a small group allow yourself to just be genuine and enjoy the experience together.
Singing songs yourself is more reliable than viewing them online. If you are viewing published videos online on forums such as YouTube be sure and preview them first to make sure there are not unhelpful advertisements. To avoid long pauses due to internet speed issues play the song through once before you begin and then hold it paused and ready to go at the beginning of the song.
- He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
- If You Love Jesus
- Low in the Grave He Lay (singalong slides with sheet music on YouTube)
- My Hope is Built on Nothing Less (singalong slides with sheet music on YouTube-by Acapella Hymns)
- Lord I Lift Your Name on High (congregational singing by Keith Lancaster and the Acapella Company on YouTube)
- More songs to choose from
Additional Mission Bible Class Resources
- Instructions for Family Bible Time and Intergenerational Groups here.
- More teacher information and additional ideas for today’s lesson here.
- How to Plan a Bible Class for Children
- How to Teach Children at Various Ages
- Ideas for Teachers
- Songs for Bible Class
- Praying With Children
- Movement and Dance
Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.