A few years back, I was teaching Sunday school (grades 1-5) and I asked them to raise their hand for what excited them more: Easter egg-hunting or celebrating Christ’s resurrection (because here in the US, both are celebrated on the same day, sometimes even simultaneously.)
[For more ideas, check out my other post: 7 Ideas for Celebrating Christ’s resurrecting with Your Kids.]
I was so thankful for their honesty with me. Every single child (100%) raised their hand that easter egg-hunting is what they most looked forward to.
Even though I knew what their response would be before I asked the question, their answer created in me a determination to provide an alternative to the egg-centered games.
Because Christ is worthy of all of our admiration, not just for a few hours before the “real fun” begins. And the enemy of our souls wants to distract us and the next generation from what is most beautiful and most exciting and what God has called us to fix our eyes upon–heavenly things. (Colossians 3:1-2; Hebrews 12:1-4)
Plus, Christ is the source of all joy and hope–celebrating Him can and should be exciting and fun! And I wanted the kids to understand that.
So, I prayed and together with a friend from church, the Lord helped us (in the matter of a couple weeks) put together a Christ-centered activity for the kids on Resurrection Sunday afternoon.
NOTE: To protect the privacy of the children who participated, I won’t be including pictures from when we did it at our church a few years ago.
Below, you will find the free printable: God’s Top Secrets Revealed! Bible Agent Academy: The Case of the Missing Body.
Premise: The children are assigned their first mission as part of the Bible Agent Academy: The Case of the Missing Body! They head back to 33 AD in Jerusalem where they find themselves surrounded by rumors concerning one Jesus of Nazareth, whose body has gone missing from the tomb where He was laid: disciples stole His body, He didn’t really die & rose from the dead. They have 4 different missions they must complete. Their task is to find the truth by collecting evidence from the eyewitness accounts using the One source of Truth, the Bible.
Free Printables Include:
- Bible Academy printable to paste on front of each child’s file folder.
- Team Leader ID name tags (for adults)***C.M.H.God=Child of the Most High God
- Bible Agent ID name tags. (for kids)
- 4 “Missions”.
- Rumors Check-list printable.
- Printable “Mission Possible” memory verses.
- Eyewitness Evidence Collection Form
- John 3:17 Fill in the Blank
***NOTE: I’ve included an outline of how we did it as inspiration, but the beauty of this activity is that it can be adjusted to be as BIG or as SMALL as you desire.
Ways to Enjoy this Activity:
- At home.
- With a few other families
- As an outreach at your church (as we did).
- Throughout the year as a special kids’ event, neighborhood outreach, etc.
Briefly, I’ll describe how we set it up and some of the decorations, etc. we used to give you an idea–but feel free to use it as God shows you.
- Made a “tomb” that kids could look inside out of cardboard and paint & put linens inside according to how the Bible records it as being. (John 20:3-7)
- Clues outside the tomb: On L side–a bag of coins on top of a Bible with Matthew 28:11-15 highlighted. On R side–a bag of spices on top of Bible with Luke 24:1-6 marked.
- 4 Tables (1 per “Mission”): Each printable mission inside a sealed manilla folder in the center on the table.
- Footprint cut-outs that started at the tomb and guided the kids from one table to the next.
- Scenes from 4 Eyewitness “Spottings” of Jesus after He had arisen.
- Folders for each child with Bible Agent Academy printable.
- Lanyards for Printable Agent ID name tags.
- Have pens/pencils for each child to write down evidence.
- Materials for crafts/activities of choice.
Mission #1 (Find out Who Jesus is):
There’s no end to what we can learn about Jesus–He is infinite after all!! Endless are your options of verses & activities you can choose, but here are a few for inspiration.
Ideas for Verses:
- Not of this world/From Above: John 8:23
- The image of the Invisible God: Colossians 1:15
- King of kings: Revelation 19:16
- Creator of all that Exists: Colossians 1:16
- The Way, the Truth and the Life: John 14:6
- The Light of the World: John 8:12
Ideas for Craft/Activity:
- Decorate a foam crown from Dollar Tree–He is King of kings!
- K is for King of kings free coloring page.
- Have lots of toy figures, etc. that represent characteristics of Jesus sitting on the table and you can read the passage and have the kids race to grab the right one to go with the verse.
*Be sure to use a craft/activity centered on a verse you use!
Mission #2: Find out How and Why Jesus died.
- How?: Mark 15:16-38
- Why?: Love–John 3:16-17 & Romans 5:8
- We had the children work to put a Romans 5:8 heart puzzle together as a group. Just cut a big heart out of construction paper, write the verse on it, cut it in pieces & then put them all in a bag as a “clue”.
- Printable John 3:17 Fill-in-the-blank.
Mission #3: Find out what Happened to His body from Eyewitnesses!
For this one, the kids collect clues from 4 “Jesus Spottings” from after He had risen and record them on the “Eyewitness Evidence Page.”
I think it would be neat to have people acting out each scene, but we didn’t have enough people so we just presented them as mysterious, after-the-fact and the kids had to read the eyewitness account recorded in the Bible to figure out what each meant.
- #1. Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32): A table with broken bread & 3 chairs, 2 knocked over (showing they hurried to tell the other disciples).
- #2. Disciples & Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29): A small table with inkpad so kids could put their fingerprint on evidence page to remember the words of Jesus to Thomas.
- #3. Breakfast with Jesus by the Sea (John 21:7-14): a bonfire made of wood & red, orange and yellow colored tissue paper sticking out of it and plastic fish.
- #4. 500 Disciples (1 Corinthians 15:3-7): Paper with 500 stick people on it.
Mission #4: Discover what Jesus’ Death, Burial & Resurrection means for them & Decide what they believe!
- The Fall: Genesis 3:1-5
- We were also affected by Adams sin: Romans 5:12
- We’ve all sinned: Romans 3:23
- Because God loved us (Romans 5:8) and because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection we can be children of God. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9-10 & John 1:12)
Suggested Activities (what we did):
- For the Fall: Have white paper hearts and have them paint them black.
- For All have sinned: set up a long-jump for the kids with a starting point & a paper that says “the glory of God”. Place it just farther than you know they can jump. The kids can run and jump trying to “reach Gods glory” but they will fall short. You can stand on the sideline and quote the verse as they jump.
- Take them back in front of the tomb and share that Jesus said “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32, NKJV) And tell them that was the point of their mission today—they discovered the truth about Jesus that can set them free—now what are they going to do with it? And then share the full gospel with them.
Click on link below to get access the Free Printable you would like!
God’s Top Secrets Revealed Cover Sheet, Bible Agent IDs, The Case of the Missing Body Rumors Checklist, Mission#1, Mission #2, Mission #3, Mission #4, Evidence Sheet, Mission Possible Memory Verses, John 3:17 Fill-in-the-Blank
This Activity/Study doesn’t just have to be for Resurrection Sunday, you can use it at any time of year with your children because the gospel is relevant all year long!
I pray that this is of great blessing and enjoyment as you show your children that there is great joy in celebrating the Risen Christ!!
And please comment below if you use it. I would love to know how God uses it!
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And, as always,
Be Kind. Be Encouraging. Be a Multiplier!