Category Archives: Easter

Sermons for the Season of Easter

This is a summary of the children’s sermons for the season of Easter. What was it that made Peter and John believe when they went to the empty tomb? Yes, the burial cloths, the shroud, and the face napkin left behind, but Jesus was not among the dead. He is Risen!  Later than day, as two disciples walked on the Road to Emmaus they had an encounter with the risen Lord. After a week, when the disciples were assembled behind closed doors, Jesus came among them and even doubting Thomas was left Without a Doubt, He had already proven to the other disciples that he was No Ghost. Later we hear the parable of The Good Shepherd.  Then Jesus commands us to Love One Another. When he tells that he must return to his Father, but will not leave us without a comforter, we learn about the work of the Holy Spirit in A Hug from God. As an alternate, Mother’s Day Sunday has a children’s sermon about Mary, Mother of Jesus. Then Jesus takes his disciples to a mount where they hear him give the great commission, and then Jesus Ascends.  The ten days later, on the festival of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descends to fill the hearts of the disciples and prepare them to carry on the work of Christ in the world.

Holy Week Sermons

After Palm Sunday, where we heard the story of Pokey, the Little Burro as Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the humble Messiah, we begin a holy week leading up to Easter Sunday. On Monday, share the story of the Spice Girls, when we learn how Jesus is anointed for his burial in advance. Then on Tuesday, as people come to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, we learn how the Greeks, who did not understand the Law, are attracted to Jesus and his message in Sir, We Would See Jesus. On Wednesday, share Running God’s Race to explain how Jesus endured the cross as the author of our faith. On Thursday, as the disciples share the Passover meal with Jesus, he gives them a new understanding and a new covenant in Last Supper. Then after they sang a hymn, they go into the garden of Gethsemane while Jesus prays and later is arrested. On Friday, explain how the Veil of the Temple was torn in two during the crucifixion of Jesus, and how he bore the sins of the world on The Cross. All of this leads us to the story of the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday morning in He is Risen!

Easter 2014

Easter. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. He is clothed with immortality — he was able to teleport at will into rooms (the disciples were hiding behind locked doors) and vanish in front of you (as he did on the road to Emmaus). As a believer you will be receiving a new body too at the resurrection of the just. Remember that when you first believed that was the moment your eternal (born again in spirit) life began and continues non-stop. Stop acting as if you are waiting for something, when it has already happened. Proceed fearlessly by faith and do whatever God is calling you to do in this lifetime, in this realm, in this moment. Our directive is simple: Love one another. Love unconditionally, forgive yourself and others completely, and take personal responsibility to become the change you want to see in the world.

Easter Week

This is the week leading up to the resurrection — from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem to Easter.

Take time to spend with your children to explain all that happened during this week with a children’s sermon for each day.

On Palm Sunday share the story of how Jesus entered Jerusalem with Pokey, the Little Burro. Then on Monday tell about Mary Magdalene coming to the home of Lazarus and anointing Jesus’ feet with the jar of spikenard and became one of the Spice Girls. On Tuesday share how the outsiders, the Greeks, were interested in meeting Jesus at the feast of Passover in Sir, We Would See Jesus. On Wednesday tell the story of how Jesus changed and explained the meaning of Passover and became known as the Last Supper commemorating his death and resurrection with the Last Supper. On Thursday speak about the journey across the Kidron Valley to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. On Friday tell the story of that old rugged cross and the events that happened at the crucifixion with The Cross. On Saturday explain that Jesus rose during the night and wasn’t seen until Sunday morning (the first day of the week begins at sundown on Saturday and continues until sundown on Sunday) in the story of the resurrection with He is Risen! Finally, on the afternoon of that first Easter explain how Jesus was seen on the Road to Emmaus by two of his followers and then many times afterwards for 40 days until his ascension.

Without a Doubt

To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. – Acts 1:3

Text: John 20:24-31

Prop: Kool-Aid ® Changin’ Cherry Magic Twists™ (green drink mix turns blue but tastes like red cherry).

Summary: The disciple Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen. The Lord Jesus proved to him that he was alive again.

