Steps to the Cross

At Christmas, we celebrate God sending His Son Jesus to earth as a baby.  Steps to the Cross is a natural continuation of learning about Jesus Christ our Savior as we follow His steps to the cross.  This eBook contains daily readings of Scripture, a Bible passage to memorize, and ideas for activities and crafts for children to engage in during the 13 days leading up to Easter that will point them to the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

In preparation for Easter, why not try 
Steps to the Cross: Celebrating Easter and Christ’s Sacrifice
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You will receive one PDF document containing…

  • 13 days of Scripture reading
  • hymn suggestions
  • ideas for building an Easter Reminder Basket
  • memorization of either Philippians 2:5-11 or Psalm 103:1-12
  • ideas (with photos and descriptions) for crafts and activities
  • printables to use with a Scripture Easter egg hunt
  • coloring sheets
  • copywork for memory verses in both print and cursive
  • 2 printable booklets
  • printable tags for decoration

 

Living He Loved Me, Dying He Saved Me

So many things have been competing for our attention: multiple showings of our home (over 30 in a month!), trying to make time for goodbyes, continuing work on the spelling curriculum, and just keeping up with the day to day homeschool with our kids.  I am realizing that we just moved away from our home church and family two weeks before Easter – and we have not intentionally done a thing to prepare our hearts to remember and celebrate.

But, God has been working His own plan without us even realizing. So, I share our family’s unplanned meditations for celebrating Easter this year…

With encouragement from close friends to memorize longer passages or even an entire book from the Bible, our family began memorizing Ephesians about a month and a half ago.  We are all at different sections within chapters one and two, but we are constantly hearing it, reading it, and letting His Word soak in.

Chapter one speaks of all our blessings in Christ – our adoption as His sons, the redemption and forgiveness of our sins, how God has chosen and predestined us, how we have the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and how we have power through Christ.

In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. ~Ephesians 1:7

As we continue into chapter two, we are soberly reminded of who we were without Christ –dead, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature, objects of wrath.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. ~Ephesians 2:4-5

Now, as we read the account of the first Easter from Scripture (as found in Matthew 26-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 22-24, and John 18-20) we are reminded of Christ’s sacrifice for us.  Oh, how our blessings in Christ are so interwoven with His suffering!    ‘In Him’, ‘in love’, and ‘according to his pleasure’, Christ died to save us from our sins and lavished on us the riches of His grace. Undeserved, unmerited – We have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  To the praise of His glory!

isaiah 53

Looking back, another way that God has been allowing us to meditate on His love and sacrifice for us is through song.  Glorious Day by Casting Crowns was sung at our commissioning service at the end of February.  We have been singing it ever since!

Glorious Day
One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine
Oh, glorious day

 

How do you see God preparing your heart for celebrating our risen Savior this Easter?

A Small, But Powerful Reminder

hands

Isaiah

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.   (Isaiah 53:5)

What a small, but powerful reminder that we will carry with us everywhere we go today… Christ died for our sins!  He died for me.  He loved me and took my place – suffering the punishment that I deserved. 

 

The original idea was found on The Celebrated Family blog. 

Easter Crafts

Some (new to us) ideas from online that we tried this week

Colorful Light Ray Crosses from Housing a Forest

cross5 cross1   cross4 cross2cross3

This was a great craft that our four oldest children, ages 4-10, all delighted in completing!

 

and Ukrainian Easter Egg Art from Alpha Mom

egg craft 6egg craft 5

egg craft4egg craft1

    egg craft 3egg craft 2

   egg craft
Our eggs were not nearly as bright and colorful as the original ones in the link above, but the kids enjoyed seeing what would happen with each additional layer of white crayon and paint.

 

Some ideas the kids came up with on their own…

An Easter Scene Peek-a-Box

easter scene materialseaster scene

easter scene message

Our son gathered materials and proceeded to create a scene from the Bible –a cross, empty tomb, and linen cloth – accompanied on the outside with a relevant verse of Scripture from Matthew 28:6!

He is not here.  He has risen, just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.

 

and Telling the Easter story through Legos!

The Triumphal Entry…  Mark 11:1-11
(Can you see the palm branches?)
lego triumphal entry

The Last Supper / Passover Meal…  Mark 14:12-26
(Jesus and his 12 disciples, complete with the bread and the cup…)
lego last supper

Jesus Praying in the Garden… Mark 14:32-41
(Yes, there are the sleeping apostles as well.)
lego praying in the garden

Jesus Being Arrested and the Disciples Fleeing… Mark 14:43-50
(The kids included a couple of disciples running away and one cutting the ear of a soldier – well, ahem, a hand in this Lego rendition…)
legos arresting

The Three Crosses… Mark 15:25-26
(complete with the sign stating ‘King of the Jews’)
lego 3 crosses 

The Empty Tomb… Matthew 28:1-10
(Note an angel atop the stone that was rolled away and the fallen guards.)
lego empty tomb1     

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…  (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

May you enjoy your Easter weekend, celebrating our risen Savior!

Come Awake

easterfeltbd I snapped this photo as two of our girls were joyfully singing parts of ‘Christ is Risen’ after they retold the Easter story with the felt pieces.  Priceless!

portions of ‘Christ is Risen’ by Matt Maher…
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death.
Come awake. Come awake.  Come and rise up from the grave.
Christ is risen from the dead.  We are one with Him again.
Come awake. Come awake.  Come and rise up from the grave.

Oh death, where is your sting?
Oh hell, where is your victory?
Oh church!  Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead.  He’s alive! He’s alive!

 

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)


Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26)

Happy Easter!

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