Updated on March 19th, 2019
Americans spend (on average) 1.9 billion dollars a year on candy for Easter. Easter has become more about the bunnies and the baskets than it about the importance of The Cross.
Easter is a beautiful holiday. It’s a celebration of the greatest love story of all time; the story of the abounding love that God has for all of us. It’s important to share this story with children year after year.
How Do I Explain The Meaning Of Easter To My Children? Including Easter Sunday?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16
It is important that we honor God by not only celebrating Easter but also passing on the Easter story to our children.
However, Easter is a complicated holiday for little ones. How do you explain the suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus to a small child?
How Do You Explain Easter; The Tragic Yet Joyful Easter Story To Little Ears?
Easter is an important holiday for little children to understand. However, even in it’s complexity, we should be teaching our children the true meaning of Easter.
Think about it this way. Even as adults, we don’t understand God in all of his complexity. However, true believers recognize that God created all of us and sent his only son to die on the cross to save us. His love has no limits.
We have to have faith and understand that we cannot know the answer to everything.
In the same way, kids can appreciate Easter without fully understanding the holiday.
When I started explaining Easter to my little guy last year, I first reminded him that God loves him. We talked about how God gave us everything that we have, and how he loved us so much that he gave up his only son, Jesus.
Side Note: Some Christian Parenting Advice; I’d like to add that at this point I had made sure that Izaak knew that Bible stories were true, not pretend like some of the other stories that we had read. Since Jesus performed some amazing miracles (like his resurrection) it would be easy for a child to think of Jesus like a fictional superhero.
I also discussed the love that Jesus has for each and every one of us. I let him know that Jesus loves us so much that he died for us.
We then talked about the cross as an important symbol. I showed him a picture of the cross and my son got excited and talked about how he sees the cross at church.
Once Izaak understood the cross as an important symbol, it was easier for him to understand exactly how Jesus died and why there is a cross in church. I told him why Jesus was sent to Earth for a special purpose.
I explained to Izaak that Jesus was hurt badly so that we could be in heaven with him someday. This was hard for him to understand.
In order for Izaak to understand why Jesus sacrificed himself, I had to discuss with my little boy that we all make mistakes and that Jesus died so that we were forgiven when we did bad things.
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Jesus was the only person that could do this because he was the only perfect person. When he lived with other people on Earth he did not make any mistakes. He was never naughty.
It’s Ok For A Child To Be Sad About The Easter Story
After all of this, Izaak was upset but I let him know that even though it’s okay to be sad, the story had a happy ending.
Jesus, being special and perfect, rose from the dead, visited his friends and then he went back to heaven with God.
Izaak was happy to know that If we love God and put him above everything else in life we will go to heaven too, thanks to Jesus and what he did for us.
After I told Izaak the story of Easter, we talked for a little bit more and I made sure that he asked all of the questions that he needed to. I then read him a story about Easter from his children’s bible book.
How To Explain The Easter Bunny In A Christian Home
I remember a few days after telling Izaak the Easter story that I made no correlation between the Easter Bunny and the real meaning of Easter. I realized that this might have confused him.
What I then told Izaak that day is that Jesus loves children (which is very true). The Easter bunny gives gifts to children in a way to celebrate Jesus. The Easter Bunny is happy about Jesus being in heaven too.
I know this year Izaak and I will talk about the meaning of Easter again. And as the years pass, there will come a year when Izaak will stop believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
All that really matters though is that he keeps celebrating the real meaning of Christmas and Easter.
How Have You Shared The Story Of Easter Sunday With Your Children? I Would Love To Hear The Story!
-Holly, The Imperfect Momma.