I’m back with a children’s sermon on Luke 24:36-48, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter.
A year ago I was writing a children’s sermon each week here on the old blog, supplementing my “Monday Meditation” on the week’s lectionary Gospel. Well, what with pandemic malaise and a few other issues I slipped out of the habit.
I miss writing them. And whether you missed reading them or have stumbled onto my blog for the first time today, reader interest has nudged me to get back to it. They are getting to be the posts most frequently found by new readers who go searching and land on my site.
One of the most joyful things that happened when I was writing these regularly was that I got word from people that they were using them in their congregations. A time or two I even got to join in via Zoom and hear how people presented them.
So if you find yourself wanting to use this children’s sermon on Luke 24:36-48 in worship, please know that you have my permission – but please let me know that you used it. And if you want to do me a real kindness, include a mention of this website, GaryNealHansen.com, in your bulletin.
The challenge in writing a children’s sermon on Luke 24:36-48 is telling the story so that it makes the particular point of the text in a way that is at a child’s level. I’ll let you judge whether I hit the mark or not!
(By the way, if you want to see my regular meditation on this Gospel passage, click here. If you want to see my meditation on this Sunday’s epistle, click here.)
A Children’s Sermon on Luke 24:36-48
On the very first Easter Sunday, Jesus’ friends weren’t actually very excited.
Mostly they were sad – they loved Jesus, but he had died on the cross two days ago.
And they were scared – maybe the people who killed Jesus would come and hurt them too.
Plus they were confused – some of the women found Jesus’ tomb was empty, and then Peter said he actually saw Jesus alive. And two of Jesus’ friends who had gone back to their own town came running back saying they saw Jesus alive too.
That was confusing. It was exciting too, if it was true. But how could Jesus be alive? They had all seen him die on the cross. They knew where he had been buried.
Well, that evening, Easter evening, Jesus’ friends were all in one room. The door was locked. They didn’t know quite what to do.
All of a sudden, right there in the room – there was Jesus!
Surprise!” he said. “I came to do a miracle!”
Okay, he didn’t really say that. But he did show up in their locked room.
I think I know what Jesus’ friends said. I think it’s the same thing you and I would say if someone we knew was dead showed up in our living room. I think they said,
Let’s pretend we were there in that room.
All of a sudden, Jesus is standing there. What do we say? Everbody together. One, two three,
Then Jesus looked at him with his big brown eyes all full of love and said,
Peace be with you!
That really did sound like Jesus. They all felt a little bit better.
Peter spoke up.
Hey, I really do feel more peaceful! Was that the miracle you came to do?
No, Peter. I just wanted you all to calm down a bit.
Okay, you look like Jesus, and you sound like Jesus. But we saw Jesus die. How can we know you’re really … you?
Yeah, Thomas, you all still look a bit doubtful. Check out my hands and feet. You can see where the nails were. It’s really me.
Wow! That’s amazing! I’ve never seen a dead person come back to life. Was that the miracle you wanted to show us?
But Jesus said,
Actually no. That was a miracle, all right, but there’s another one coming. You know, I’m kind of hungry. Haven’t had a bite to eat since our Last Supper on Thursday. Do you have any food here?
We have some fish left from dinner. Here you go.
(Andrew always knew where the food was.)
So Jesus ate it all up.
Wow! I’ve never seen a formerly dead guy eat a meal before. That’s amazing. Was that the miracle you wanted to show us?
Jesus shook his head.
Not really Peter. I was just hungry. Now let me explain some things to you.
And Jesus talked with them about how God’s prophets in the Bible, what we call the Old Testament, had said the Messiah would come, and that he would suffer, and that he would die, and that he would rise again – and that his friends would bring the whole world the news that death was conquered.
Wow! I totally get it now!
Mary Magdalene said
Wow! I totally get it too!
And they all said the same.
Jesus waited a moment. Then he cleared his throat.
Um, Peter?” he said. “Did you notice anything?”
Peter looked up.
Oh, yeah, Jesus. I understand too. Thanks for the explanation.
Peter, Peter, Peter – that was the miracle!
Peter was a bit confused.
What was the miracle?” he asked.
You understand now. I’ve been telling you all this stuff for three years. I just opened your minds to understand it all.
They all looked a bit confused now.
Understanding about who you are and what you did is a miracle?” Peter asked.
Yes Peter. When you all go out to tell others about me, every person who understands and believes gets that same miracle. It’s called ‘faith.’
Wow!” he said.
I have to go now. So long! And thanks for the fish.”
And he was gone.
- I wonder if you’ve ever been confused and scared about something, but then come to understand and felt better.
- I wonder what part of Jesus’ visit would have seemed most exciting to you – seeing him appear, seeing his wounds, watching him eat, or hearing his explanation.
- I wonder whether Jesus makes you feel more at peace or more startled? More confused or more clear? More afraid or more confident?
- I wonder, when you come to understand about Jesus, whether a miracle is happening inside of you?
Preaching this text? If you want a refreshing take on making your sermon both biblical and useful to the people who listen, check out my book Your First Sermon: Getting from Here to Sunday in Five Manageable Steps.