Preparation: Remove drink mix from pouch and place in a clear unmarked plastic bag. Prepare a large pitcher of pre-sweetened water in advance. Provide paper cups for the children to enjoy the refreshment after the children’s sermon.

I need someone to help me today. Who is willing to help? [Select a volunteer.) I like Kool-Aid ® when I get thirsty. Do you have a favorite flavor? (Listen to answers.) I like red cherry myself. Here it is. (Show the green drink mix in the bag.) Uh, oh. Maybe I made a mistake. This may be lime or watermelon flavor because it is colored green. I will pour it in the pitcher of water anyway. (Pour in mix, stir it, and watch it turn blue.) What? I thought it would turn green. Could this be blueberry flavored? I thought it was supposed to look red for cherry flavored. Let me get my helper to taste it and tell me what flavor it is. (Pour a small amount in cups for child and yourself.) Hmm. It tastes like cherry to me! (Ask child for agreement.) Is it cherry flavored? (Yes.) Thank you for helping me. In a moment we will all have some for a refreshment. [Set pitcher aside or give to another adult.)

What if I had told you beforehand that the Kool-Aid ® was a green mix that would turn blue but taste like cherry. Would you have believed me? (Listen to responses.) It does sound a bit far-fetched or hard to believe. I think some of us would have to see it to believe it. Our Bible story today is about the disciples on Easter day. They were told something even more incredible that seemed hard to believe: that Jesus had risen from the dead!

Jesus had been killed by nailing him to a cross and then he was buried. After three days on Sunday morning the disciples heard from Mary Magdalene (and others) that Jesus was alive again. It seemed hard to believe but it was true. As the disciples were hiding in a room behind closed doors, suddenly the Lord Jesus appeared before them! They were glad to see Jesus, but one disciple named Thomas was not with them at the time.

(Read John 20:24-31.)

Thomas did not believe the story that Jesus had risen until he saw Jesus again in person. Thomas had a doubt, or a moment of unbelief. He has been called “doubting Thomas” because he wanted proof before he would believe that Jesus was alive again. Jesus wants us to believe in him without a doubt. He always looks for our faith. While the world tells us that seeing is believing, the Bible teaches us to believe it and we will see it. Let us live in a manner that others may see our faith in the Lord Jesus.

©2003 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Last Supper

Text: Luke 22:7-20; Exodus 12:7,13

Props: communion wafers and cup or a poster of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, 1497.

Summary: This explains the Lord’s Supper to children. Jesus told the true meaning of the Passover meal to his disciples. Jesus explained the Passover in terms of his own sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Today we are going to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Have you ever wondered why we eat these crunchy wafers of bread or drink the grape juice (or wine) in church? What does it mean? What we are doing is something to remember the suffering that Jesus endured for us. It has a deeper meaning that we can understand from reading the Bible.

As our Lord was finishing his ministry on earth, the night came when he ate the last supper with his disciples before he suffered on the cross. It was a very important meal and he had a very important message for his followers. This was the Passover meal. This meal began in Egypt when God told Moses that deliverance was coming the next day.

The Passover meal was familiar to God’s people. It reminded them of the night in which God sent the destroyer into Egypt and killed the oldest son in every household, except those houses which had the blood of the lamb spread over the door posts. (Read Exodus 12:7,13] The blood was a sign that the destroyer would see and pass over that house and spare the life of the oldest son within. God told the children of Israel to keep the feast of Passover as a memorial of their deliverance from being slaves for the Egyptians. This day was to the Israelites as our Independence Day is for Americans. It was the day they were set free.

A one-year-old lamb, without any spots on the wool (without blemish), would be killed and after the blood was spread on the upper and side door posts, it would be roasted on a fire. It was eaten quickly with bitter herbs. The bitter herbs reminded them of the 430 years of slavery in Egypt. The bread was made without any leaven in the flour to make it rise. When baked, it was flat and tasteless and crunchy, sort of like a cracker without any salt on it. The leaven was a reminder of sin, so this bread was without sin.

