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How To Talk To Your Kids About Good Friday

03.12.2024

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Why is Good Friday called good? As a child, I remember feeling confused by Good Friday. To me the idea of Jesus being hurt and killed seemed anything but good. Even now as a mother to 4, I’ve seen the same question in the eyes of my children as we’ve discussed the events leading up to Easter. 

For many families of small children, we can be tempted to gloss over the brutality of Passover week and simply celebrate with peeps, pastels, and baskets rather than talking about the historical fact and life-transforming truth of these important days. 

You might wonder if talking about the cross will make them feel sad, overwhelmed, or even scared, but as we seek to raise our children to be Jesus followers, it’s important that we find the words to teach our children the whole story. Especially the story of  Good Friday and Easter as our faith hinges on these incredible true events in history. Here are a few ways to start a conversation in your home…

 Begin with scripture. There is always power in the Word of God. Around the dinner table or in a moment that isn’t rushed, take a few minutes to slowly read Luke 22-23 together and give space for conversation and questions. Don’t worry if you can’t answer every question; this is a time for the whole family to grow. And if the kids have the wiggles and don’t seem like they’re catching it all, don’t fret or get frustrated. 

Your obedience in opening the Word in your home is planting seeds in their hearts, and I promise they are catching more than you think. 

Invite your kids to tell the story back to you in their own words and see what parts of the story captured their attention. Then, read the account of the crucifixion again from The Jesus Storybook Bible or another children’s bible that paraphrases scripture in language geared specifically towards kids. 

 As a parent, you know your own kids the best, so use simple age-appropriate words they can easily understand. While you don’t have to use graphic detail, our kids should understand the weight of what Jesus experienced on the cross on our behalf. It’s important to connect Jesus’ death on the cross to our sins. 

Without understanding sin, we cannot fully grasp the significance of Jesus’ love and his sacrifice on the cross. Remind your kids that Jesus was perfect and never sinned yet, he chose to die a brutal death on the cross for our sins. As it is so beautifully written in the Jesus StoryBook Bible, God loved us so much that he gave his “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love” to Jesus.  

 Spoiler alert! We know how the story ends, so we call Good Friday, good. The hard, heavy, and beautiful truth is that Jesus died for our sins, but we don’t despair or lose hope because Jesus didn’t stay dead — he rose from the grave and defeated death once and for all. Jesus is alive! Help your kids see the whole story, both the ache of the cross and the joy of the empty tomb. Jesus’ act of love on the cross and rising from the dead means that we now can have life forever. This is the gospel, the Good News. 

 Jesus said “Let the little children come to me”, and He is still calling children to Himself. The work and revelation God does in our children’s hearts is not cute; it is holy. 

In discipling our children, we must talk about the cross, sin, and hope of Jesus often in our home, don’t simply save it for Easter weekend. We are Easter people every day of the year. As a parent, I’ve experienced God using these conversations with my children to impact and sharpen my own faith. The more we talk about the things of God in our home, the more we all will grow in our relationship with Him. 

 

Resources //

Jesus Story Book bible –  Incredible resource for families that explains the thread of Jesus through scripture from Genesis to Revelation in a way that kids and parents can both understand and enjoy. 

 Bible Project – For older kids, teens (and parents!), the Bible Project offers incredible short and free videos that help visually explain scripture. Your kids will be captivated by the storytelling in these videos which will lead to great conversation.

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Scripture References

  • Luke 22-23
Emily Vogeltanz Emily Vogeltanz is a wife, writer, mom of four, and passionate about the Word of God. Emily served on staff at Passion City Church for nearly two decades in various roles and continues to serve the church and local community. She is the founder of GoShiloh.com, curating Holy Land experiences, works alongside the illumiNations Bible translation movement, as well as teaches a local Bible study for women in Atlanta called KINDRED. Emily has a heart for Jesus and longs to see the gospel reach everyone everywhere. She and her husband, Bryson, live in Atlanta, GA.