DIY Easter Story Stones

Easter Story Stones

How to Make Easter Story Stones

Easter story stones (also known as resurrection story stones) are a fun and creative way to tangible engage with the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. A wonderful way to help you tell the Easter story.

Easter is one of my absolute favorite time of year. We get to celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death, the promise of resurrection, and the promise that God will one day restore everything that is broken about our world.

One way to keep the real meaning of Easter at the forefront (instead of it getting lost amidst all those chocolate eggs and bunnies) is to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection each year with your kids. If you do this in a fun and creative way, it will make the experience more memorable and more likely to stick with your kids.

Easter story stones are a great way to get your kids tangibly engaged with the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They can play with the stones, and they can use them to retell the story in creative ways.

What are Easter Story Stones

Easter Story Stones are small rocks, or stones, painted with symbols from the Easer story. They are super simple to make, even if you have little artistic skill, and they add a great visual and tangible element to telling the Easter story.

Here’s a picture of the Easter story stones.

DIY Easter Story Stones

How to Use Your Easter Story Stones

You can use your Easter story stones in all sorts of different ways that will get your kids engaged with the Easter story. Here are some ideas.

• Grab your favorite Children’s Bible Story book or read straight from the Bible.

• Use your Easter story stones instead of Resurrection Eggs and have an egg (rock) hunt in your backyard.

• Hide them around the house on Easter morning and have the kids find all the stones. Once they’ve gathered them all, you can use them to tell the Easter story.

• Make your ow Ressurection Eggs with those empty plastic eggs that you can buy at the dollar store) and use your story stones instead of scrounging up all the items needed for the eggs.

• Have the kids put the stones in the right order as you tell (or read) the Easter story.

• Have the kids play with the stones and make up their own version of the Easter story. (This is great for working on remembering the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and for putting it into your own words.)

• Make a set to give as a gift.

• Use your Easter story stones during Sunday school or other kids’ ministry to help tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

How to Make Your Own Easter Story Stones

Making your own Easter story stones is super simple. All you need to do is select some Bible passages and symbols (you’ll find everything that we used for our set below) and paint some rocks to help illustrate the story.

Materials needed:

• Rocks/Stones

• white paint if you are using dark stones

• Paint Markers or Sharpies

• pencil

• Fabric bag store your stones (optional)

• spray sealant or Mod Podge (Dollar Tree)

You can buy craft stones that are ready to be painted, or you can gather some stones from nature (which adds an element of adventure to your story stone project, and it saves you some money).

Directions:

Here are the stones that I included in our set, along with Scripture references for each symbol. You can use this as inspiration for your own set of story stones and make the same ones, or get creative and add your own symbols.

• donkey with palm fronds – Matt 21:1-9

• bread and wine – Matt 26:17-30

• praying hands – Matt 26:36-39

• money – John 18:2-3

• sword – John 18:12-14

• crown of thorns – John 19:2

• cross – John 19:17-18

• three crosses – Luke 23:32, 39-43

• temple veil – Mark 15:38

• boulder – Luke 24:1-2

• empty tomb – Luke 24:3

• angel – Luke 24:4-8

• fish – Luke 24:36-43

• risen Jesus – Luke 24:50-51

Gather all your supplies. Rinse your stones in warm water and let them dry completely. If you have darker stones (not the white ones), give them a few coats of white par stones using a pencil. You can purchase the white rocks on Amazon. They are ready to use if you’d prefer bypassing the painting.

Use your paint pens (permanent markers work too)to fill in the details of your stones. To makes your stones really pop, outline all your symbols with a black paint pens or permanent markers.

Beautifully DIY Easter Resurrection Rocks

Optional: once your stones are completed and dry, give them a coat with a spray sealant or Mod Podge. Your stones are complete! Now use them in creative ways to engage with the Easter story.

Keep them in a simple bag or box to create
an Easter tradition for many years to come!!

Telling the Easter Story with Story Stones

We like to use our Easter story stones to tell the Easter story from memory. You can use yours to do the same, or you can read the story from a Bible or your favorite age appropriate children’s Bible.