Break BreadJesus taught his disciples I am that bread of life. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. (John 6:48.50) The traditional prayer before the bread was eaten was this: Blessed art thou O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. (Read Luke 22:19] Jesus told us that he was giving his body as a sacrifice for our deliverance from the bondage of sin. He was without sin, a lamb without blemish, bread without leaven (sin). This prayer foretold his being raised from the dead; this Bread would come forth from the earth. Our deliverance from sin was at hand.

The cup of wine held an important meaning also. Before drinking it, the traditional prayer was this: Blessed are thou O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine. Jesus had worked hard for three years to develop his disciples into men of God. Jesus taught them I am the vine, and ye are the branches. (John 15:5) He had created what they were and they were the fruit of his labor. Now it was up to them to spread the good news. The wine was a symbol of the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. It meant he would forgive the sins of all who believed on him. This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. (Mark 14:24)

The last supper took on a new meaning for the disciples after Jesus rose on Easter. Jesus was God’s lamb, sacrificed for the sins of the world. His blood had been shed so that death passed over us and we could hope to have eternal life. Jesus overcame death and rose from the dead. That is how the Passover meal became known as the Lord’s Supper. Jesus commanded us: this do in remembrance of me. It has continued to this day in the churches for us to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins.

©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Pokey the Little Burro

Text: based on Matthew 21:1-11

Props: Use the song written by Judy Raizor, “Pokey Was His Name-O” to teach to the children. It is sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O.

Summary: Jesus was humble on Palm Sunday when he was presented as Israel’s Messiah. We should be humble and not make fun of others less fortunate than ourselves. This sermon helps young children learn to accept the mentally disabled.

A long, long time ago in the land of Israel far away, there lived a man who loved God, called Zechariah. He was a prophet, which means he spoke important words that God told him to speak, to the people where he lived. One day he told of a day when Jesus the Savior would ride into Jerusalem with these words:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a burro, and upon a colt, the foal of a burro.

Now about 500 years later, Jesus was about to go up to a city called Jerusalem. He was going to the temple (a very big church). Many people loved Jesus so much that they thought he ought to be their King. They were tired of the Roman soldiers that lived in their land and refused to obey God. They were tired of being treated so badly by strangers who were cruel and mean.

Jesus enters JerusalemMeanwhile, in the nearby town of Bethphage, there lived a little burro with his mother. He was not as fast as the other little burros. When he brayed he did not sound a “hee haw” like the other burros. He just sort of said “haw” and that was all. The other little burros used to make fun of him. In fact, they called him Pokey because he was SO SLOW. The other burros jumped and bounced around whenever their owner tried to put things on their backs to carry down the road. But not Pokey, he was meek (that means gentle) and he would carry the burdens of his owner quietly without making even a peep of a bray.

“Momma,” Pokey said, “why do the other burros have to be so mean to me. I’m trying as hard as I can.” “I know you are, son,” said his mother, “and I love you very much, just the way you are.”

Now one day as Pokey and his mother were eating straw, two of Jesus’ friends came and untied them and started to take them away. “Stop!” said the owner. “Where are you taking my burros?” he asked. “The Lord has need of them,” they replied. “Oh, very well,” said the owner, “take them right away.”

Soon they came to a man in a long white robe. It was JESUS! One of the people who knew Jesus knelt down and whispered in Pokey’s long soft ear: “Hello, little burro. You see all these people standing here? Some of them think Jesus should ride into Jerusalem today on a big white horse like the military soldiers do. But he needs to show them how to be like you: humble and gentle, and willing to share other people’s burdens.”

“Oh, Momma!” said Pokey. “Did you hear that?” “Yes, son,” she replied, “I am so proud of you.” Then they put garments on Pokey’s back and Jesus sat on Pokey. Then Pokey followed beside his mother as Jesus held on. They walked slowly up the hill. The people cut palm tree branches and laid them along the path and shouted: Blessing and honor to the son of David; Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Blessing and honor in the highest.

Now some of you boys and girls may see some children that are not as fast as others at school. They may talk differently or even look a little different, but they are trying just as hard as you. They are SPECIAL to God (mentally disabled), to show us how to be gentle and patient and willing to help others. Now I do not want you to make fun of them. Instead, remember the story of Pokey the little burro, and understand that God has made a special purpose for each one of us.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Special thanks to Judy Raizor for writing the words to her song “Pokey Was His Name-O” and giving permission to include it here.

