Easter approaches, and if you have kids, you don’t want to get lost in the egg decorating and hunting and squander God’s ordained moments with your children. My own three have grown beyond the picture book years, but a friend recently asked for resources to help teach the Easter message. I made her a double list: one of books to read to young children, and one for adults (as we ponder God’s vast purpose in the death and resurrection of Jesus.)
First, for adults:
- Plan to download Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week. In this short booklet, John Piper’s week-long daily devotionals begin on Palm Sunday and take you through Easter Sunday. Each is pithy and packed with details we need about Jesus’ last week on earth — read and know his love to the uttermost! Click here for the free downloads in pdf and other versions: http://www.desiringgod.org/books/love-to-the-uttermost (and when you download, you don’t want to skip past the Prologue).
- In Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter, Nancy Guthrie has compiled meaningful chapters on various aspects of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Each chapter is collected from different author’s writings — from Spurgeon, Ryle, and Piper to Schaeffer, Augustine, and Keller. Give yourself, or someone else, a treasury of truth through chapters titled “Betrayed, Denied, Deserted” and “Father, Forgive Them” and sentences like “It’s one thing to believe Jesus loves you in a general way. It’s another thing to have his love come down.” I’m currently reading this one myself. (You can order through Amazon or you can click here to order.)
For reading to children:
- Sections on Easter from both the Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones, and The Big Picture Story Bible by David R. Helm are beautiful for younger children (and I also know college students who delight in these books!) You’ll be blessed as the adult when you re-think how every story throughout the whole of Scripture whispers the name of Jesus. Both picture books reveal God’s unfolding, unified plan in Christ running throughout the whole of both the Old and New Testaments. (You can order through Amazon or click here and here to order.)
- R.C. Sproul’s The Donkey Who Carried a King reaches hearts by telling of Jesus’ triumphal entry and the week leading up to Easter through the eyes of the donkey who carried Christ into Jerusalem. I love this one! (You can order through Amazon or click here to order.)
- The pamphlet/tract Who Will Be King? by Matthias Media is part of a great series that presents the gospel message in language, and with illustrations, for kids. You can order by clicking here. (And at the link Matthias Media also provides an online readable version.)
Let’s make sure we plan beyond the pretty eggs and outfits this Easter. Let’s fill our hearts and minds with the glory of Jesus. And for those in our lives who can’t read, let’s be the voice who reads to them of the marvelous works of the Lord on their behalf!