Here is the basic sequence of events in the Easter story, along with the corresponding Bible passages for each story stone.

Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)

Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter.  When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, people laid palm branches on the road and sang “Hosanna”, which means saviour. (Matt 21:1-9)

The Last Supper

The night before Jesus was crucified, he shared a meal with his disciples and told them that one of them would betray him.  He shared bread and wine with them, and told them that the bread represented his body and the wine represented his blood.  His body would break, just like the bread, and his blood would pour out, just like the wine, but this is the way that God would rescue the world.  Through Jesus’ death, he would wash away all their (and our) sins, and heal God’s broken world.  (Matt 26:17-30)

The Garden of Gethsemane

After his last supper with his disciples, Jesus went with a few of his closest disciples to a garden to pray.  He prayed that he wouldn’t have to suffer crucifixion and death, but he also said that he wanted to do his Father’s will, and not his own.  Jesus said that he would be crucified if that was God’s plan. (Matt 26:36-39)

While in the garden, some soldiers came to arrest him, after Judas (who was bribed with thirty pieces of silver) told them where to find him. (John 18:2-3; 18:12-14)

Jesus’ Crucifixion

The soldiers led Jesus away to be crucified.  

They made a crown of thorns and placed it on his head, calling him “king of the Jews”.  (John 19:2)

They nailed him to a cross, between two thieves. (John 19:17-18)  

One of the thieves insulted Jesus, but the other one defended him.  The second thief asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom, and Jesus promised that that day, he would be with him in paradise.  (Luke 23:32;39-43)

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil inside the temple – the veil that separated the place where only the priests could access God from the rest of the temple – was torn in two, from top of bottom, signalling that there was now no barrier between people and God. (Mark 15:38)

A man named Joseph took Jesus’ body down from the cross, after he had died, and laid it in a tomb.  Roman soldiers rolled a giant boulder to block the entrance to the tomb and guarded it, to make sure that no one could get in or out.

The Empty Tomb

On the third day, just before sunrise, Mary Magdalene and some of the other women went to the tomb to wash Jesus’ body.  When they got there, they discovered that the stone that was blocking the entrance had been rolled away. (Luke 24:1-2)

When the women entered the tomb, they discovered that it was empty: Jesus’ body was not there. (Luke 24:3)

They encountered an angel who told them that Jesus was no longer there, that he had risen from the dead.  The angel told the women to go tell the other disciples. (Luke 24:4-8)

Later that day, Jesus appeared to the disciples.  He let them touch him to show that he was real, and he ate a meal of boiled fish with them. (Luke 24:36-43)

The Ascension

After Jesus stayed with the disciples for a while, he told them that he was going to leave and return to heaven, but that the Holy Spirit would come to be with them. Jesus blessed them and he was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-51)

Resurrection Sunday

He is not here, for He has risen.” (Matthew 28:6, New American Standard Bible)

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, NASB)

For a unique period of human history, Jesus — God in human flesh — dwelt among us as a man. Being eternally God, when he came to earth, he became fully human as well. Because he is both God and man, he can be in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father and also be everywhere else at once. 

Jesus is rightly called Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

He took on flesh to live with us, die for us, and be raised from the dead, leading the way for us to follow.

His presence, power and authority are not merely confined to upper rooms, open fields or sandy seasides. Jesus is in every home, workplace and recreational space as He accompanies His faithful followers into all spheres of life. He is especially with and among His children. He is here with you. 

As a follower of Jesus, you can have confidence through His resurrection that your sins are forgiven. Everything Jesus promised in His teachings you can trust to be true. You are a child of God, you will live forever with Him and your life on earth will be transformed as you continually entrust Him with it. 

Jesus promised that the result of a close relationship with Him is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, New Living Translation). These traits that He exhibits through you enable you to be an inviting and effective ambassador of His wherever you go. He is with you always, the senior partner in an ongoing quest to change the world, one life at a time.

Respond

Thank God that He wants to go through life with you, and ask Him what the first change you need to make is to experience life closer to Him.

