“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
As parents and teachers, we have so many balls in the air at any given time, losing track of what’s most important can happen quickly. With all the business of our days, it’s easy to let too many opportunities slip by. With the eternal destinies of this next generation at stake, it’s this author’s opinion that we, as Christians, should not only make good use of the many teachable moments, but we should also be THE most intentional in actually making opportunities to biblically train those we’ve been entrusted with by the Lord. Before entering their land, the Lord through Joshua commanded the priests to set up stones. Why? These stones would be used as an opportunity to generate discussion and training for the next generation of Israel. “That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?” Joshua 4:6. If the Lord can use stones to remind Israel’s children and fathers of His greatness and glory, how much more so His Word!
With this in mind and Resurrection Sunday literally right around the corner, there are several activity ideas included below that might serve as intentional and biblical teaching opportunities for years to come. Perhaps some of these family ideas could even replace those traditional “Easter” children’s activities, too many of which have really nothing to do with Resurrection Day.
1. Clue Hunt- Choose several key Resurrection prophecies, print them out, fold and place them in little plastic tupperware containers and hide them around the house or yard. Have children search for them, then put the verses in Bible book order. Later look them up and even find the New Testament fulfillment verses. Talk about why true clues (prophecies) are so important in trusting God’s Word.
The following link serves as a great resource containing many of Jesus’ Old Testament prophecies and their New Testament fulfillment — http://unityinthetruth.com/2017/04/22/old-testament-prophecies-of-jesus-christ-prophecy-as-proof/
2. Find the Lamb- Purchase a small stuffed lamb or print a picture of a lamb. Look up several of the main Old Testament and New Testament verses referring to The Lamb. Starting on Palm Sunday, put the Lamb in different rooms of your house. Do not hide it. Remember, starting on what we call Palm Sunday (Nisan 10), the Jewish people were bringing lambs to Jerusalem to be observed until they were killed on the 14th. Jesus was coming not to hide, but to be observed and found sinless.
For each location you move the lamb, include one of the Lamb verses. Once someone finds the Lamb, he/she will get to read the verse at breakfast or dinner, then discuss it further as the Lord leads. (Some of the main “Lamb” verses in the Bible- John 1:36, Genesis 3:21( Possibly a lamb was killed to cloth Adam and Eve), Genesis 22:7-8, Exodus 12:5-6, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, 1 Peter 1:19, Revelation 5:11-13, Revelation 7:10, Revelation 12:11, Revelation 15:3, Revelation 19:9, Revelation 21:22-23,27, Revelation 22:3, John 3:16) Also consider playing the following song-“You are My All in All“. It’s a great reminder of Jesus being the Lamb of God and our All in All.
Author’s Note: When showing cartoon or live action movies portraying Bible accounts, please use wisdom and discernment. Many Bible movies claim to be about Jesus, however actors of Jesus are not Jesus. We do not know what Jesus looked like, plus He no longer looks like He did while He was here. We definitely don’t want to unintentionally put a false image in place of the true Jesus revealed to us by His Holy Spirit as we read His Word. Also, we must be careful to explain to children that there are always subjective dialog and events in Bible movies that are additions to Scripture in order to make a Bible account make sense as a film. Ultimately, make sure your children understand what is actually in God’s Word.
3. Set it Straight- Choose small sections of the last few weeks of Jesus’ life prior to His crucifixion. Print them out and cut each part, then put them in a bag. Shake the bag to mix them up and then dump out the verses. Have one person or a group put the events in order. Time each group to see how quickly they can do it.(Possible reference chapters to choose events from: Matthew 19-28, Mark 13-16, Luke 18-24, John 12, 18-21.)
4. Match ‘Em Up- To keep from getting lost we need to know our addresses. Print out several New Testament fulfillment verses and their addresses surrounding Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection. See the link for Activity 1- Clue Hunt. Print and then cut out each of the verses and addresses separately. Mix them up in a shoe box or bag. Work in groups to match up the verses and addresses. Time each person or group to see who can do it the fastest.
5. Focusing on Passover- Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was paralleled with the Jewish Passover. He entered Jerusalem on the same day as the lambs for Passover, Nisan 10. He was crucified on the same day as the sacrifices on Nisan 14. (For one audio article touching on some of this information, go to: Was Palm Sunday a Fulfillment of Prophecy?)
6. Greatest Prophecies! With older kids, take time to explore two of the Bible’s most amazing prophecies- Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9. To begin further study on these two chapters, go to- The Doctrine of Salvation in the Book of Isaiah and Daniel 9:25 Q & A
7. The Last Adam Video by: Answers in Genesis/The Creation Museum. This excellent 15 minute video focuses on Jesus being the Last Adam. It is definitely worth watching as a family. It is both tastefully and biblically done. You may want to watch ahead of time to determine if it’s appropriate for your younger children. Go to: The Last Adam video (15:00)
Interestingly, the children involved in these activities won’t be the only ones growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we, as adults, read through the Scriptures, prayerfully planning the activities in hopes of training young people, it is inevitable that we will grow as well.
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
A couple other articles on biblical prophecy to encourage and bolster our own understanding:
How Accurate is Bible Prophecy? (Audio Discussion and Transcript by The Berean Call)
The Value of Prophecy by: T.A. McMahon from The Berean Call