Pokey Was His Name-Oby Judy Raizor (Sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O)

Pokey was a humble colt,
Pokey was his name-o,
Pokey wasn’t fast,
Pokey wasn’t big,
Pokey sounded strange,
And Pokey was his name-o.

Jesus rode this little colt,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

This little colt was Jesus’ friend,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

He rode into Jerusalem,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

The people threw palm leaves around,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

We might meet some other folks,
Who are not quite like us,
They may be too small,
They may be too tall,
They may not like us,
But what would Jesus do?

Jesus would love them still,
Just like He loved Pokey,
Just like He loves you,
Just like He loves me,
Just love everyone,
And Jesus will be happy.


Text: Luke 22:42-44; Mark 14:32; John 18:1-6

Prop: a poster of Thy Will Be Done by Danny Hahlbohm

Summary: When Jesus faced his most difficult decisions, he prayed earnestly and persisted in following God’s will for his life.

Have you ever faced great danger? Have you ever wondered what God wants you to do? These are times when we need to pray to God. We have a great example from our Lord Jesus.

On the night before he was crucified, Jesus was in great danger. Judas, one of the twelve disciples, had left the Passover meal and went out to betray Jesus. Judas went to accept a bribe of thirty pieces of silver in return for telling the priests where they could find and arrest Jesus. Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane, just outside of Jerusalem, to pray. He was feeling very sad. It was here that the greatest battle by a single person was ever fought.

(Read Mark 14:32] When we are facing troubles we need to pray. That is what Jesus did. In fact, he prayed the same prayer three times. Jesus prayed so hard he was sweating heavily. (Read Luke 22:42-44] Jesus had to choose whether or not to go on and accept the penalty of death on the cross for our sins. This was the hardest decision of his ministry. He would have to bear our guilt and the sins of the whole world. Jesus was saying he wished he didn’t have to go through with it, but he put his will aside to obey his Father’s wishes for us.

Jesus had the courage to go on. He was willing to do whatever God needed him to do, even to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus could have called on thousands of angels to protect him from being arrested, but he allowed himself to be arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.

A great band of soldiers came with Judas and the priests with torches and swords. Some say this was several hundred armed soldiers. Jesus could see them crossing the Cedron brook and had time to escape, but his mind was already made up. He would endure the cross for us. He loved us that much! When they approached, Judas came up and kissed Jesus on the cheek to show the soldiers who to arrest. Jesus stepped forward and asked them Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto themI AM he. Not since he had uttered those same words to Moses at the Burning Bush had the invisible force of God’s spoken words been so strong.* The Bible says his answer was so powerful that these soldiers were knocked off their feet and fell backward to the ground. Then he told them the terms of his own arrest, telling them to only arrest him and to let his followers go.

Today Jesus is still a wanted man. People still seek him. Because he loved us so much in the garden of Gethsemane, he can still be found. He is the great I AM, the Son of the living God. When you are facing troubles, remember to follow Jesus’ example of praying for God’s will to be done.

©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

*Acknowledgements to Hal Lindsey: A Prophetic Walk Through the Holy Land (c)1983, published by Harvest House Publishers.

Spice Girls

Do not keep the alabaster box of your love and friendship sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving, cheering words while their ears can hear them, and while their hearts can be thrilled and made happier. The kind things you mean to say when they are gone, say before they go. – George W. Childs, from Leaves of Gold

Text: Mark 14:3-8, 16:1; John 12:3

Prop: A wrapped gift box and a bottle of perfume (or jar of Noxzema cream)

Summary: Jesus was anointed for burial with a very expensive gift of spice. God has a gift for us (salvation) that is free to all who will accept Jesus as Savior.

How many of you have heard of the Spice Girls? Did you know they are mentioned in the Bible? Look at what I have with me today [a wrapped gift box]. Do you like to get gifts on your birthday? Me too. Today I want to tell you about a story where a very expensive gift was given to Jesus. A “spice girl” gave it at just the right time.