Rejoice in the amazing grace we remember on Resurrection Sunday, which promises we can dwell with God, and He with us, for eternity.

Lent Day 40 From Death To Life

Lent – Day 40 From Death To Life

With You in the Dark

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:1-5

The first Holy Saturday experience for Jesus’ followers was colored in dark tones and painted with despair. After witnessing Jesus’ death on the cross and burial in stone, His followers were left without their teacher, their healer or their hope.

They were without the One who spoke words of eternal life. Without the One who turned their lives right-side up. Without the One they intended to follow the rest of their lives.

A deafening “without” echoed on that mournful Saturday.

If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve experienced dark moments when you’ve felt alone. When the power of death felt present in your life. When you’ve been without. Easter Saturday reminds us of God’s power to turn “without” into “with.”

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, reminds them of the death they once knew — full of overwhelming passions, unsatisfying desires and destructive cravings. These are dark sentences ending in wrath. But Paul tells them that in the face of this darkness and despair, God made them alive with Christ.

How did God do this for them? How does He do it for you?

Instead of leaving you alone in your darkness and despair, He enters into that pain to be with you. The cross on Friday and the grave on Saturday were the lengths to which God was willing to go to take your sin and death upon Himself.

He came to be with you in your darkness so you can be with Him in His life. By His grace, you do not have to remain in this Saturday despair, but you can live with Him in His new Sunday life.

The good news of the Easter story is that God made a way for you to be alive with Christ.

If you’re like me, the word “with” has never sounded so good.

Respond

How are you experiencing the darkness and death of Saturday in your life right now?

What would it look like to ask Jesus to be with you in those dark places so you can experience life with Him? If you’ve never experienced the love and grace of God, take time to read more about Knowing God Personally.

Lent Day 39 The Torn Veil

Lent – Day 39

The Torn Veil of Victory

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. Matthew 27:50-51

Reading the phrase “the veil was torn in two” in 2022 doesn’t hold as much weight as it did in Jesus’ time. What comes to mind when you picture a veil? Possibly a bride? So, why would a veil have anything to do with Jesus dying on the cross?

In fact, this moment was monumental, and there is more to it than you may be able to see from your twenty-first-century perspective.

The temple was where God chose to make His home with His people. Within the temple, behind a heavy curtain (called a veil) was the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest could enter this sacred space, and only after following elaborate instructions for purification.

The ripping of the veil at Jesus’ death represents something profound. Jesus offered the final sacrifice for purification — Himself. The moment that looked like ultimate defeat, Jesus’ death, was actually ultimate victory because of what His death (and resurrection) accomplished.

The violent tearing of the curtain represents both Jesus’ gruesome death and sacrifice for our sin, as well as the removal of the barrier between people and God. Now that the curtain was left ripped and open, sinful people could enter into God’s presence. With sin taken out of the equation through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, all people could finally come freely into fellowship with God (see Hebrews 10:19-22).

The moment you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you step into an eternal relationship with Him. No longer does the temple hold the presence of God, but His presence lives in you. As the Holy Spirit empowers you over time, you will experience Christ’s redemptive work in every area of your life.

Reflect and Pray

Read the full account of Jesus’ death on the cross in Matthew 27:45-55.

Also read Hebrews 10:19-22. What is one way your life is different because Christ tore the temple veil in two?

Consider this prayer: “Jesus, I’m amazed by Your wondrous mercy and love. Clear my mind and help me to focus on You. Thank You for giving your life in my place and for opening the way for me to have a restored relationship with You forever.”

Lent – Day 38 Where You Look Matters

Lent – Day 38

Where You Look Matters

Peter said to Him, “Even if I must die with You, I will not deny You!” And all the disciples said the same.” Matthew 26:35

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” Matthew 26:69-70

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. … When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. John 21:4, 7

Hours before Jesus’ death, Peter adamantly stated that he’d never leave Jesus. But in His darkest hour, Peter did.

Let me ask you a question: Where do you think Peter was looking at that moment?

