YOUTH GROUP GAME ON EASTER
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Bible: John 11:25-26 (NLT)
Bottom Line: Easter is an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made and to celebrate His resurrection.
- Two stopwatches
- Peeps marshmallow bunnies or chicks (one per student)
- Small table
- A piece of paper and pen
Have two leaders with stopwatches stand at the front of the room.
Divide students into two teams of equal size.
Have each team form a straight line and sit down, facing the front of the room.
Open the packs of Peeps and place them in a bowl, on a small table, at the front of the room.
Have the pen and paper on hand to record each team’s scores throughout the game.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: The game we are about to play is all about time.
I’m going to ask the first person in each team’s line to come and stand in front of this table.
I've asked two leaders (one for each team) to hold stopwatches throughout the game. They have a super important job.
After each team has sent a representative to the front, I will call out a specific amount of time and say GO! For example, I will say “15 seconds!”
The leaders will begin timing on the stopwatches, and you will wait until you think that 15 seconds have passed, stick a Peep in your mouth, and say, "STOP!"
Your team’s stopwatch will be stopped immediately.
After each person has made their time guess, we will see which team is the closest and award a point to that team.
Then, everyone on each team will take a turn, we will tally the scores, and declare a winner!
Note: You can choose any amount of time that you wish but try to keep it under a minute for each round, so the game is not too long.
Say: You all have a great sense of time – that was awesome!
During this season, of every year, we recognize a specific holiday – Easter.
All around the world, Easter is celebrated with candy, hiding, and hunting eggs, and of course, the Easter bunny.
It is celebrated by Christians and non-believers alike.
But at its core, Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
It’s a Day of Remembrance for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and a celebration of His resurrection from the dead.
Days of remembrance are important.
We remember birthdays because we are grateful for someone’s life.
We celebrate graduations to recognize the academic accomplishments and achievements that someone has made.
Remembering a day or event helps us appreciate what has happened and take time to reflect on what it means to us.
That is the purpose of Easter – to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made and the benefits we enjoy because of His resurrection.
Read John 11:25-26.
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
Let’s talk about this story…
Martha’s encounter with Jesus took place after her brother, Lazarus, died.
Mary and Martha had sent for Jesus when Lazarus was ill.
They had asked Jesus to come and heal their brother, but He didn’t.
Instead, Lazarus died.
Now, Jesus has arrived four days after Lazarus’ death to visit Mary and Martha.
In our scripture passage, Jesus asked Martha if she believes that anyone who believes in Him will never die.
Martha responded and told Jesus that she does believe.
Several verses later, we read that Jesus had the stone of the tomb rolled away, He called to Lazarus who was dead inside of the tomb, and Lazarus was raised back to life.
This was an incredible miracle and word of what Jesus had done traveled quickly.
Ask: If someone you knew was raised from the dead, who would you tell?
Allow a few responses from students.
The story of Lazarus is important for several different reasons.
First, Lazarus and those who loved him experienced an incredible miracle.
But as the news of this miracle traveled throughout the land, a series of events came into play that resulted in Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Pharisees and Jewish leaders were not thrilled when they heard what had happened.
John 11:53 says, “So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death.”
At this point, Jesus stopped his public ministry and went into the wilderness with His disciples to pray, followed by His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey when the crowds waved palm branches and celebrated Him as the “King.”
If Jesus had healed Lazarus from his sickness the way He had healed many others that had called upon Him, the Jewish leaders would have most likely remained simply annoyed with Jesus for the time being.
But this miracle was different, and it had a significant impact on the community.
We also know from Jesus’ encounter with Martha that He was predicting His death.
How could Jesus be the “Resurrection” if He was never resurrected?
Not only did Jesus ask Martha if she believed, but Martha's sister Mary was one of the women who saw Jesus first when He rose from the dead.
If Jesus had not come back to life, we would not have the assurance that He would also be able to bring us back to life.
Jesus’ resurrection confirms everything He ever said about life in and through Him.
More than just eggs, candy, and the Easter bunny, Easter provides the opportunity for each of us to reflect on what we believe about Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Do you believe?
Do you have assurance and peace in your life that Jesus is who He said He was and that includes giving you eternal life?
Take a moment this Easter to reflect on your relationship with God and to examine the areas of life where perhaps you don’t believe.
Ask God to strengthen your faith and help you trust in Him like never before.