Have 3 chairs up front, and signs indicated below ready
So since we’ve been thinking about potatoes tonight, I need a volunteer who wouldn’t mind playing a character called Mr. Potato Head. (ask for volunteer) – put sign around neck with picture of Mr. Potato Head on it, and the name “Mr. Potato Head.”
I also need 2 more characters to read their scripts – (invite kids up) – this is Baby Christian, and Brainiac. (Put Signs around neck that has “Baby Christian” and a picture of a pacifier and for Brainiac – that name and a big picture of a brain.)
So those of you not part of the panel, you can help too and help when I ask you to.
So let’s have the panel introduce themselves:
Mr. Potato Head – Well, as you can tell, my head is a big potato. There’s not too much inside this big head of mine, and honestly, I don’t think about anything very much. My parents feed me, I like to sleep a lot, and my life is pretty good.
Baby Christian – My family is really, really good to me. Honestly, if I could live at home forever, I would. I like being taken care of. I think maybe it’s a little wrong to think too much about things.
Brainiac – That’s NOT me! Nobody can tell me what to do or think! I’m smart and know it. Before I believe anything, you have to PROVE it to me. (Folds arms across chest).
Okay everyone – I think we’ve met our three guests tonight.
So our big topic tonight is – What is Easter? Before we talk much about it, let’s ask our 3 guests what they think Easter is all about.
Mr. Potato Head – Candy from start to finish. Chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, peeps, yum yum yum!
Baby Christian – Well, let’s see. I think Easter has to do with springtime, cute baby ducks and chickens, wearing a nice dress to church, a big dinner, family and maybe Jesus.
Brainiac – Maybe some people celebrate Easter, but I think it’s all a trick to get you to buy junk food. I think some people believe Easter is the day Jesus rose from the dead – that that is impossible! Nobody who’s dead comes back to life, except in super hero movies!
Narrator: Okay – thank you all. Let’s talk more about the Jesus part of Easter, like Baby Christian and Brainiac said. Mr. Potato Head, maybe you can join in too.
(Mr. Potato Head looks confused and shrugs his shoulders.)
The Bible tells how Jesus died on a cross and was buried. Then the Bible says that three days later, the tomb where he was buried was empty.
Brainiac – Yeah, I read somebody just took the body away to make it look like Jesus was alive. But it was just a trick.
Narrator: yes, the Bible says some people thought that. But the Bible also gives lots and lots of proof – evidence - to help people believe that Jesus really came alive again.
Brainiac – I like evidence – kind of like a detective!
Baby Christian – I don’t think I’m supposed to ask any questions. I just believe it.
Mr. Potato Head – (looks confused) – huh?
Well, baby Christian, that’s an important thing – is it okay to ask questions? Just quickly, let me ask you to read 1 Peter 3:15:
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
Baby Christian, what do you think that verse means?
Well, I’m not sure, but maybe it means I need to know some good reasons why I am a Christian.
Okay, I agree. Kids – any ideas you have?
Okay – I’m going to suggest 3 big reasons why you should believe that Jesus really rose from the dead.
1. Many people saw him alive
2. Story of Thomas
3. 11 of the 12 disciples died for the truth of Jesus alive
The first reason you should believe that Jesus really rose from the dead was that many, many people actually saw Jesus alive after he died on the cross.
Kids out in the seats – can you help us remember who saw jesus?
(Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdelene, the 2 men on the road to Emmaus)
Now maybe it is possible that one or two people said they saw Jesus alive, maybe you’d think they were wrong. But Jesus appeared to his 12 disciples, and at one time, over 500 people saw him. Is it really possible that hundreds of people – men and women, poor and wealthy – could have imagined they saw him alive?
Brainiac – Well, I like to think I am open to evidence, so what you say is quite interesting.
Mr. Potato Head – Huh? What does this have to do with the Easter bunny?
Okay – second reason you should believe Jesus really rose from the dead. One of Jesus’ closest friends named Thomas wasn’t there when the disciples first saw Jesus alive. In fact, he was a bit like you, Brainiac. He said – you can’t convince me Jesus is alive unless I actually put my fingers into the wounds on his hands, and put my hand into the wound in his side.
Mr. Potato Head – Ick! That’s gross!
Okay, kids out in the seats – do you know what happened to Thomas?
(Jesus came, Thomas saw him alive – and he didn’t doubt any more)
It’s pretty clear that Thomas needed proof, and wasn’t going to believe anybody else. He had to know for himself. And it’s also pretty clear that when he saw Jesus, he was totally convinced. Seeing Jesus, and hearing Jesus tell him – come here and touch my hands and side, and stop doubting – that Thomas got all the proof he needed to believe.
Okay, last reason.
Baby Christian – Whew! My brain is hurting with all this thinking. But maybe I DO need to think about this.
Mr. Potato Head: Does any body have any candy?
I think each one of us would agree that it’s foolish to stand up for something that you know is a lie. And it would be even more crazy to give your life up for something you really knew was a lie.
We think that every one of Jesus’ disciples – with the exception of John who died of old age – was martyred (killed) – gave up his life – because he refused to say that Jesus was dead.
Baby Christian – I didn’t know that.
Mr. Potato Head – That’s pretty serious.
Early records say that the apostle Peter was crucified and died. The book of Acts tells us about how the apostle James was stoned to death. All the others – again, with the exception of John – gave up their lives because they believed Jesus really had risen from the dead, and they would not deny it, even if it would cost them their lives.
It’s really, really unlikely that all of these men gave up their lives for God if they thought Jesus was still dead. But I think it makes sense if they knew he was truly risen, that they would die for that truth.
There are many more ways that we could prove that Jesus rose from the dead. In Acts 1:3, it reads:
Jesus showed himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs.
Don’t you wonder – what were those proofs? But God has given us enough reasons – proofs – for us to trust that the resurrection really happened – and that was Easter day.
So let me ask our 3 panelists:
Now that you’ve heard some reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead, what do you think now about Easter?
Mr. Potato Head: Well, I’ll never give up candy for Easter, you can be sure of that! But even I can see that if a dead man came back to life, that’s pretty important.
Thank you. And Baby Christian.
Baby Christian: My mom and dad have told me about Easter since I was a little kid. And I just believed it was true because they told me, and I trust them. But now I see that I can grow up a bit more and believe that Jesus rose from the dead because God gave us good reasons to believe it – and I DO!
And Mr. Brainiac?
Well, I told you at the beginning I am like a detective – I LIKE evidence. I never knew the things you told us today, and I think I need to look more closely at this. I’m not sure yet, but just maybe it’s true.
Any thoughts from you, audience?
(Let your kids respond, and when appropriate, end in prayer)