Peter no longer had his eyes set on his friend, whom he said he would never deny. Peter’s eyes were shifting to the aggressive crowds on his left and on his right. I imagine Peter was afraid that he’d receive the same fate as his Lord. So he responded, “No, I don’t know Him!” His heart broke when he realized what he’d done.

But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter took a fishing trip. When Peter heard that it was the Lord on the beach cooking breakfast, he didn’t even wait for the boat to dock. He dove into the water, looking straight ahead to Jesus. I imagine he had in mind the love, grace and forgiving nature of his friend. Now, Peter was running to Him alone.

Where you look matters.

If you want to grow into a faithful leader like Peter, you too must learn to keep looking at Jesus, even during fearful times. You can do this by making a daily habit of reading Scripture and talking to Him through prayer. As Peter would later say, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV).

So, where are you looking today? How can you fix your eyes on Jesus?

Respond

One of the primary ways you can focus on Jesus is through studying His Word. It can be a challenge to consistently do this, so you need to be intentional.

Before moving on, read the full account of Peter’s denial of Jesus in Matthew 26:69-75 and his joyful reunion in John 21:1-20.

Open your calendar and block out 15-30 minutes each day to help you keep your eyes on Jesus this week.

Lent Day 37 Connected To The True Vine

Lent – Day 37 Connected to the True Vine

“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

One chore that is ongoing at our house through the years was picking up sticks and branches from our yard. Those withered, scrawny sticks aren’t good for anything. While trees and vines in our yard produce beautiful flowers and fruit, a branch can’t produce anything if it isn’t connected to the tree.

I like to think of myself as independent, capable and self-sufficient. But the truth is, apart from Christ, I can’t accomplish anything, much less something of eternal value. I was born with a sin nature that separated me from God; I was a dead branch right from the start. Even my first breath on this earth, my first word and first step, were a gift of God’s common grace.

But Jesus’ death on the cross on my behalf enabled me to be united with Him. Miraculously, we “dead branches” have been grafted into the True Vine.

We can bear fruit — live out qualities such as love, patience, joy and self-control — when we stay connected to God through daily prayer and Bible study. And we can help other “dead branches” experience new life when we share who Christ is and what He has done.

Reflect and Pray

Are you grateful to no longer be a “dead branch” on the ground? Thanks to Jesus’ death and resurrection, you have life, purpose and hope here on earth. If you’ve put your trust and faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are no longer separated from God. You are united to Him like beautiful, fruitful branches extending from a steadfast source of life. Not only can you experience the joy of connection to Christ now, but you can also look forward to one day being fully united with your Lord in eternity.

Consider this prayer: “God, I acknowledge that apart from you, I can accomplish nothing of eternal value. Please help me to bear good fruit in my actions and attitudes as I stay connected to you.”

Lent Day 36 What Was It About Moses?

Lent – Day 36

What Was It About Moses?

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6

“In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Are you ever amazed at the immense faith of a fellow believer? Or at how confident they are? Does anyone in the Bible come to mind? For me, it’s Moses.

Moses was one of the most important prophets in the Old Testament, leading the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt and acting as God’s mouthpiece to communicate His Law.

The crazy thing is that when God first called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, Moses refused! In Exodus 4, as God speaks to Moses through a burning bush, giving him explicit instructions and encouragement, Moses continues to waver in his desire to obey, saying, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13). But God had patience with him and helped him embrace the faith and courage he needed for the job.

Moses’ confidence didn’t grow overnight, and it didn’t grow without him leaning into his fears and working through them. But he also didn’t have to overcome his insecurities alone. God was with him.

Only after Moses saw God miraculously free the Israelites from Pharaoh, divide the Red Sea and provide food and water for masses of people as they wandered in the desert could he confidently declare, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

God led Moses from a place of insecurity to a place of confidence, bravery and faith. Moses’ confidence didn’t stem from himself, but from his firm foundation; he was rooted in God.

You may have moments of insecurity and fear, but because of who you are grounded in, you can walk confidently knowing that, although the ground may shake, God will be there to secure your footing.

There will be times in your life when Hebrews 13:6, “The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear,” will flow easily from your mouth. At other times, though, the process of growing in faith will not be easy. You’ll take steps along the way that are scary, and you’ll need to trust that God will meet you in a vulnerable place.

