|Theme:||The resurrection (Easter Sunday)|
|Object:||An Easter basket with four plastic eggs. A small cross, three nails, a stone.|
|Scripture:||"Don’t be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him." Mark 16:6 (NIV) or "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." Matthew 28:6 (NIV)|
Good morning boys and girls. How many of you plan to have an Easter egg hunt today? As you can see, I have my Easter basket ready. When I was a boy, we used real eggs which we decorated ourselves. I guess some people still do that, but I think most people use plastic eggs like these. Usually, there is a piece of candy or perhaps a small toy inside. The eggs in my Easter basket are very special, because each of them will teach us something which will show us exactly what Easter really means.
Inside the first egg is a cross. The cross reminds me that Jesus willingly carried his cross to Calvary to die for my sins. No one told him he had to do it, he did it because he knew that was the only way that I would ever get to heaven. God loved me so much that He sent His only begotten Son so that I could have everlasting life.
Inside the second egg are three nails. They remind us that Jesus was nailed to the cross. The nails that they used to nail Jesus to the cross weren't little nails like these. They were great big nails. Can you imagine the pain he must have felt? He suffered great pain as the nails were driven into his hands and feet. He suffered the pain to pay the price for our sins.
Inside the third egg is a stone. The Bible tells us that after Jesus died, they placed his body in a tomb and put a huge stone over the entrance. On Sunday morning, two women went to see the tomb and the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was open. The stone reminds us that even a huge stone could not keep Jesus in the grave.
That brings us to the fourth egg. The fourth egg is empty. The Bible tells us that when the two women went inside the tomb, it was empty. Jesus was not there. At first the women thought that someone had stolen the body of Jesus. But inside the tomb was an angel who told them, "He is not here. He is risen, just as he said he would. Come, see the place where he lay." The empty egg reminds us that Jesus' tomb is empty. He is risen, just as he said he would.
The Jesus we serve willingly took up his cross, but he could not be held on the cross by the nails and he could not be kept in the tomb by a stone. He is risen and lives in heaven with God, his Father. The Bible tells us that everyone who believes in him, will join him in heaven with the Father.
We thank you, Father, that you loved us so much that you sent your only Son to die for our sins. We are thankful that his story does not end with his death, but that we serve a risen Savior! In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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