You Are Looking for Jesus

You Are Looking for Jesus

Easter Sunday 2024, Year B

Easter Sunday is here. Easter Sunday comes with a lot of pressure—the pressure to bring our very best, to adorn the sanctuary in flowers and signs of new life, to preach an amazing sermon declaring the good news of the Resurrection, to sing our hearts out with songs of joy and new life.

Mark 16:1-8, NIRV

Jesus Rises from the Dead

16The Sabbath day ended. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices. They were going to use them for Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they were on their way to the tomb. It was just after sunrise. 3 They asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?”

4 Then they looked up and saw that the stone had been rolled away. The stone was very large. 5 They entered the tomb. As they did, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe. He was sitting on the right side. They were alarmed.

6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. But he has risen! He is not here! See the place where they had put him. 7 Go! Tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. It will be just as he told you.’”

8 The women were shaking and confused. They went out and ran away from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


(Adapted from the Holy Week House Party resource, which uses drums and other instruments. For this interpretation, please just use your hands and lap to produce sounds.)

This is a variant of the activity found in the Holy Week House Party resource. In that resource, you are invited to find drums and other noise-making instruments, but for this version, it is recommended to just use your hands. Instead of drumbeats, you can simply pat your lap to the beat. Also include facial expressions to denote happiness, sadness, and excitement.

This approach can be found in the traditional activity song, “Going on a Bear Hunt.” This is a fun interactive approach for sharing the Easter story. It teaches children through dramatic interpretation, motor coordination (with the hand movements), and call and response as they can participate with you.


Happy Easter! (Allow the children to respond to your greeting.) Let’s see if we can say it louder and fill this room with the joy from this wonderful day. As loud as you can, “Happy Easter.” (Allow children to respond much louder than the first time.)

I wonder how it feels to share the good news with others on this Easter Sunday. Today is the day we realize the fantastic news of the empty tomb and the truth of Jesus being raised from the dead.

That news is so wonderful that we want to share it with everyone.

Say: “I am going to pretend that my lap is a drum. As I beat my drum, I want you to guess what I am feeling.”

(Pat your lap to the beat. Pat happily and quickly and smile.)

Ask: “What feeling did you hear?” (They will say, “Happy.”)

(Pat your lap to the beat. Pat slowly and frown.)

Ask: “What feeling did you hear?” (They will say, “Sad.”)

Say: “You are good at this. I will tell you the story of Easter now, and I want you to hear it through the sounds that I make. I wonder if you can pat your laps to the same beat that I do.”

(Pat your lap to the beat. Begin to pat happily and continue while you speak. Encourage them to follow your lead.)

Say: “Jesus was the light of the world, God’s love walking with people, teaching them, healing them… it was a wonderful time!” (Keep patting happily.)

Say: “But then,” (start patting slowly and sadly), “some people did not love Jesus, and they were afraid of his great love, so they decided to crucify him. They arrested him (one firm beat), and they hurt him (one firm beat). They made him wear a crown of thorns (one firm beat) and carry his cross (one firm beat); they hung him on the cross (crucified).”

(Silence. Have all children sit completely silent for a moment.)

Say: “Jesus died, and it was the saddest day ever. The people were so sad.” (Silence.)

Say: “On the third day, after Jesus had been taken from the cross and laid in the tomb, they went there to take care of his body (start patting slowly and get faster and faster as you talk). When they got there, they found out the best news ever! (Pat even faster.) Jesus was alive again… he was raised, and his love was still with them!!! And that was the happiest day ever!!!” (Pat EVEN harder and faster! Encourage the children to pat with exaggerated excitement.)


Say: “You know, that is our happy Easter story, but there is one problem. We didn’t get a chance, like those who found the tomb empty that day to run and tell others about the good news of Easter Sunday. I wonder if you could help me, as we, together using our laps, pat out the excitement that those who found the tomb empty and discovered that Jesus was not dead would have felt. Together, let’s pat as fast and loud as we can, without hurting ourselves, as we act like we are those who ran to others to share this wonderful news. (Start patting slowly.)

Say: “As they got closer to the tomb, slowly they looked in. Jesus wasn’t there. They quickly realized that Jesus was alive! (Begin patting faster and faster.) They found themselves running, overjoyed with excitement to spread this good news. Soon, many, many people were talking about how God had raised Jesus from the dead. (The lap patting should continue to grow faster and faster, and the sound will become louder and louder. As the children may laugh at the frantic pace of the patting, you may need to raise your voice.)

Conclude by saying: “That is how happiness sounds. Easter is the happiest day ever! Find someone later today and tell them, ‘HAPPY EASTER!’”

Adapted with permission from


God of the Resurrection, thank you for the fantastic news! May we always be excited to share the Easter story and tell people that Jesus is alive. Amen.

In This Series...

Easter Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Easter Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes