Resurrection: The Most Important Truth

by Sean McDowell

Recently, my 7-year-old son said, "Dad, what is the most important thing you know?" Immediately, I thought of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, where the apostle Paul explains the heart of the Gospel, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day" (emphasis added). The Resurrection is the most important truth of the Christian faith!

If Christ has not risen, then our faith is useless (1 Corinthians 15:14). That's right — useless. Without the Resurrection, we might as well forget God, church, the Christian life — it is all a lie.

On the other hand, if the Resurrection is real, then a few important truths follow:

Our sins are forgiven. The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). And sin put a rift in our relationship with our Creator, separating us from His love. But because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have received forgiveness, and our relationship with God has been restored.

Death is not the end. Jesus conquered the grave and promises that we can follow in His footsteps (Philippians 3:21). Because of the resurrection of Christ, death no longer has power over us. We have gained eternal life. Paul shouts with an air of defiance, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55). Of course, there is no reply.

How we live is important. Because we know we will live forever in God's presence, our priorities and devotion are focused on Him, not on the concerns of this present world. This focus does not take us out of this world, but keeps our attention where it belongs (Colossians 3:2). In fact, living with our hearts focused on eternity enables us to be more effective in God's business — living out His truth and building His kingdom — right here and now.

The age-specific activities and discussions below will help your children explore why the Resurrection is important for their lives. 

Key Points

The resurrection of Jesus ... 

  • means that our sins are forgiven.
  • conquered the power of death. 
  • gives our lives an eternal perspective.

Family Memory Verse

1 Peter 1:3

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." 

Scripture Study

For a more in-depth look at the Resurrection, read these Bible passages:

  • Matthew 28

  • Luke 24

  • John 11:21-27

  • 1 Corinthians 15

Copyright © 2012 by Sean McDowell. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.


Preschool Activity
School-Age Activity
Tween Activity
Time With Your Teen
More Family Devotions


Preschool Activity

Retell and celebrate the Resurrection story with your childby creating a preschool version of "Resurrection eggs." Gather sixplastic eggs, each a different color. Place the following items inside, oneitem per egg: bread crumb, paper cross, strip of cloth, rock and piece ofcandy. One egg will remain empty. As you tell the Resurrection story, let yourchild open the eggs. Explain each item in the following order:

1. Bread crumb: Jesus ate dinner with His friends. (Luke22:14-15)

2. Cross: The next day, Jesus died on the Cross. (John19:17-18)

3. Strip of cloth: He was wrapped in cloth and placed in atomb.
(John 19:40)

4. Rock: A stone was placed in front of the tomb. (Matthew27:59-60)

5. Empty egg: Jesus' friends came to the tomb and saw thestone had been moved. The tomb was empty! (Luke 24:1-3)

6. Candy: Jesus is alive. That's the sweet surprise ofEaster. (Matthew 28:5-6)

Once you've finished sharing the Resurrection story withyour child, encourage her to use the eggs to tell the story in her own words.

Becky Baudouin

Copyright © 2012 by Becky Baudouin. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.


School-age Activity

Use this activity to help your kids understand that Christ's resurrection means that we can have eternal life!

Lay a skein of yarn on a table and pull 2 inches of yarn from one end. Ask your child to slowly pull on this piece, and when she has pulled out about an arm's length of yarn, snip it off with scissors. Tell your kids that this piece of yarn has a beginning and an end, just like our lives here on earth.

Take the snipped piece of yarn and tie it back onto the skein, explaining that, through Christ, we are free to live with God forever. When Jesus died and rose again, He gave us eternal life. Although our time on earth will come to an end, our life with God will go on and on forever. Celebrate the power of the Resurrection by allowing your kids to pull freely on the piece of yarn and run with it as it unravels from the skein. Let them run out of the room! Up the stairs!

Pray together, thanking God for sending His Son and welcoming us into eternal life with Him.

—Vance Fry 

Copyright © 2012 by Thriving Family. ThrivingFamily.com.


Tween Activity

To teach your tweens about the forgiving power of Christ's resurrection, try this activity. First, put on an old, white T-shirt. Then discuss what sin is by asking your tweens to share some examples, such as lying or envy. Invite them to use permanent markers to write their examples on the shirt.

Explain that our sins create a rift in our relationship with God and keep us from experiencing His love. To be reconciled with God, we need to get rid of the sin that separates us. Ask for ideas on how to remove the marker stains from the shirt. If the kids suggest washing it, try scrubbing it in the sink. Let them see that the stains are permanent. Also note how the "sins"can't be hidden, even if the shirt is turned inside out.

Ask: "If we can't remove our own sin, who can help us?"Guide your tweens toward understanding that only Jesus, through His death and resurrection, has the power to get rid of our sins. Take the old, dirty shirt and place it in a trash bag near a Bible or a cross, where you've also set anew, clean white shirt. As you put on the clean shirt, talk about how Christ takes away our sin and gives us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

—Jeannie Vogel

Copyright © 2012 by Jeannie Vogel. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.


Time With Your Teen

The thrill of driving, the freedom to ignore homework, the delight of staying on the computer all night long—teens love to assert their independence. They hold tight to a "my way is the best way" attitude that influences the choices they make during these formative years. Sometimes that attitude protects them from peer pressure; other times it drives them to settle for less than God's best.

Could the power of the Resurrection and the hope of eternity actually make a difference for a teen who is torn between choosing God's will and doing his own thing?

As parents, we get to be the voice reminding teens that pleasing Christ is better than pleasing self. Living with an eternal perspective can help them see that the joy of living forever in God's presence far outweighs the momentary satisfaction of getting their own way.

The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to strengthen our teens to make wise choices today (Romans 8:11-14). Ask your teen about choices she's watched her friends make that were not pleasing to God. Were there any disappointing consequences? Ask your teen if his friends have shared stories about decisions they regret. Share honestly about your own teenage choices to either choose God's best or have things your way.

Now remind your teen that God has provided all she needs to live a life pleasing to Him—both now and forever (2 Peter 1:3). Encourage your teen to trust God for the strength to do His will, and pray that the hope of eternity will empower her to choose wisely (Colossians 1:10-12).

—T.F. Edwords 

Copyright © 2012 by Thriving Family. ThrivingFamily.com.


This article appeared in the March 2012 issue of Thriving Family magazine. 


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