Nathan and his cousins were playing by a large irrigation ditch. They knew that they shouldn’t play so close to it, but it was fun to throw rocks into the water, and it was cooler near the water on this hot summer day. Suddenly Nathan slipped and fell in. His cousins yelled for help. Fortunately the aunts and uncles were not far away. Uncle Gary jumped the pasture fence, ran to the ditch, and pulled Nathan from the water just before he went into a culvert under the road. Uncle Gary saved Nathan’s life that day.
Nathan will die someday. Everyone will die someday. But Jesus Christ made it possible for us to live again. He gave His life upon the cross for us. Three days later He was resurrected—His spirit body reunited with His body of flesh and bones, to never again be parted. He lives today! He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Because He did this for us, each of us will be resurrected. He is our Savior.
It would not be a blessing to live forever if we were still burdened with our sins and sorrows. Justice demands that there is a punishment for sin. Jesus Christ took upon Himself the burden of our sins. His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross paid the price for our sins. He suffered so greatly that He bled from every pore. He suffered that punishment for our sins so we would not have to suffer if we will repent. Because He redeemed us from sin, all those who believe in Him and repent of their sins can return to live with Him forever. He is our Redeemer.
You can probably imagine how grateful Nathan’s family was to Uncle Gary that summer day. How much more grateful we ought to be to Jesus Christ! His Atonement made it possible for us to live again forever. His Atonement paid the price for our sins if we repent. No wonder we celebrate Easter! In some parts of the world, people greet each other at Easter time by saying, “Christ is risen!” And their friends reply, “In truth, He is risen.” Jesus Christ—our Savior and our Redeemer—is risen! How great is our joy!
Instructions: Use one of the two following ways to use the picture on page 12 to remind you of the Savior’s resurrection. (1) Color the picture, remove the page from the magazine, trim the sides, and cover it with clear plastic wrap. Then mount it on construction paper and display it somewhere in your room. (2) Trace the picture on plain white paper. Color the traced picture with marker pens, brush it very lightly with salad oil, and blot it with a paper towel. Then tape the picture to a construction-paper frame and hang it in your window.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
This month you might sing “Beautiful Savior,” (CS, pp. 62–63).
1. To look like an inspector or detective, wear a trench coat and carry a large magnifying glass. Tell the children that you are looking for clues about the reality of the Resurrection. In advance, place each set of prepared clues (name tag, object, instructions, scripture references) around the Primary room so you can travel to them in the order listed below. Assign one or more children to help with each set of clues. Have them put on the name tags, read the descriptions, and study the scriptures so they can “report” when the inspector asks them questions. While the helpers prepare, sing “To Think about Jesus,” (CS, p. 71). Clues: (1) GUARD / gold coin / Show the coin and tell how you were bribed to say that Jesus’ disciples took Him away in the night / Matthew 28:2–4, 11–15 [Matt. 28:2–4, 11–15]; (2) MARY MAGDALENE / ointment jar / Tell about being the first to come to the tomb—you saw Jesus in the garden, and He called your name / John 20:1, 11–16; (3) MARY / picture of the resurrected Savior / Explain that you were another woman who saw the resurrected Lord and that you touched His feet / Matthew 28:1, 5–10 [Matt. 28:1, 5–10]; Luke 24:10; (4) PETER and JOHN (the disciple “whom Jesus loved”) / linen cloth / Tell about running to the empty tomb and finding only Jesus’ burial clothes / John 20:2–10; (5) DISCIPLES (a class or several boys) / picture of resurrected Jesus with disciples / Have one person describe how the Savior appeared to you, even though the door was shut / John 20:19–20; (6) DISCIPLE / picture of a fish or honeycomb / Tell how the Savior ate fish and honey, showing that He has a body of flesh and bone / Luke 24:41–43; (7) THOMAS / large nail / Describe how you felt when you touched the nail markings on Jesus / John 20:24–29; (8) CLEOPAS / walking staff / Tell about walking and talking with the Lord on the way to Emmaus / Luke 24:13–19, 30–32; (9) PAUL / “500” written on a piece of paper / Testify that you and more than 500 other people saw Christ after He was resurrected / 1 Corinthians 15: heading, 6–8 [1 Cor. 15:6–8]; (10) NEPHITES / picture of the Savior appearing to the Nephites / Have one Nephite describe the resurrected Christ coming to them / 3 Ne. 11:6–12; (11) JOSEPH SMITH / Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants / Tell that you and Sidney Rigdon had a vision of Jesus Christ—read your testimony of that vision / Doctrine and Covenants 76:22–23 [D&C 76:22–23]. Conclude that the evidence is overwhelming that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that the Holy Ghost is the strongest witness. Sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” (CS, p. 64).
2. Present a readers’ theater or skit of Elder Boyd K. Packer’s parable about the Atonement (see Gospel Principles, pp. 75–78). Ask an adult to be the narrator, and assign the children the parts of the creditor, debtor, and mediator/benefactor. (Have the older children present the skit to the younger children.) Help everyone understand that Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins. When we follow His terms (repent and keep the commandments), we can live with Him again. In advance, draw a picture of a tombstone and label it “Physical Death.” Also draw a picture of a gate and label it “Spiritual Death.” Without Jesus Christ, we would suffer physical death and spiritual death (being cut off from or “locked out” of God’s presence). Place a prepared drawing of a barred circle (Ø) over the tombstone to show that there will no more be permanent physical death. Because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, we, too, will be resurrected. Place a picture of the Savior over the label “Spiritual Death.” Because of the Atonement, the price of sin was paid—we can overcome spiritual death and come in through the gate if we repent and keep His commandments. Sing “He Sent His Son,” (CS, pp. 34–35).
3. Take the children on a “flight” to Jerusalem (line up chairs in a hallway for the plane) and a short walk to a “garden” just outside the gates of the Old City (move extra plants and/or flowers into the Primary room and display a picture of the Garden Tomb; see Primary 2 manual, picture 2-62 or Primary 7 manual, picture 7-35). Have the pianist play Easter songs as the children enter the “garden” (see CS Topics index—Easter). Then hold an Easter morning “sunrise service.” Tell them that if they were really at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, there would be many people there who loved Jesus but who were not members of our Church. We would want them to know of our love and reverence for Jesus Christ. Open and close with prayer. Tell about Palm Sunday (see John 12:12–15), show Primary 7 manual, picture 7-28, and sing “Hosanna” (CS, pp. 66–67). Assign helpers to hold pictures from the Primary 7 manual of Christ at the Last Supper (7-29), Christ in Gethsemane (7-30), Christ on the cross (7-33), and Christ at the tomb (7-34). Ask the children to tell what they remember about the pictures. Sing “Help Us, O God, to Understand” (CS, p. 73). In advance, assign the following: someone to tell the events of the first Easter morning (see John 20:1–18), a member of the bishopric or Primary presidency to give a short message about how we can always remember Jesus Christ (see “In Remembrance of Jesus,” Friend, Apr. 1998, IFC); several children to share very briefly why they are grateful for the Savior, or how they know that He loves them. Sing “I Feel My Savior’s Love,” (CS, pp. 74–75).
4. For the younger children, use pictures from the Primary manuals as listed in idea #3 to tell the story of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Talk about the signs of spring that remind us that the Savior rose from the dead. The new flowers that rise from the earth in spring remind us that we, too, shall live again. Have them color “Easter and Signs of Spring” (Friend, Apr. 1997, pp. 28–29). If signs of spring are in evidence, take a walk around the building. Sing “On a Golden Springtime,” (CS, p. 88, vs. 1–2).
5. Sing three or four thank-you songs (see the CS Topics index—Gratitude). Ask, “How many of you have ever written a thank-you note?” and “What do we write thank-you notes for?” Pass out a piece of paper to each child. Tell them to fold the paper in half crosswise and in half the other way to make a card, then write on the front: “I am thankful for …” On the inside of it, they should write the things that they are thankful for. Talk with them about what we do when we are grateful. Then have them refold the card (inside out) and write on the front at the top: “Because I am thankful, I will …” and then list below it the things that people do to show that they are thankful (e.g., express thanks, sing praises, help others, be good, be patient, show humility, write thank-you notes). Have the children put a star by three things they will do this week to show that they are thankful. Ask them to think of one thing they can do to show their gratitude to Jesus Christ and write it inside the card. (Younger children could draw things that they are thankful for.) Tell them to take their thank-you note home and put it where they can see it this week.
6. For additional resources on the Savior, see the following from the Friend: “Jesus Christ’s Atonement Is the Greatest Gift of Love,” Feb. 1996, pp. 36–37; “Jesus of Nazareth,” Apr. 1997, IFC; “Repentance,” Apr. 1997, pp. 36–37; “Easter,” Apr. 1998, pp. 18–19; “There Is a Way!” Apr. 1998, pp. 38–39.