Easter is the most important date on your Sunday School Calendar. On this day, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on the third day from the dead. This was the event that forever changed the course of the world! The good news of the Easter story shouldn’t be confined to one Sunday Service a year. Why not take a whole month with your class to cover the incredible story of Jesus’ suffering, death, burial, resurrection and ascension? With this Easter Sunday School Lesson Plan, you’ll have everything you need to teach the Easter story with confidence and inspire your kids along the way.
In this article, we’ll give you four exceptional Sunday School lessons that will make Easter a month-long event for your class! In each lesson, you’ll get an overview of the Bible passage, teaching suggestions, the big idea, Bible memory verse and links to additional resources. Alright, let’s dive in!
The Crucifixion Of Jesus
Overview: Read Matthew 26:1-56. Jesus, betrayed by one of His disciples, is arrested and tried before the religious leaders. Based on testimony of false witnesses, the religious leaders ruled to have Jesus killed. They delivered Jesus to the Roman governor, Pilate. In response to the requests of the Jewish people, Pilate ordered Jesus to be whipped and crucified. Beaten and bloodied, Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha, where His hands and feet were nailed to the cross and then lifted upright between two thieves. While hanging on the cross, the Roman soldiers and the religious leaders mocked Him. When Jesus died, the earth shook, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the veil in the temple was torn in two. Those who were with Jesus after his death and witnessed these things were filled with awe and knew that He truly was the Son of God.
Teaching Suggestions: Because we love Jesus so much, it is easy to feel bad that He had to come to Earth to live as a man destined to die for something He didn’t do. But we must remember that Jesus was never sad about His mission. He knew from the moment He created the universe that He would do this, and that knowledge didn’t make Him change anything. His mission on Earth was done out of a love so deep, we cannot understand it. Sin had separated us from God, and Jesus’ death changed all of that.
Salvation through Jesus’ death is the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. Jesus’ acts, planned before the universe was created and carried out to perfection, should be celebrated, not mourned.
Big Idea: Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures
Memory Verse: Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures – 1 Corinthians 15:3
Additional Resources: This powerful story is a must-have when preparing your Easter Sunday School lesson plan. Take this lesson to the next level with this collection of amazing resources! They provide everything you need to teach your kids about the Resurrection of Jesus in a truly meaningful and memorable way.
The Resurrection Of Christ
Overview: Read Matthew 27:57–28:15. After Jesus was crucified and died, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple, wrapped Jesus’ body in a shroud and placed Him in a cave-like tomb, which was sealed by a large stone. Roman guards were placed at the entrance of the tomb to ensure that none of Jesus’ disciples removed His body. The morning of the third day after Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were walking to Jesus’ tomb, when a great earthquake shook the ground beneath them. This earthquake was an angel who had descended from heaven and rolled the stone away from the entrance of Jesus’ tomb. The angel’s appearance was so amazing and fearsome that the guards “became like dead men.” The angel told the women that Jesus was not in the tomb, but that He had risen. He told them to go tell the disciples what they had seen and heard and that Jesus would meet them all in Galilee. As they rushed back to tell the disciples the news, Jesus appeared, and the two women fell to His feet and worshiped Him. He asked them to tell the disciples to meet Him in Galilee.
As this was happening, some of the guards went back to report what had happened. The chief priests and elders collected a large sum of money and paid the soldiers to tell the people that some of Jesus’ disciples came during the night and took Jesus’ body while the guards were sleeping. The soldiers took the money and did as they were told.
Teaching Suggestions: When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, it brought sin into the world. Because God is good, He cannot tolerate sin. Sin meant that humanity was cursed to live a life separated from God. Because of sin, eternal life in heaven was not an option for us. Sin also distracts us from the purpose for which God created us. Jesus’ death and resurrection changed all of that. It removed the curse of death, making it possible for those who believe in Jesus to have eternal life with Him in heaven. Jesus’ death and resurrection is the key to our salvation.
- Jesus redeemed us: Jesus was the ultimate, perfect, sinless sacrifice that paid the price for all sins—present, past, and future. His death gave us a clean slate and washed us clean.
- Jesus reconciled us to God: With our sins forgiven, we are able to enter into a right relationship as sons and daughters of our Father in heaven.
- Jesus restored us: Without sin hanging over us, Jesus healed us from the brokenness of sin. As we get closer to God, we are restored to wholeness, and our lives are marked by grace and love. This process makes us able to see and work toward the purpose for which we were created.
Big Idea: Even though we can’t see Him, Jesus is real, and He is the Lord.
Memory Verse: [Christ] was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. – 1 Corinthians 15:4
Additional Resources: If you would like to explore some additional resources for the Resurrection of Christ Easter Sunday School lesson, check these out. In this collection, you’ll find a stunning Kids bible video, interactive lesson slideshow, volunteer-friendly curriculum and activity printouts.