(Read Mark 14:3-8) A few days before Passover, Jesus was eating dinner at Simon’s house (the leper) in the town of Bethany. Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, were serving Jesus and his disciples. Lazarus was present, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Simon was the father of Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus.

Mary came to Jesus and opened a box of spice, a pound of ointment called spikenard. It was very expensive. It cost so much money that a person would have to work 300 days, or nearly a year, just to pay for it. She poured it on Jesus’ head and feet and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (John 12:3) [sprits a little perfume in the air so the children can smell the odor, or open a jar of Noxzema cream and let them sniff it] Judas Iscariot did not really care about poor people, but he complained that the money had been wasted on this gift. He thought they could have sold it and given the money to the poor.

Jesus told Judas to leave her alone, that she had done a good work in that she came to him before the time of his death to anoint his body. She had given a gift at the proper time and Jesus accepted it. In that day, it was a custom to put spices on a person when they died to avoid unpleasant odors. They would wrap the body in clean linen and put myrrh and aloes and other spices on the body. (John 19:38-40) This was done for Jesus, but because his burial was just as the Sabbath was starting at sunset, the job was not finished.

(Read Mark 16:1] So the “spice girls” were coming to the tomb at sunrise on Sunday with “sweet spices” which they had bought. These women were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, and Joanna. They never got a chance to finish the job of anointing his body with these spices. It was too late to give this gift because Jesus had risen from the dead!

Jesus died for our sins on the cross, but he rose again from the dead. For everyone that believes that Jesus is the Son of God, and accepts Him in his or her heart, God has a special gift. God wants us to be able to live with Him forever in heaven. It is a very expensive gift; it cost Jesus His life. But like any gift, the person must receive it to be a real gift. [hold the gift box out until a child takes it from you] That gift is salvation. God gave it at just the right time, and it is free to all who will receive it. It is my hope that you will accept God’s gift of salvation when the Holy Spirit leads you to do that.

©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

He is Risen!

Text: John 19:38-20:8; Mark 16:5-7

Props: a pencil and bandage

Summary: Jesus rose from the dead.

As Christians we celebrate one day of the year more than any other. Do you know what day? (Easter) Easter is the day when Jesus rose from the grave. Today I want to share part of that story with you.

(Read John 19:38-39)

On the day that Jesus was crucified Joseph of Arimathæa got permission from Pilate to bury the body. Nicodemus came with a large mixture of myrrh and aloes. The custom of the Jews was to take thin strips of linen and wrap them around the body. This was the same way Jesus was wrapped “in swaddling clothes” when he was born. Then burial spices were poured over the strips of linen and hardened like a plaster cast hardens around a broken bone. (John 19:40)

Watch this. Let’s take this pencil and pretend it is an arm. Now let’s wrap the bandage around it. (Do not wrap with the sticky side facing down. Wrap it with the sticky side up around the pencil and catch the leading edge as you go.) This is the way Jesus was wrapped in strips of linen and then aloes and spices were poured over the linen. Then one long linen sheet, a shroud, was laid down. Jesus was laid on this sheet so that his body was completely covered by it. Now let’s set this pencil aside until we hear more of the story.

Joseph and Nicodemus did not have time to finish the job before the Sabbath started. The sun was setting so the women who followed them saw where Jesus was buried and returned home. They would bring spices to finish the job later. Early on the first day of the week (Sunday), the Spice Girls brought their spices to put on the body of Jesus. They saw the stone was rolled away and entered the tomb but Jesus was not there.

(Read Mark 16:5-7) Jesus had risen! They ran to tell the disciples the good news. Peter and John ran to the tomb. (Read John 20:5-8) The Bible says that John saw and believed. What did John see that made him believe that Jesus had risen? One thing was that Jesus wasn’t there. He also saw the empty linen strips without a tear in them. When Jesus rose from the dead his new body was able to pass through things (John 20:26). His body went right though the burial clothes without tearing them. (Slip the bandage off the pencil and hold the bandage so they can see the hole in the hollow area where the pencil was.) The clothes were there but Jesus was not. He had risen!

©2000 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.