How to Talk to Your Kids About the Crucifixion

As the last installment of our Easter blog series, Lisa shares how she talks to her kids about the gravity and glory of the Cross – not always an easy balance with kids!

Talk to Kids about the Crucifixion
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How do we effectively communicate to our kids that the gloriousness of Easter is about much more than colored eggs and baskets of candy? Many of us now use the term “Resurrection Sunday” instead of Easter, to clarify what it is we are truly celebrating. But the thing is we can’t talk about the Resurrection without talking about Jesus’ death, and we can’t talk about His death without talking about crucifixion.

Is crucifixion too scary of a subject for kids?

The Crucifixion is indeed a powerfully disturbing event, even for adults! But if we tackle it as age appropriately as possible; remembering each child’s developmental readiness, the story of Salvation, through Jesus’ death, burial AND resurrection becomes personal and purposeful.

Using language that they understand, start talking to your kids about what happened to Jesus on Good Friday. Keeping in mind that too much graphic detail isn’t necessary to convey His act of love and sacrifice. Death, in and of itself, might also be a concept not fully comprehensible to a young child. They’ve heard about people, maybe even pets, dying but may have never personally experienced such an event.

When I was teaching my own kids about what happened on Good Friday, I explained that in the time of Jesus, people who did bad things were hung on crosses as a punishment and would die on these crosses. They would either tie a person’s hands and feet to the cross or, as in Jesus’ case, use nails to hang Him on his cross. It hurt a lot. More than any pain we can imagine. He was being punished for things he never did. Jesus was perfect and never sinned but because God loves us so much, and wants us to be with Him forever, He took all the sin from each of us, even the sin that was in our hearts, and placed it on Jesus. When Jesus died and was buried, all of our sins died and were buried too. Forever. We are now forgiven because of what Jesus did for us on the cross! Jesus took our place when He was punished for all of our sins. He loves us that much!

If you are a fan of using Resurrection Eggs, you may enjoy the story of Benjamin’s Box . This story goes along with the Resurrection Eggs, and follows a young boy named Benjamin who is in Jerusalem at the same time as Jesus. He wants to learn more about Jesus, so he follows him during this one week. At first he thinks Jesus is a teacher, then he thinks he is a king– finally he learns the Good News and who Jesus really is! Story can be such a great way of reinforcing the truth of the Gospel!

We try to protect the hearts of our kids, but it’s okay for kids to feel sad that Jesus suffered so much. If you have a child who is especially sensitive, it’s always a good thing to remind them, right away, that the story of salvation doesn’t end at Good Friday. Sunday is coming! The “rescue plan” of salvation is not just about Jesus’ death and burial– but it is completed through His resurrection! He is Risen! He is alive! Our tears of sadness will turn into joy!

Have you talked to your kids about the Crucifixion?

 

About the Author: Lisa Strnad is a freelance writer/blogger, who regularly contributes to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She is a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville, TN. Follow her blog at http://www.talkinglikeagirl.blogspot.com/.

Comment on a post
52 comments
Nana Groves
Nana Groves

Wow this site is awesome now if i can get him away from the tablet and games i can answer him, thank you!

Nana Groves
Nana Groves

I have a 7 year old in second grade to shy to go to childrens church yes doesnt stand for the drums in the sanctuary. His mother is not a believer and kind of leaves answering their questions to me, Nana. His question was 'why was jesus crucified'? I'm lost for 7 year old words to answer them. I'm so lost even i pray about it and have an open heart, he's very smart and the answer has to be correct.

Mary Rodriguez
Mary Rodriguez

why don't we explain why Jesus died for us on the cross, for our sins,so we could have salvation in His name,,Jesus,,and explain what they call easter is a pagan tradition? and stop confusing our children.

Teresa Estrada
Teresa Estrada

Matias Charlie,He was, is Now, and always will be, The beginning and without End. Amen.

Matias Charlie
Matias Charlie

That it was in the past, I don't have kids myself but it was in the past

Fern Westmoreland
Fern Westmoreland

Was having a conversation about this with my room mate last week about how 2 sugar coat the violence in the Bible for the children until their older

Teresa Estrada
Teresa Estrada

Please teach your children! I was surprised my son's had not talk about the crucifixion Of Jesus + now believers, Grandparents teach,pray,and Bless you're children's children +

Jan Stouffer
Jan Stouffer

I used something off the internet just a few weeks ago for our Sunday school class of 2-5 year olds. I found DLTK has allot of stories and coloring pages. If you put in like "Cain and Abel" in "Search" you can find many sites with that story.

Jacqueline Willis
Jacqueline Willis

Heather Deoliveira I was with you until you said how there is one G-d(WHAT THAT MEANSI DON'T KNOW)NO TRINITY AND NO HUMAN SACRIFICE ( WHAT)

Anita Huie
Anita Huie

Wait until they are old enough to understand, if that can ever happen. I still find it heartbreaking.

Heather Deoliveira
Heather Deoliveira

The true message of Easter is pagan Ishtar, eggs bunnies.. look it up. It was adopted by xtians as were all the other pagan holidays. I'm going to teach my kids how not to follow the crowd into idolatry, and how there is one G-d, no trinity and no human sacrifice.

