But it was actually Jesus himself! He said to her: 'Mary...', and when she heard him say her name, she knew it was true - Jesus had been dead, but now he was alive! Can you imagine how happy she was? She told everyone about it, and soon Jesus had gone to see his other friends too, and they were all telling each other the good news.
God is so powerful that death cannot hold him back, and Jesus had been telling the truth all this time - he was God, and death could not hold him!
Why did he die? He did it because he loved you and me, and all the people (ordinary and important), and he didn't want to see us punished for the things we do wrong. He decided he would rather take the punishment, instead of give it to us. So he was doing what he'd taught - being the servant, who helps his people, instead of the bossy king. On Easter Day we can say THANK YOU, JESUS!
And we can celebrate with eggs (which roll like the huge stone, and are hollow like the empty tomb, and are about new life), and chocolate (which is sweet and lovely, like the good news). But let's not forget Jesus - not today, and not for the rest of the year. He gave his life for us and we can talk to him any time, which is all that praying is. If you want to know more about Jesus, my blog friend Angela did a very good letter to children about him - click here.
Action: Take the stone away from the cave tomb in your Easter Garden - the cave is empty, because Jesus is alive! Put some flowers in the garden, to make it beautiful and full of new life.
Question for younger children: Did you know that Jesus was going to come back to life, or was it a real surprise?
Question for older children: What do you think Mary felt like, when she heard Jesus saying her name?