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Ideas for Teaching Teens About Jesus' Resurrection

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

If you’re looking for a way to teach your teen about the story of Jesus’ resurrection, you could begin with a look at the historical data or how the lives of the disciples and the early church were affected by the resurrection. When your lesson is completed, the most important take-aways should include how the resurrection affects your teen’s life and what it means to your teen’s future.

Resurrection Historical Accuracy

You and your teen can explore the historical accuracy of the resurrection as presented by Christian lecturer and apologist Josh McDowell and others. Your teen could have been told that no historical proof exists of the resurrection. An exploration of the various arguments against the resurrection and why they have been dismissed could help your teen decide the resurrection has passed the test required for classification as fact. Interesting elements for this study could include the “swoon theory” that the Jesus didn’t die on the cross, theories that Jesus’ disciples or the Jewish authorities stole the body and the number of individuals who claimed to have seen Jesus alive after the crucifixion.

Transformed Lives

Following Easter morning, the lives of Jesus’ followers were transformed, according to the biblical account in all of the Gospels and the Book of Acts. Your teen can consider what it must have been like for the disciples, waiting for the Jewish and Roman officials to round them all up once they were rid of Jesus. Discuss how the disciples must have felt when Mary Magdalene told them know the tomb was empty or how Mary felt when Jesus spoke to her in the garden. Compare and contrast the disciples’ behavior after Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion and their behavior in the first four chapters of Acts. Ask your teen, “What does the reality of the resurrection mean to your life? If you believe the resurrection without a doubt, does it make a difference in your life?”

Jesus Predicted His Death and Resurrection

In Matthew 20:17-19, Matthew 26:31-35 and John 12:20-17:26, Jesus tried to prepare his followers for his arrest, death and resurrection. Ask your teen to read these verses and consider why the disciples were unprepared for the events that occurred between Jesus’ arrest and his resurrection. Ask your teen, “Was there any way for Jesus to make his death and resurrection more clear?” You could also ask, “If the disciples believed Jesus had to die and would resurrect on Easter morning before his arrest, would they have acted differently? How might the events changed?”

Interview the Witnesses

One of the most compelling arguments for the resurrection is how many people saw Jesus after the crucifixion. Paul claims in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 that more than 500 believers saw Jesus after the resurrection. When this claim was made, most of those witnesses were still alive. Ask your teen to create a dramatized interview with any of the disciples, women at the tomb or Cleopas on the road to Emmaus based on the biblical accounts. Have your teen consider what the person interviewed would have considered most important or significant.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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