Matthew 28 He Is Risen
Overview: Read Matthew 27:22-56; 28: 1-6. This is the story about how Jesus suffered, died, and rose again from the dead. It is the story of the intense love of God, demonstrated in the greatest sacrifice of all time. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, mocked, stripped of His clothing, humiliated, blasphemed, and disrespected. A crown of thorns was pressed onto His head, an angry crowd taunted Him, He was hung on a cross, and worst of all, He was separated from His Father in Heaven. Then He died, and it was finished! At that moment, the veil in the temple tore in half from top to bottom. It was God’s announcement that the world, once separated from His holiness, could once again enjoy sweet fellowship with Him.
Teaching Suggestions: Why would Jesus volunteer to go through suffering and death on the cross?
- Love: God demonstrated His intense love for us; no matter how bad we are, He loves us, and He sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8).
- Promise: Even before the world was created, God had a plan to save mankind and bring us back into relationship with Him (I Peter 1:20). He promised that He would send a Messiah, and He kept that promise.
- Relationship: When sin entered the world, one of the first effects was the loss of close fellowship with God. When Jesus died, that relationship was mended for all those who put their trust in His sacrifice.
Why is the resurrection important?
- The resurrection proved Jesus was the Messiah: The resurrection of Jesus proved that the claims He made were true—He was the promised Messiah!
- The resurrection demonstrated Christ’s power over death: The curse was broken. Jesus conquered death!
- The resurrection proved Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted: God accepted the sacrifice of Christ’s death on our behalf. Jesus took the punishment we deserved.
Big Idea: Jesus conquered sin and death so that we could have a relationship with God again.
Memory Verse: He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. – Matthew 28:6
Additional Resources: Would you like some resources to further empower your volunteers to share this lesson? If so, then check out this He is Risen Sunday School lesson bundle. These fully downloadable resources are just the thing to take your Easter Sunday School lesson to maximum awesome!
John 20 The Empty Tomb
Overview: Read John 19:38-20:23. After Jesus died on the cross, two men, John of Arimathea and Nicodemus, went to Pontius Pilate to ask him for permission to remove Jesus’ body so they could give Him a proper burial. They took Jesus’ body, wrapped it in strips of linen with burial spices, and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock. As they left, they rolled an enormous stone in front of the entrance to seal it. After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb with spices and perfumes to complete the Jewish burial customs, but when she arrived, she saw that the stone had been rolled away, and the tomb was empty. She ran to find the disciples Peter and John to tell them what she had seen. Disturbed by Mary’s news, Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. When they entered the tomb, they saw that the strips of linen that had been wrapped around his body lay in a pile, and next to it was the cloth that covered his face, neatly folded. Peter and John returned home, leaving Mary Magdalene alone at the tomb. Weeping, Mary looked up into the tomb and saw two angels who asked her why she was crying. As she told them what had happened, a man appeared behind her. Mary did not recognize that the man was Jesus, she thought He was the gardener. Jesus then spoke her name and she recognized that the man was Jesus. She fell to her knees to worship Him, but He cautioned her not to touch Him as He had not yet returned to the Father. He told her to go tell the disciples what she had seen. Later, Jesus appeared before the disciples who had gathered in a locked room. He showed them the wounds inflicted on Him on the cross. Jesus told them that He was sending them out to share God’s love with the world. He breathed on them and gave them the Holy Spirit.
Teaching Suggestions: The disciples and other close followers saw Jesus’ death and the disappearance of His body as sad and terrible events. Confused and consumed with grief, none of them thought to figure out what was really going on. They did not recognize the big picture that was forming right before their eyes.
- Scripture: Information about the Messiah was provided in the Scriptures, but they did not understand. When they saw that the tomb was empty, it didn’t occur to them that this was good news! John believed that Jesus was alive, but even he didn’t know why or how it had happened. Scriptures, such as Isaiah 53, had long foretold that the Messiah would come, suffer, and die to save us from our sins.
- Jesus Himself: Mary Magdalene stood at the entrance of the empty tomb. All she wanted at that moment was to see Jesus. She turns around, and there He is! She meets His gaze with a blank stare—absolutely zero recognition of who He is! Jesus often told his followers that they didn’t recognize who he truly was and why he came. When we look at the Easter story, we see that Jesus is none other than the Son of God who came to save this world from sin.
- Big Picture: Finding that tomb empty was one of the saddest moments in the disciples’ lives. This man they had loved so deeply was unjustly murdered and then His body was stolen. This was a dark moment for them all—or so they thought. None of them understood that finding an empty tomb that day was the greatest news of all time! Jesus was not in that tomb; He is with us always! Jesus conquered sin and death when he rose from the dead, and because of this, we can confidently put our hope in Him for abundant and eternal life.
Big Idea: Jesus conquered sin and death so that we could have a relationship with God again.
Memory Verse: He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. —Matthew 28:6
Additional Resources: Help your students capture the wonder and excitement of the Empty Tomb Sunday School lesson with these stunning resources. Inside, you’ll find a vibrant lesson video, dynamic lesson PowerPoint, fun activities and ready-to-teach curriculum!
Every Easter Sunday School lesson in this article featured a section of curriculum from Sharefaith Kids. Sharefaith Kids is the world’s best library of digital Sunday School lessons and VBS that comes with stunning kids Bible videos, volunteer-friendly curriculum, interactive teaching slideshows, exciting activity printouts, and so much more!
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