When you reach a decision point or a place that makes you feel insecure, just pause. Remember God’s faithfulness to Moses. Remember the great love Christ demonstrated for you on the cross. Remember the times His presence covered you and His strength filled you. Remember He did not leave you then and He won’t leave you now.

Reflect and Respond

What are some instances when God strengthened you and was your rock in the midst of a hard time? Write them down, praising and thanking Him that you can have confidence in His faithfulness and love.

After focusing on your past, focus on your present. In what area or areas of your life do you need to ask God to help you find your security and confidence in Him?

Lent Day 35 The Voice of Grace

Lent – Day 35

The Voice of Grace: How God Moves You From Rebellion to Obedience

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-13

There are many ways to get someone to do something. Parents and children know how this works. You can use a reward (“If you clean your room, I’ll give you a donut”). You can use persuasion (“Wouldn’t it feel nice to have a clean room?”). You can use threats (“Clean your room right now or no Netflix for a week”). You can even use passive-aggression (“Well, when you get a disease from the filth in your room, don’t expect me to nurse you back to health!”).

These techniques come naturally to most people. But what about God? Does God use passive-aggression to get you to do what’s right? Does God threaten you to keep you from doing what is wrong?

Paul’s letter to Titus includes an insight into God’s method of growing you from a rebellious child to a person who loves and obeys Him. It is God’s grace that teaches you to say no to what is wrong and yes to what is right.

God’s primary tool for your transformation is not the threat of punishment but the promise of forgiveness. His love changes you into the person He wants you to be.

The story of Easter you are preparing to celebrate this coming weekend reminds you that, when God saw the mess of your life, He did not condemn you from afar, but drew near and entered into our world to bring a solution. At the cross, God demonstrated His grace and kindness to you. Now you, His follower, can tune your ear to the voice of grace and to love and obey Him because He first loved you.

Reflect

What motivates you to obey God?

How can you listen to grace as it teaches you to say no to what is wrong?

Where is God asking you to say no? Where is He asking you to say yes to Him?

Palm Sunday Read, Reflect and Relax

Lent – Palm Sunday: Read, Reflect and Rest

Today is Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was welcomed as the long-awaited king.

As you rest today, take some time to read and reflect on Matthew 21:1-11 (New International Version):

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Lent Day 34 Jesus’ Triumphal (Yet Humble) Entry

Lent – Day 34

Jesus’ Triumphal (Yet Humble) Entry

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” John 12:12-15

It doesn’t take much imagination to picture a king riding into battle, galloping in on a white horse, sword ready, armor gleaming. Yet Christ’s triumphal entry described in John 12 shows us a true king doesn’t need all of those fancy props.

On what we now call Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a humble donkey. Yet He received a royal welcome. Cloaks and palm branches rolled out on the road before Him like a red carpet. A crowd gathered, waving branches and cheering.

The Jewish people knew by heart the prophecy of Christ’s coming. Their shouts of “Hosanna” were a hope-filled cry for help. Jesus’ entry into the city staked His claim on both His throne and His people. It was a public declaration of who He was: Messiah, Savior and King.

King Jesus wouldn’t rescue as they expected — sword in hand, ready to deliver His people from the pressing Roman authorities. Instead, He would lay down His sword — lay down His own life — to deliver them from a greater, hidden oppressor: their own sin.

Sadly, the crowds would turn on Him in a few days’ time, blinded by the bonds of sin that truly held them.

But these bonds hold us no longer because of the sacrifice only the one true King could make.

Our souls still cry out, “Hosanna!” King Jesus responds as only He can: defeating our enemies — sin and death — and making us free forever.

Reflect

What is one way you need God to deliver you today? Is there a sin you can’t seem to escape? Envy, anger, control or addiction*?

Make no mistake: Christ’s claim on you is real. If you’ve invited Him into your life, you are His. He is your King and Savior. Ask Him to free you of any sin holding you back today. Then follow him, however his answer may look, knowing that he will always lead you to freedom.