As I was running through all my usual blog reads one day last week, I came upon Jessica’s (Life As Mom) post about Easter Entertainment for Kids. I made a mental note about her first link – The Jesus Movie for Children.
I watched it with the kids on Maundy Thursday. Although there were a couple things I wondered about (for biblical accuracy), I recognized that it was a simplified, condensed story for children and was so very impressed with it.
It’s a live-action story of Jesus’ life, condensed into 65 minutes. It’s told from the perspective of children who are living in Jesus’ time and witness many of his miracles. It runs from his birth to his death and resurrection. It is WELL worth checking out.
My kids really loved it! Just like we adults get excited to see a movie of a book we’ve read, I found my kids getting excited to see people and parables they knew from their own Bibles. They were answering eachother’s questions during the movie too – that was fun to watch as their Mom! “Why is Jesus overturning the carts?” “Because the temple is supposed to be for worship.”
When our 3-year-old saw a man laying in the road, she immediately yelled out “I know that one, I learned it at Cubbies! That’s the Good Samaritan. The first two people won’t help him but one will!”
Our 7-year-old asked me so poignant a question during the film, I actually got up and wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget to come back to it later. He asked: If Jesus died to forgive the sinning we’ve done and the sinning we are going to do, why do people still sin?
Whew! What a whopper! I haven’t answered him yet because I know it will require a looong discussion (free will, choices, Satan…) It’s a doozie and I want to be sure to give the answer the time and consideration it deserves. But wow, I was so touched by the insightfulness! It made me think of “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 (thank you crosswalk.com) I think C is asking if all of this was done for US, who are WE to disrespect him by continuing to sin? I’ll let you know how our follow-up chat goes…
Our 10-year-old was very quiet towards the end of the film, sheltering his head from sight to cover what I’m sure were tears. It wasn’t too graphic a film, but it was made obvious that Jesus endured a significant beating. You can’t help but feel completely unworthy. I cried too. (It was Maundy Thursday, remember? That’s the day the water works start for me.)
It’s amazing really, how much they were able to pack into one hour. The kids asked if we could watch it again on Easter Sunday. This time, D will be able to watch it with us. I can’t wait!
Click the link here: The Story of Jesus for Children and then click the “Children’s Story” button beside English. For the benefit of some of my loved ones: Once it’s playing, you can click the little square button next to the running time (65 minutes?) to expand it to large screen (esc to go back). If you need another language, scroll up to the top to find another (sorted alphabetically). It’s been translated over 100 times!
I’d love to hear from you on this one – if you’ve seen it, what you thought, your reaction to the closing segment, how your children responded, what discussions you had afterward. I’m curious. Enlighten me.
And of course, have a blessed, blessed Easter!!