A few years ago, we sat down and prayerfully considered what Christian Easter traditions should look like in our family. We personally felt convicted about celebrating the Easter bunny, not that there was anything inherently wrong with a cute bunny and chocolate eggs, but rather that it seemed to detract from the message of Christ’s death and resurrection. How could we make Easter memorable for our kids, while also teaching them about why we’re celebrating?
So, over the years, we came up with a few unique ways to experience a very Christ-centered, “Christian Easter” week, beginning on Palm Sunday, with a focused time of devotions together each day throughout the week. We still do baskets filled with a few treats for the kids on Resurrection Sunday, but it’s not the central theme of our week. It’s about Jesus!
Today I’m sharing some passages you can read together and discuss as a family. This is a great time to put a little extra effort into your family devotionals each day. Use the scriptures and discussion prompts below as a teaching tool with your children.
Ready? Here we go!
Christian Easter Ideas For A Meaningful Easter Week
Read: Mark 11:1-11
Re-enact Palm Sunday (the triumphal entry) with your family. Purchase some large, inexpensive palm leaves if you can (like these), or use this cool tutorial to make your own. Have the littlest child ride around on Daddy’s back, as though he’s the colt and they’re parading through the village. Other children can spread jackets or towels on the “road” in front of them, similar to what’s depicted in scripture.
Read: Mark 11:12-25
Discuss what happened the day after the triumphal entry. Jesus curses the fig tree, and cleanses the temple. Why was Jesus so upset about what was going on in the temple? What can we do to keep the church a meaningful, worshipful place? Consider if any poor attitudes, disrespectful behavior, or indifference towards church has crept into your family or into your own heart. Ask Jesus to cleanse you and help you regain a fresh love for His bride.
Read: Mark 12:41-44
During this time is also when Jesus told the parable of the Widow’s Offering. Talk about this with your children. She gave two small copper coins; why did Jesus say she had put in more than all the others? They had all contributed from their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had. Similarly, we are to be generous givers, willing to give sacrificially when the Lord prompts us.
Read: Mark 14:1-9
As we read in verse 1, it’s now two days before the Passover. The chief priests and scribes were considering ways to arrest Jesus and kill him. Why? Talk about it as a family. Consider the woman with the alabaster box who anointed him with the very costly oil. There’s also a beautiful song titled Alabaster Box you could watch together, here.
Read: Mark 14:10-11
Judas is behind the scenes, sneakily making plans to betray Jesus into the hands of the chief priests. Why do you think was he doing this? What was his motivation? Point out that they had promised to give him money in exchange for betraying him. This is a good opportunity to talk about money, wisdom, and prudence. How do we make good choices with money? How can we steward our money to further God’s purposes rather than to encourage sinfulness and covetousness?
Read: Mark 14:12-25, Exodus 12:1-14, 26-27, and also Mark 15:16-20
Consider the passover. While we haven’t ever made a full, formal passover meal, some years we have prepared a bit of lamb, bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and grape juice, explaining the meaning of each. In leiu of spreading blood on the door (!) we’d hang red fabric on the door and discuss what it means. What was it like for the Israelites on that night?
Depending on the age of your children, spend a few minutes reverently explaining how Jesus was led away, beaten, and crucified. If they’re very young, you may find a children’s-themed video might be helpful for them, like this Greatest Adventure Easter Story (you’ll want to have it ready in advance).
Read Mark 15:42-47
Meditate on Jesus being in the tomb. An activity you could do during today’s devotion would be to allow the children to wrap each other up in toilet paper, as Jesus’s body was wrapped in linen. Also, how may Mary or the disciples felt during this time?
Read Luke 24
He is risen! This is why we celebrate – He is alive and well, and working among us today! For further discussion, talk about the day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit coming in Acts 2 as part of the beauty of the resurrection. He came, died, and rose again because He loved us and wanted us to have new life in Him! He is still pouring out His Spirit today!
Another idea for a more Christian Easter morning is to prepare resurrection rolls for breakfast. They’re rolls with marshmallows wrapped inside, which become hollow as they bake, representing the tomb of Jesus on resurrection morning.
What are your ideas for celebrating a Christ-centered, Christian Easter as a family? Share them in the comments!
Go in grace today,