Preschool Easter lessons

Dawn Reed Times Columnist

April 18, 2014

There are so many things I can’t tell my preschoolers at church.

We have had lots of tears lately when I’ve mentioned “blood.” (We just finished Moses and the plagues.) I wasn’t being gory, but they were scared at the very word!

We are preparing for lessons about Jesus’ death and resurrection. They will learn it all when they are older, but for now, there are things I can’t tell them.

My “littles” know that Jesus loves them and sing about it regularly, but they will not understand how much until a few more years pass.

Last week, we learned about Palm Sunday. We pretended to have a parade for Jesus and threw clothes down for Him to ride on. We glued green strips on brown paper leaves to wave and said, “Hosanna” like the people did in Jerusalem that day. But, they do not know that the very same people who waved and yelled to Jesus would scream, “Crucify Him!” in a very short time.

Next week, we will study and color Jesus praying in the garden. They will love saying “Gethsemane” and I’ll work it into a song, but they will not know that Jesus sweat drops of blood. They won’t understand that He asked His Father to take the “cup” from Him if possible. They will learn it when they are older.

Our kids will learn that the disciples kept falling asleep while Jesus prayed. Those silly disciples! When they are grown they will realize that we do that still.

I’ll tell them a week later that Jesus was arrested and that people were very mean to Him. I won’t tell them it was the church leaders. I can’t explain that Jesus was flogged, beaten with a whip that had glass and rocks tied in it that ripped open the Son of God’s flesh. I won’t say that they spit in His precious face or that they mocked Him. I WILL say that they made a pretend crown with pointy things on it and that will be enough for now. I can’t say that they drove the crown of thorns into His head and then beat it with sticks. It’s still hard to imagine-and I’m grown.

I won’t tell them that He carried His cross on His open back up to the place He would be murdered. I WILL tell them again that Jesus loves them very, very much. And they will smile and be glad. We will glue little kid’s faces on construction paper crosses and we will sing “Jesus loves me” to the top of our lungs. I WILL tell them Jesus died on the cross and it was the very saddest day of all. But it won’t be bloody … they will learn that when they are older. And when they do, I hope it WILL make them cry, but not because they are afraid of blood. I hope it will move their hearts to know how much Jesus loves them and how He suffered to make a way for us to go to heaven.

They will be SOOO excited that Jesus came back to life! I can see their faces now! We will sing “Jesus is Alive!” and jump up at the end. We will make happy and sad faces for Mary Magdalene. They will love the part where she was crying and couldn’t see Jesus but when He spoke her name she knew it was Him! When they are older they will learn that difficult times come, and even in our tears we can know that Jesus is with us.

Don’t let this time of celebration pass without reading about Jesus’ death and resurrection, even if you’ve read it a hundred times. Soak it in and don’t ever forget!

And don’t be afraid of the blood. “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”