If you read the Easter story in each of the Gospels, you will find different reactions to the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene is scared and confused at first. Then, she is overwhelmed with joy. Peter, showing his usual enthusiasm, runs right into the tomb. John (who is "the other disciple" described in the Gospel of John) runs to the tomb with Peter, but he is more nervous and waits to go inside.
Finding an empty tomb was not what any of them expected. They had not understood Jesus when he had told them what was going to happen. So they were all surprised...and they showed it in ways that matched their personalities. But they all had one thing in common when they realized what had happened.
Of course, there were people who didn't believe, too...or didn't want to believe...and definitely didn't want other people to believe...
As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the solders, "You must say, 'Jesus' disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.' If the governor hears about it, we'll stand up for you so you won't get in trouble." So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. Matthew 28:11-15
Now remember, these guards were there with Mary Magdalene. They saw the same thing. That's why they went to the leading priests...to tell their story. But the priests convinced them to tell a different story. They convinced them not to believe.
There are a lot of people like these priests in the world...people who try to convince others not to believe. They do it by offering things that seem better than the truth. The priests offered the guards money and a chance to stay out of trouble if they changed their story. And that obviously seemed better to the guards.
But that's because they were only thinking about right now.
You see, the empty tomb meant more than Jesus coming back to life to hang out with his friends. The empty tomb meant that death was not the end anymore. It meant that EVERYONE who believes in Jesus would live forever.
Obviously, living forever with Jesus is WAY better than anything else. Some things might seem better right now, but they won't last. Remember that whenever someone tries to convince you not to believe. Remember that truth lasts forever...and believe!
Read John 20:1-29
When did John believe that Jesus had risen?
When did Mary believe that Jesus had risen?
When did Thomas believe that Jesus had risen?
Why is important to know that Jesus did exactly what each person needed?
Choose a verse from John 20:1-29 and create a verse image. Write the verse on a piece of paper and create an image to go along with it. It does not need to be a photo-type picture or look realistic; just respond to the verse using your own creativity.
Find one or more small objects to help you remember this story...a small stone to represent the door to the tomb, a small piece of fabric to represent the linen clothes Jesus left behind, a small potted plant or some leaves to represent the garden, nails to represent those used on the cross, a key to represent a locked door, etc...Choose a place to leave your objects where you will see them throughout the week OR choose to carry one object around with you in your pocket or backpack as a reminder that Jesus is alive!