Celebrating a Christ-centered Easter: Top 12 Books For All Ages

Celebrating a Christ-centered Easter: Top 12 Books For All Ages

An Easter Season #BecauseofHIM

Because of Jesus Christ and His suffering in Gethsemane, His crucifixion and death, and His resurrection, we celebrate Easter every year. Gordon B. Hinckley wrote, “There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.” (“The Wonderous and True Story of Christmas”, December 2000 Ensign Magazine.

Because of the atoning sacrifice of The Atoning One, we have hope in the life to come for ourselves and those we love. Because our Savior overcame death and sin, we can repent and be forgiven of our sins and return to live with our Heavenly Father some day. What a gift! What a blessed time we have to worship and praise and celebrate the Lamb of God who made this all possible.

In General Conference in April 2023, Elder Gary E. Stevenson posed a question that I have pondered many times since. He asked, “How do we model the teaching and celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Easter story, with the same balance, fulness, and rich religious tradition of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Christmas story?” (“The Greatest Easter Story Every Told”, April 2023 General Conference). It has caused me to reflect on the differences between my Easter Season and Celebration and my Christmas Season and Celebration.

Elder Stevenson quote N. T. Wright who said, “We should be taking steps to celebrate Easter in creative new ways: in art, literature, children’s games, poetry, music, dance, festivals, bells, special concerts. … This is our greatest festival. Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity.” (“Suprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church” pg. 256).

There are many things we can add to our Easter season: decorations, activities, books, music, art, concerts, and more. In this post, I want to share a few favorite books that will teach us more about Jesus Christ, this Easter season, and the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Many of these books can be read out loud as families and some can be read and studied individually to help us come closer to Jesus Christ this Easter.

The Scriptures

Reading the accounts of the events leading up to the Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane, death on the cross, and resurrection on Easter are found in the New Testament. What a treasure to read these holy and inspired words.

 

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed with an account of the Savior’s minstry after His resurrection on the American continent. 3 Nephi 11-28 contains many personal encounters the Nephites experiences as Jesus Christ ministered to them one by one.  Taking time to read these chapters of scripture can help elevate our Easter season.

If you are looking for other books that focus on Holy Week and the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here is a list and synopsis of a few of my favorites.

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12 Christ-Centered Books for this Easter Season

“The Tale of Three Trees” by Angela Elwell Hunt is a beloved classic, this timeless tale follows the journey of three trees and their intertwined destiny with the life of Jesus Christ. It powerfully illustrates how God’s plans are often far greater than we could ever imagine, ultimately leading to redemption and hope. I love this book for both Christmas and Easter.

The Holy Week” by Alex Obering and Tori Hafen takes you on a journey through the events of Holy Week in this beautifully illustrated book. From Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to His resurrection, each page brings the Easter story to life in vivid detail, inviting readers to contemplate the profound significance of these sacred events. Each day includes additional activity ideas to extend your learning as a family.

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Easter: Children’s Edition” by Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler is perfect for families. This children’s edition of Emily Belle Freeman’s book offers engaging activities and discussions to help children understand the significance of Easter. From Easter egg hunts with a spiritual twist to simple crafts that teach profound truths, this book is a treasure for families seeking to make Easter meaningful for their children.

Humphrey’s First Palm Sunday” by Carol Heyer is a beautiful picture book your children will love. Join Humphrey the camel on an unforgettable journey as he witnesses the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Through Humphrey’s eyes, readers experience the excitement and anticipation of Palm Sunday, setting the stage for the events to come. If you fell in love with “Humphrey’s First Christmas”, you will love this sequel. (Available in Board Book and Hardcover)

The Shepherd and the Lamb” by Eva Koleva Timothy and Adam Timothy is full of beautiful artwork and poetry about the final week of the Savior’s life. This enchanting book beautifully captures the essence of Christ’s role as the Good Shepherd, guiding and protecting His flock. Through stunning illustrations and engaging rhymn, readers are drawn into the timeless message of Christ’s love and sacrifice.

The Easter Connection: Made Whole with God Through Christ” by Kerry Muhlestein discusses the longing we all have for lasting covenant connection with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Muhlestein also explores the deeper spiritual significance of seperation and unification through the Easter story in this thought-provoking book. Through insightful reflections and scripture study, readers are invited to explore their own connection to the Savior and the healing power of His atonement.

From Jericho to Jerusalem” by Tamara Uzelac Hall is a journey through the Holy Land as she explores the sacred sites associated with Jesus’ ministry and the events of Easter. Through vivid descriptions and historical fact, readers are transported to the very places where these sacred events unfolded. This study guide includes quotes, scriptures, activities, and more.

The Passover: A Symbolic Prelude to Easter” by Ron Millburn dives into the rich symbolism of the Passover and its connection to Easter in this informational booklet. Millburn unpacks the significance of this ancient tradition and its foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrifice, offering readers a deeper appreciation for the Easter story.

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Easter” by Emily Belle Freeman invites readers to deepen their understanding of Easter through personal reflection and meaningful traditions as you see Easter through the eyes of others. With thoughtful insights and practical suggestions, she guides readers on a journey to make Easter a truly Christ-centered celebration.

Because of Christ on Calvary” by Brad Wilcox explores the profound impact of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross in this insightful book. With warmth and clarity, he reminds readers of the infinite love and grace extended to all through Christ’s atonement. Because of Christ, we have hope.

A Family Easter Celebration” by Covenant Communications is a comprehensive guide that offers families a wealth of resources to create a memorable and Christ-centered Easter celebration. From scripture readings to artwork, to music, it provides practical tools for families to deepen their understanding of and appreciation for Easter.

The Infinite Atonement” by Tad R. Callister delves into the depths of Christ’s atonement in this profound book. With clarity and insight, he explores the infinite nature of Christ’s sacrifice and its transformative power in the lives of believers. This is a must-read book that teaches the depth and breadth of the Savior’s infinite atoning sacrifice using scripture, quotes from church leaders, and experiences.

As we celebrate the Easter season this year, may these books serve as a reminder of the profound love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. May they inspire us to deepen our understanding of the Easter story and to live each day in gratitude for the gift of redemption and eternal life made possible by our Savior and Redeemer.

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