THE MIRACLES OF EASTER
on the third day with His whole body, which does not take place with any person.
(Doctrine of the Lord 35)
The Lord did many miracles while He lived in the world. He healed people, fed a multitude of people with a few fish and loaves of bread, calmed a storm, and even revived people who had died. Finally, on the third day after the crucifixion, the Lord rose from the dead with His human body. And He appeared to many of His followers. Despite all the miracles they had witnessed before, the disciples had difficulty believing their eyes. The Lord was risen as He had said!
COLORING PAGE: Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the Garden (for ages 8-12)
A picture of Mary Magdalene meeting the risen Lord, with native spring plants of the Holy Land
Families might also enjoy He Is Risen, a picture book with text from Matthew 27 and 28 and lovely illustrations by Shanon Smith.
Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread,
blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him;
and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another,
“Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road,
and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
The gospels give nine accounts of the Lord appearing after His resurrection. One is about the Lord walking with two of His followers who were journeying from Jerusalem to Emmaus. At first, they did not recognize the Lord even though He explained the inner meaning of the Word to them. But when they asked Him to spend the evening with them in Emmaus, and He sat at the table with them, their spiritual eyes were opened when the Lord blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to them.
ACTIVITY: How Can We Break Bread Together? (for all ages)
- When the Lord sat with two of His disciples, He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. We too can sit down with family and friends and literally break apart a loaf of bread so that we can share it. Bake or buy bread that is braided (such as Challah), rounded, or shaped into a ring. Take the bread and say a blessing such as “You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger” (Nehemiah 9:15). Then break the bread apart and share it with the other people at the table.
- Spiritually, we receive the bread of life from the Lord when we are receptive of His Divine love and wisdom and seek to use these in our lives. Then we can act from mutual love in our interactions with each other—breaking bread with the people around us.
DRAMATIZATION: The Lord Is Risen and the Road to Emmaus
Have a parent or another adult read aloud Luke 24 (verses 1-35) while the children dramatize the story. See Dramatization of the Road to Emmaus for a synopsis of what happens in each scene and suggested props..
The Lord disclosed to His disciples that He had glorified or made Divine His Human.
(see Apocalypse Explained 619:15)
After His resurrection, the Lord appeared to His disciples several times. It was important for them to understand that the crucifixion did not signal His defeat. He had risen from the dead and glorified His Human, making it Divine. When the disciples saw the Lord—risen from the dead—their doubts were turned to joy. And doubting Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
FOR REFLECTION: Doubting Thomas
Think about the development of your faith and how it might relate to the disciple, Thomas.
PROJECT: The Lord Appears to His Disciples (for ages 8-12)
Color the picture of the disciples and then insert the Lord through a slit in the page into their midst.
PROJECT: An Accordion Book of the Lord’s Appearances (for ages 7-12)
Illustrate several (or all 9) of the Lord’s appearances after His resurrection, then assemble these into an accordion book and display. Or use these illustrations on a poster or for a bulletin board display.
FOR REFLECTION: How Should We Think of the Lord?
When the Lord appeared to the disciples between His resurrection and ascension, He showed them the marks left from the crucifixion so they could identify Him. But He also appeared and vanished in ways that let them know that this was no ordinary man. The last time He appeared to them was when He ascended into heaven. After this, people whose spiritual eyes were opened would see the Lord surrounded with a brilliant light and wearing shining garments. And this is how we are to think of Him. We are not to hold onto a picture of the Lord as He was on earth, for when the Lord said, "Do not cling to Me," He was telling us not to hold onto this worldly view of Him. Instead, we should think of the Lord God Jesus Christ as our Savior and King of heaven and earth. The descriptions of how the Lord appeared when He was transfigured give us a good idea of how He appears in His Divine Human, as does the description of how He appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos (see Revelation 1:10-18).
POSTER: A Picture of the Lord to Print and Display (all ages)
The Lord is present with every person, urging and pressing him to receive Him….
(True Christian Religion 251)
If we look at the circumstances of the Lord’s appearances to His disciples, we find clues about how He Lord can be with us too. On the road to Emmaus, the Lord told the men about the inner meaning of the Word. They were receptive to the truths of the Word, and when they reached Emmaus, they invited Him to spend the night. And so, the Lord was able to break bread with them, and their spiritual eyes were opened.
We experience times when we feel like the Lord is absent from our lives. In reality, He is always with us. But the Lord can’t be conjoined with us—break bread with us—unless we receive His Divine truth and His Divine love.
FOR REFLECTION: Perfect Peace (for teens and up)
The Lord wants nothing more than to keep us in perfect peace, and this is a heavenly state. But we can experience something of this peace at times during our lives on earth. In Isaiah 26:3 we read: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You.” What does it mean to have one’s mind “stayed” on the Lord? Are we more aware of the Lord’s presence when we are trusting in Him? Explore this topic in a journal page or by listing activities that help you focus your mind on the Lord and on spiritual goals.
This is the Lord; we have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.
Easter is a time for celebrating the Lord’s resurrection and what He accomplished while on earth. The Lord Himself made it very clear that this is a time for rejoicing by greeting Mary Magdalene and the other Mary with this word: “Rejoice!” (Matt. 28:9)
FOR REFLECTION: You Shall Go Out with Joy
After witnessing the Lord’s ascension (see Luke 24:50-53), the disciples worshiped the Lord and returned to Jerusalem with “great joy.” The Lord had commissioned them to go out into the world, baptizing and teaching people. Specifically, the Lord told them to:
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
- “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
- “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47).
- “Peace be with you….” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:19,22).
In all of these “commissions” the Lord is telling His disciples to go out and take what the Lord had given to them to other people, all over the world. The Rev. Jeremy Simons suggests: “Similarly all of us are sent by Him to spread the good news, each in our own way.”
One of the best ways to celebrate Easter might be to appreciate what the Lord accomplished during His life on earth and think of ways that we can spread the good news.
ACTIVITY: Decorate Easter Eggs (for all ages)
Because eggs symbolize the renewal of life, decorating eggs is a wonderful tradition at Easter time, when we celebrate the Lord’s triumphant resurrection and salvation of the human race. Here are a few ideas for adding a spiritual element to your Easter egg designs:
- Dye the eggs with colors that evoke the sunrise, such as yellow, peach, and a soft pink.
- Children might want to use a wax crayon to draw a picture of the sun, a butterfly, or a dove on an egg before coloring it. Or draw the picture with a marker after dying the egg.
- Use a wax crayon (white or clear works best) to write words on the eggs before dying them.
These words might include:
Peace Rejoice! Be of good cheer! Peace to you! Love Wisdom Believe Joy Easter Savior
ACTIVITY: Bake a Special Bread for Easter
Bake a special bread to serve at breakfast on Easter morning or to eat with your dinner.
ACTIVITY: An Easter Egg Hunt (for all ages)
Hide oval shaped cards with quotes from the Word, first taping wrapped pieces of candy (Dove Promises might be a good choice for people in the U.S.) to the back of each one. After searching for the eggs, gather everyone together to read aloud the quotes before eating the candy.
ACTIVITY: “It will be said in that day…” (for ages 15 and up)
Read some poetic verses from the book of Isaiah and explore their connection with the Easter story.