By: Crystal Mazzuca
When it comes to Kids Ministry, the story and celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter can be much easier to lean into than His suffering and death a few days prior. It’s an emotional and distressing event. Add on top of that the questions kids may ask. “Why did God let that happen?” “Couldn’t God have saved people a different way?” As they do, we can find ourselves skirting around Good Friday to focus more on Easter Sunday.
But the bottom line is, we can’t have resurrection without death. We can’t have the celebration of Easter Sunday without the devastation of Good Friday. So how can we help kids understand why we call it Good Friday?
Start with God’s love and power
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of me.” (John 1:1, 3-4)
In the beginning, God created everything. God is holy and perfect and made everything wonderful and amazing. He’s God! Only He could create everything out of nothing! Let’s help kids see that He is so big and powerful! He didn’t need to create anything, yet in His love He created the world, and He created people. He made people in His image. He made us because He loves us, and He made us to love Him in return. God is more powerful than anyone and anything. And He loves us more than anyone ever could or will.
Call attention to brokenness
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
Sin can be a difficult concept for kids to grasp. But when we help them see that sin is when we do what we think is best instead of what God says is best, it becomes a bit more tangible. Our sin is a big deal because it breaks our world. It breaks our relationship with God. It means we are broken. Broken things—and people–can’t fix themselves.
Share the hope
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The wage or price of our sin is death. This means the only hope to get us out of our broken state and restore our relationship with God is for someone to take the punishment for our sin. That should be us. But God loves people so much, He sent His Son to take the punishment. His love, through Jesus, is what give us hope that we can live as the people God made us to be in the way He wants us to live.
Good Friday is good
Jesus’ death on Good Friday is sad. And we can let kids know that it’s okay to feel sad and be sad. But we call it Good Friday because the why is good. Jesus died because God loves us. Jesus suffered because God loves us. God sent Jesus in this way because He knew that it was the way to heal what was broken and make the way for people to have a forever relationship with Him.
“For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2)
This Easter season, let’s fill our ministries and home with the joy and celebration of Easter. But let’s pause and take time to rejoice on the Friday before. Jesus’ suffering and death is a hard thing. It’s a sad thing. It’s an uncomfortable thing. But it is truly a good thing.
Crystal Mazzuca is a Content Editor for Lifeway’s Hyfi and Kids’ Short Term Studies. With an MA in Christian Education Administration, she has a passion to encourage and equip leaders to impact the next generation for Christ. She’s spent the last 20 years in Kids, Student, and Family Ministry and loves serving both the big C church and her local church in Olympia, WA. Crystal loves reading, going to the beach, and playing video games with her 3 sons.