An Easter Surprise

 
Theme: The resurrection of Christ — Easter Sunday
Object: Easter Surprise Cookies (Click for Recipe)
Scripture: 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. Matthew 28:5-6 (NIV)

As I am sure all of you know, today we are celebrating a very special day. Who can tell me what day it is? That's right! It is Easter! To begin our lesson today, I have a surprise for you. It is called Easter Surprise Cookies. Pass these around, there are enough for each of you to have one. Don't eat your cookie until everyone has one. (Wait until each one has a cookie, then continue.)

Now that everyone has one, you may eat your cookie. (You may wish to join the children in eating a cookie.) Yum, Yum! That was good, wasn't it? Who can guess why they were called Easter Surprise Cookies? (Let them guess.) That's right! They had a surprise in the middle, didn't they? There was a jelly bean baked into the middle of the cookie for a nice surprise.

The title of today's Bible lesson is, "An Easter Surprise". But the Easter Surprise in our lesson isn't about finding something that wasn't expected. It was about NOT finding what was expected. Listen to the wonderful story of "An Easter Surprise".

On the Sunday after Jesus was crucified, Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary went to visit the tomb where Jesus had been buried. When they arrived, the stone that had covered the tomb had been rolled away, and an angel was sitting on it. The two women were shocked and a bit afraid.

"Don't be afraid," the angel said to them. "I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, he has risen, just as he said he would. Come, see the place were he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples."

The two Marys looked in and saw that the tomb was empty and hurried away. They were surprised! They were afraid! But they were filled with joy. As they ran to tell the disciples, they met Jesus. They ran to him and grasped him and worshiped him.

Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

Now, that is what I call a real Easter Surprise. They went to see Jesus in the tomb, but he was not there. He was risen! That is why when we see our friends on Easter we greet them by saying, "He is risen!" and our friends reply, "He is risen indeed!"

Heavenly Father, how we thank you for this glorious celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord. We are not surprised that the tomb was empty. He has risen just as he said he would. In his name we pray. Amen.

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