“When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do it.” (Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis)
Drive-by parenting can be a remarkable tactic. Life is busy and families move fast. At what seems as the most inconvenient time, we see an opening to ask our child a question, whether sitting at the breakfast table or digging through the laundry. If you have their attention, if just for a moment, you have an opening. If the opportunity is not seized, it could be lost forever. This happened to me several months ago with my 13 year old son. What follows is a true story…
Me: “Hey, have any of your classes discussed evolution yet?
Son: “Huh? Uh, no, I don’t think so?’
Me: “Really, Nothing? Maybe they’re calling it something else like, Darwinism?
Son: “Yea, I guess. I think my science teacher spoke about that awhile back”
Me: (Internal thought) Bingo!
Me: “So, you’re in youth at the church, what did you think when the Teacher was instructing something different than what the Bible teaches?”
Son: (Slowing opening up) “Well, I’m not sure. I don’t know what to think. I want to believe the Bible, but the evolution stuff sounds like it works”
Me: “So, what is your take on which one sounds right?”
Son: “Well, I think God did create man, animals and stuff, and then He let evolution do the rest.”
Me: “Interesting. It’s great that you’re thinking about it and trying to make sense of it. You know, scientists have debated these theories for years. Let me provide you with this idea, if God left his creation alone and used evolution to make what we see in the world today, then that would mean God doesn’t interact with us and is impersonal. You think that is true?”
Son: “No. That doesn’t make any sense”
Me: “I don’t think so either. If God were not personal, whom would we be praying to then? Since God is personal and holy, He sent Jesus on our behalf as the perfect atonement for our sin. This justifies us into right standing before God and reconciles us to Him. That doesn’t seem like God wants to let the world operate without Him involved. It sounds like God wants to be engaged in our lives and have a relationship with us.”
Son: “Yea, I guess so. Cool.”
Our foremost responsibility as parents is to teach, guide and nurture our children. Therefore, at Easter, assisting them with the incredible events of Jesus crucifixion, resurrection and saving redemption for humankind is a responsibility we cannot take lightly. In the situation described above, culture was providing the framework that would have guided my child’s faith for possibly the rest of his life! I am thankful for that morning. I took the time to find out if my child needed assistance in reconciling conflicting information about Jesus, the Bible and the world we live in. The Acts 19 Apologetics Ministry encourages you do the same.
As we enter the Easter season, family, friends and especially our children will have questions about Jesus, the Christian faith, and how this relates to our traditions of celebration. The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 4:6; “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Answering the questions of why we believe what we believe demonstrates to others there are solid foundations to the Christian faith.
In as little as 30 minutes, this outline will assist you in framing this essential conversation talking about Jesus, the love He has for us and providing parental leadership to your family as a reflection of that love.
The Acts 19 Apologetics Ministry provides this guide as a means to encourage you to seize this chance to speak truth and love into your children.
Will you join us in completing this worthwhile task?
“3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas (Peter), and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
Talking to your family about Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Step 1: Set the Theme:
• The celebration of Easter is a season to celebrate the resurrection three days after our Saviors death on the cross at Calvary.
Step 2: Read Bible scriptures aloud:
*Consider having others in your family read the passages.*
• Crucifixion prophecies fulfilled from Old Testament in Isaiah 53:3-12 and New Testament Mark 15:21-32, John 19:17-27.
• Burial of Jesus- Mark 15:42-47 and John 19:38-42
• Empty tomb- Luke 24:1-12, and John 20:1-9
• Jesus’ resurrection- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and 15:14
• Appearances of Jesus- John 20:10-30
• Faith in Jesus- Romans 4:25 and 10:9 and Acts 4:10.
Step 3: Address the points of discussion.
1. First main point– Easter is a celebration of Jesus Christ! Our Savior’s death accomplished; atonement of humanity’s sinful actions, conquered death, defeated evil and provided the absolute example of sacrificial love with His resurrection!
• Jesus’ crucifixion was predicted in Isaiah 53.3, “5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
• Jesus Christ was crucified, was buried in a known tomb sealed by the Roman government, and protected by Roman guards. The tomb in which Jesus body was placed, was found empty three days later. Jesus sat with, spoke too, and ate with his disciples and appeared to hundreds of people after his resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:3)
• Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, overcoming our separation from God. Jesus’ crucifixion had to occur for us to be justified, or declared righteous before God. (Galatians 2:16) The crucifixion is God’s gift to His creation, which He loves. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
• It was necessary for Jesus to be crucified on the cross, as an outpouring of God’s love for his children. God wants to be with His children who believe and trust in Him! Jesus loves you! (1 Peter 2:24)
• Jesus Christ’s victory over death and evil is God’s way of providing us the ultimate indication that He alone is in control of the world! With the exception of God, no one in the past, present or future will accomplish the incredible feat of denying mortality! (Romans 6:6-8, 4:25, 5:19)
2. Second main point– Easter is not about hiding eggs; it is about celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
• Some people believe that Easter is only a celebration of the spring season. When considered this way, it empties the resurrection of its real meaning.
• We affirm that Easter is not all about chocolate bunnies or even family gatherings, but remembering Jesus, His death and resurrection and the love our Lord has for us. (John 3:16-17)
• It is OK for our family to celebrate modern Easter traditions of Easter egg hunting, the Easter bunny, and family gatherings. We should do these things! They are fun, and spending time together as a brothers and sisters in Christ worships the Lord!
3. Third main point– The life of Jesus and the reality of His resurrection changes everything:
• When you have bad days, when something terrible happens to you, a friend or your family, we may not always know why, but we do know that God has a reason, and He alone is in control. No matter how messed up life can be, Jesus loves you! We should take comfort in placing our trust in the Creator of the universe. (2 Corinthians 4:8-12)
• Jesus teachings, death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven and to the sit on the throne with God are the ultimate realizations of forgiveness. (Acts 1:9-11, Matthew 19:28) As followers of Christ Jesus, we are to have the same compassion, grace, humility, and love towards people who may or may not treat us nicely. By doing this, we strive to continue the mission of Jesus until His return to correct all the evils in this world and make them right forever! (Matthew 28:19-20)
• The Resurrection is the reconciliation of humanity’s wickedness, the defeat of evil, the conquering of death, and the ultimate example of love. All occurred with the resurrection of Jesus Christ’s on the cross! (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
• Easter is a time of year for celebrating new beginnings, spending time with family, and remembering the ultimate sacrificial gift Jesus provided for us. (1 John 2:2, 4:10 and Romans 3:25)
• We can take comfort in placing our trust in the Creator of the universe. (Genesis 1:1-31)
• Our God, in His infinite being, is in control of the world! (Ephesians 6:12)
• Jesus will return to correct all evils, wrongdoings, insults and injustices in this world and make them right forever! (Revelations 19:16)