Nana Groves
Nana Groves

If i wasnt a grandmother, which i am, and i am the main influence on my two grandchildren when it comes to answering their questions.  i teach them the true meaning off Easter for me its to celebrate the rising of our Lord. There was no 'human' sacrifice, they sacrificed the Son of God, The Word Before it was written, Every time i think or do a sinful thing i ask my selff how many nails did i just become responsible for. if it wasnt for our Lord we would not be counted worthy of God's presense. I am so grateful that i had 7 years of doing nothing but reading the bible and going to classrs and sermons in rags at that. Now Im happy and I owe it all to Jesus for with out Him, my sins are not forgiven, picture a briidege between yourself and God, jesus has to be that bridge. I'll say a prayer to open  you mind and heart, and as long as chiildren know the true meaning of Easter i see no harm in a chocolate bunny or a festive egg hunt between the little ones, In Jesus' time the also celebrated in various ways. I see no sin in it.

Elizabeth Si
Elizabeth Si

The symbol of the cross that Jesus suffered and died for our sins, Jesus cleans us from our sins, Amen

Mary Lou Jenson
Mary Lou Jenson

straight forward.Its the same way we found as children

What's in the Bible?
What's in the Bible?

We believe that may be another site who offered that study as we don't have one on Abel and Cain. Sorry about that!

Nan Branham
Nan Branham

Awesome, as always!!! Our church is currently using the Easter Curriculum with our kiddos!!!! It is awesome!! So is the entire church curriculum series!!!!! Totally kid and teacher approved!!!\U0001f44d\U0001f389\U0001f490\U0001f388\U0001f49c\U0001f337\U0001f496

Emma Sanchez
Emma Sanchez

thank you very much for this information.

Angina Rosales-Kakiuchi
Angina Rosales-Kakiuchi

Trying to find something that I think this page shared. It was about teaching kids to love their brother I think it was a bible study about Abel and Cain. Desperately looking for this to teach my sons. Please help if you can.

christine
christine

how to I describe to kid exactly how much sacrifice mean they don't seem to get the full meaning of it!

Sila
Sila

I asked my mom to help me explain the story of the cross and resurrection and how to connect it to traditional easter with Easter eggs and bunny. She's genius and a woman of GOD. Well she said talk about how Jesus died on the cross to offer us eternal salvation and when it was time for him to be taken off the cross and placed in his resting area a bunny accidentally ran into the area of the tomb. At the time of resurrection the bunny witnessed how he rose and removed the tomb. The bunny was so excited that he had witnessed this that he found and offered him an egg. I elaborate here and there. It worked for my four year old at the time. She loves God, praises him and is aware that the bunny is a creation of God. Hope this helps someone.

Pamela
Pamela

Eggs represent new life (in Christ) they also represent infinity as they are circular...like God...never ending and never beginning...

Dan
Dan

Oops. There were paragraph breaks in my post originally. Sorry for that big text blob! Mods, if you can fix that, please feel free. If you do, please delete this post. Thanks!

Dan
Dan

Carolyn: Eggs have nothing to do with Jesus, the crucifixion or the resurrection, but in this case they are being used as objects to teach about those things. Many people are quick to point out the pagan origins of things like eggs, and how so much of what Easter is today has more to do with fertility and all that. They are correct. But the fact remains that just because some - even many - people choose to pervert Easter in this way, there is nothing inherently evil or pagan about eggs, fertility, or anything like that. Think of it this way: eggs belonged to God long before they belonged to people who would pervert the Lord and the gospel. Same goes for sex and rainbows and so many other things that some people claim as their own or try to use against God. All that said, if you do not feel comfortable using eggs in your celebration of Easter because of the connection to pagan fertility issues, then don't use them! That's not a problem at all. On the other hand, if you would like to redeem them, feel free to do that too. Unfortunately, you will have people on all sides telling you that you are wrong no matter what you do. That's life in a fallen world. : ) So, redeem the eggs to the glory of God, or set them aside. Either way, make sure that first and foremost you are faithfully raising your children (and those under you) in the Lord. To this end, for instance, if I were to choose not to use eggs, I would NOT ignore them entirely. I would teach my children what they are, what they represent, how they have been used by others, and why we personally are not using them. Same goes if I decide to utilize eggs. I wil explain to my children (when and how appropriate) why we are using them, how others use them differently, and continually point them to Christ alone. I hope that helps! The same reasoning can be applied to Christmas trees and so many other traditions that have come to be the standard today. The primary goal: acknowledge God in all things, giving Him alone the glory and praise.

Sheila
Sheila

Just a note, the URL for Talking Like a Girl blog is incorrect.

solveig
solveig

Great presentation idea for Easter! Thank you!

Leticia
Leticia

I loved the way you told the story I can teach it my class Sunday ages 9-12

Carolyn Rollins
Carolyn Rollins

I have to ask this question. What does an egg have anything to do with the Crucifixion, Resurrection? Or anything Jesus? I am not trying to be rude but rather sincere. Sincerely, Carolyn Rollins